Tag Archives: clogging

2013 Recap: Best Moments

31 Dec

I don’t want to make my followers crazy by publishing a super-overabundance of posts all the time.  So I had to choose today’s post carefully.  I decided on this all-important last day of the year, I would pick my top moments of 2013 to talk about.  I have so many looking back and looking forward type posts in que through.  I wrote my 2013 resolution results post, but it became very long, so I sperated it into the various sections.  Which made 5(?) posts.  And then, of course I have 2014 Resolutions.  And the music I listened to most in 2013.  But then I have the new 2013 album releases post.  And I want to make a big post about strategies of how I plan to go about accomplishing my 2014 goals.  Maybe I will make a New Year kind of post every day of the month in January.  Because that’s the way it’s looking.  I like it–I hope I doesn’t make you guys irate.  Anyway, without further adou, the very favorite of my moments in 2013, from 10th most important to super-best-time-ever-of-the-year!

10.  Keeping my 4.0 GPA in school.  Very important to me.  And not all that easy to do, so it garners a spot on the big list.  I only hope it will also be here next year too. . . pinna art

9.  Spa weekend & camping in the living room.  Grocery Outlet beauty/grooming items, massage, foot soaks, spa treatments, and healthful cooking.  Home spas are a heck of a lot less awkward with your mate and more affordable at home.  And camping included, sleeping on the air mattress in the living room, eating microwave s’mores, and watching “The Great Outdoors.”  A good time was had!  I had wanted to have theme weekends all summer, with varying items.  We made it to two before running out of ideas, then motivation.  But these 2 were so fun!  We saved money by staying home as well, which I always like.  I will try to start brainstorming now so we can have more this next summer.  I just thought of music.  And a crafty weekend.  There’s the first month for us. Summer Begins 2013 060

8.  Walla Walla big 30th Birthday.  I was really looking forward to this milestone birthday.  This one is probably due to the great anticipation and the weight I placed on this age.  It’s a big deal to me.  And I always love Walla Walla for the wine country and quaint small town feel–as well as the beautiful Palouse views.  The only reason this items fell relatively low on the list is Cool was mixed state, manic, or cycling (who can tell?) at the time and had no money and she acted like a jerkelsteilskin frequently because of the bipolar.  But I looked good, wasn’t at work, and got a true wine tour–so it was still pretty fun. Walla Walla 30th 022

7.  Seeing a moose up close.  Terribly exciting!  It came right in the yard while I was house-sitting for my boss.  And it ranks only 7th, because when it happened, I was worried the aggressing dog was about to DIE.  And on account of that I did not get a (good) picture. moose 1moose 6

6.  Green Bluff.  I think Peach-Fest was my favorite this year, though we got to go relatively frequently.  I like everything about Green Bluff.  The farm feel, picking/eating my own food, taking pictures, and supporting non-Monsanto produce.  It’s my favorite thing about Washington State (even beating the Fremont neighborhood, I think?!), and always a new adventure when we go.  Oh, wait–it couldn’t possibly beat Pike Place Market for WA fave, or adventure, but it’s the best thing Eastern, and a close second (because the Gorge isn’t as cheap or accessable = #3). Green Bluff 2 018

5.  Parasailing in CdL.  Wow!  We sort of did this one on a whim.  And it wasn’t what I expected at all.  No adrenaline was involved, just peace.  I got great pics, and had a really fun time with Cool.  It was really relaxing–until the dip at least!  I would do this one again any time, and I’ll never forget it.

tree and wake

 

4.  Labor Dave weekend, including the concert, tail-gating prior to entry, exploring mid-WA during the first half Selfie Columbia Riverof the day, hiking down to the Columbia River, camping near Feathers, and playing theampitheatre 4 setlist game with Cool.  The whole thing was fun, and I really like that it wasn’t just about drinking, or even music.  We spent a large majority of the day just appreciating the nature of mid-Washington.  Everyone was in a good (and stable) mood and that’s the best.  I love this concert and the time spent with Cool so much.  It’s totally OUR thing.  But next year–SEATS.  There will be no more GA at Dave for us.

 

3.  Clogging at my school’s Talent Show.  Who knew I missed dancing so much?  The thing that made this so great was the fact it was all mine.  I picked the song.  I wrote the dance.  And I rocked the performance.  I felt really great about the whole thing, and am excited to choreograph my next dances when time allows.  Winter break is for getting ahead with textbook reading, scholarship and application tasks, taxes/FAFSA, shopping for a semester, and winter cleaning/organizing.  See what I mean?  Four and a half weeks SOUNDS long, but there’s not enough time.  But when I do, I will be sure to do some more clogging dances.

2.  Bringing Goose home.  Not the actual hotel stay though.  Being sleep-deprived is never my favorite–though Fall finals 118Boise--May 2013 018seeing Boise with my parents and Cool was extra fun (even tired).  So finally!  I get to have all my buddies in the same state.  I missed him very much, and worried.  Also, this little item improved my relationship with my parents exponentially.  I am enjoying having happiness and closeness with them again–I missed that too.  And Goose is beautiful inside and out.  He’s home ❤

1.  Hands down–getting Forster-Fridays “off” of work.  I just can’t convey what a relief this is to me.  So much weight/stress/anxiety was lifted from me when this happened.  I feel so much more uplifted, positive, and hopeful!  Even though I didn’t believe it would actually happen or stick, and even though the social fall out was. . .  Special.  I love being away from that horrid day (most of it–I’m still there for 3-4 hours) even at the cost of having ALL early mornings, daily tiredness, and being locked in this city.  Still, totally worth it.  This is the item that really enables me to quit drinking.  I love my new schedule more then anyone could know.  I would write/say a big thank you to my boss if it wasn’t poking the bear, or jinxing it. It was sort of a chilled out year, but still good.

DMB Gorge 2008

I think I learned that you don’t have to spend a lot of money or take a lot of time away from work to have excellent moments.  I think 2014 will continue along that train of thought:  I have to work all day on my birthday, and Walla Walla is out of the question.  But maybe my parents will follow-though on visiting us, and that’s always a good time.  There will be the big, super-special yearly event of Labor Dave Weekend (with seats!), plenty of Green Bluff, and maybe a trip to The German (if we’re lucky), but other then that, we’ll make our own good times.  Even if it means being HERE for another year.

 

A Day Late: My Thanks

29 Nov

I had a sort of bad day yesterday:

-I was awake the night before fretting over this stupid, “small” paper that’s due Monday.

-I spent the majority of the day formatting my sources.

-Cool was being a turkey–as she does every time I get a full day off.

-When we went to make our Indian Tacos, I discovered we were short on flour.

-We suddenly had the kitchen of a crack-whore.  Just bare.

But at night, before going to sleep Cool and I did an exercise of everything we’re thankful for.  Here’s mine:

-First and foremost, I’m thankful about my new Friday schedule.  It’s just one day, but it changes my whole attitude and outlook.  I’m way less worried, annoyed, stressed, tired, and frustrated.  I had been dreading Fridays all week, for a long time and it was really bringing me down.  I feel SO much better now!

-Rusty.  I am very thankful to have a dependable car that I don’t have to pour a lot of money into or worry about. Rusty I’m thankful for the 4×4 so I can get to work and school as needed, the AAA so I don’t have to worry about a breakdown or be stuck when bad thigs happen.  And mostly–the remote start.  I LOVE that I don’t have to go on that cold, dark (dangerous) street and scrape my windows or sit in a freezing car.

-My family being in one state.  I’m so glad Goose can finally live with us.  And I’m also glad that it improved my relationship with my parents.  Things with them are going very well, and it feels great.  I’m also glad Choco-Luv is healthy and happy and gets along so well with Cool.  It feels good to have my own little family.

parasailing 001

-Netflix.  It saves a lot of money to be able to stream shows and movies.  And commercial-free.  Saves money in not paying for satellite, not buying DVDs, and not going out for entertainment.

-I’m also thankful for the electric throw blankets, electric blanket, goose-down comforter, and infrared light in the bathroom.  It makes life a lot easier not to be constantly cold.  Everything seems better when you’re a cozy recovering from sxtemperature.  AND those things don’t ramp up the utility bill too much.

-My new clogging shoes.  I had so much fun with the whole talent show experience.  And having the shoes makes me excited and hopeful.

-Obviously, I’m thankful for Marble and the internet.  I would be a lot less happy if I were without those!  And Spotify music which makes everything I want to listen to available so easily and free.

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When did 10:30 PM become the new 3 AM?

22 Nov

Written yesterday:

I am so non-functional today, and it’s 100% due to the fact that I didn’t go to sleep until 10:30 last night.  But my body still woke up at 3:30 AM as it is accustomed to doing these days.  There were nights in my early-mid 20’s that I was OUT until 3:30AM, then went to work at 7AM!  You know you’re 30 when you can’t stay up past 8PM anymore. . .

The reason I was up late was the Talent Show.  I was very nervous.  I hadn’t performed in 14 years.  I had never THE shirt anteriordanced in those particular shoes.  The tap on my left heel is stiff and I have to stomp really hard to get sound out of it.  My living room carpet muffled my taps, so if I wanted to practice clean-steps I had to do it in my tiny kitchen.  And the stage was in a room used as a classroom so I couldn’t practice there until our actual room reservation–when other people were already there.  So I was never able to practice both full movements, facial expression, AND clean steps simultaneously before I was actually in front of my audience.  And the afore-mentioned music-loudness issues.

rainbow 3 (2)I had started working on this dance, specifically for this occasion in August.  So I wanted to really do the very best version of the dance I knew I was capable of.  And when I got up there–it was magical.  That sounds super-cheesy and overwroght, but I really felt good about everything.  It all came together, and I actually had fun with it–instead of worrying–what move is next, put your arms here, keep smiling, breathe. . .  I just did it.  And truly enjoyed myself.  Which showed, and got the crowd excited.  It was, without exaggeration, the best performance of my life.  Better then team or individual shows or competitions in my prime of dancing.  Better then team or duets with our clogging class.  Better then previous talent shows.  And better then any band, cheerleading, or other performance.

The stars just aligned and instead of worrying about logistics I enjoyed the moment.  And I was proud that the dance was all mine.  My special song, a costume I had spent hours and hours working on (my anatomy muscle shirt, if you recall those struggles), my choreography.  I owned it.  And I love the feeling that I did the best I could.  And of course the surprise, excitement, and praise from the audiance.  I feel like those classmates and teachers see THE shirt posteriorme differently now.  And that feels great.

I had forgotton how much clogging meant to me.  Or maybe at the time, it never felt like the cool thing to do and I sort of took it for granted somewhat.  I feel a renewed excitement, and like this is one of the things that makes me who I am.  And I had forgotten.  Now I’m motivated to choreograph another routine.  I guess for next year’s talent show since I really have no other performance venue/outlet.  Maybe I’ll make my own clogging YouTube page.  Whatever it’s for, I’d like to start writing another routine and making it even more spectacular to top this show.

But today I was too tired to do much of anything.  I couldn’t focus, but I couldn’t nap either.  I tried 3 seperate times to sleep, but couldn’t.  And you know how not studying makes me feel so, so, so guilty and unproductive.  But now I have a week for Thanksgiving break and I promise myself I will really buckle down and do what I need to and work ahead.  So Today will be my break and my reward for doing the very best I could last night.

Video

Talent Show: 11-20-13

21 Nov

Here it is: My clogging dance to “So Much to Say” for my Speech & Hearing Sciences Talent Show.

Fractured

19 Nov

I guess that’s the wrong word.  I mean, it’s accurate, but sets a more negative tone then I want.  My mind is in a million places:

-the talent show is tomorrow!

Talent Show Flyerfall2013-1-1 copy

I am very nervous.  I’m surprised how much, because I used to perform a lot, and really important team competitions too.  I never used to worry about a small, show for fun.  I also never, never used to worry that the music would be too quiet to hear.  I am disproportionately preoccupied about this damn music level of tomorrow.  I have only 4 counts to make sure I’ll be able to hear it over my footwork.  And I feel like the whole thing will get messed up if I can’t hear well. . .  Also, I want to practice on that stage–though I rarely, if ever, got that chance in my clogging prime.  I am getting more anxious as I age.  And I will cry if I don’t do the very best that I know I can do.  I’ve been working on this since August and I really want to do my best work.  And a prize wouldn’t hurt my feelings, but I don’t NEED one if I’ve done the dance cleanly, with smile and arm movements, and WITH the music (that I can hear).

-My lips are getting off-the-heezy chapped

This happens every winter, and I wish it could wait until after the talent show.  Of course my face broke out just for the occasion as well.  At least my fever of Friday and Saturday went away.  I have no idea why I’m getting sore throat/fever spells with such frequency this fall/winter.

-I had been dreading work this week

And I do not want to jinx it in any way, but it’s actually going very well, and I’m coming home normal to happy instead of stressed, worried, tired, disgruntled, and frustrated as I had anticipated.  Maybe my life is turning around!!!!  Maybe.

-What happened to Sheryl Crow???

It goes without saying that I’ve been a long-time fan.  In 1995, she was one of the first 12 CDs I ever owned (thanks BMG!).  And I had her poster on the ceiling of my bedroom.  She used to be brown-eyed, curly, brown hair, and folk/rock/indy.  Things have changed.  Now she’s country?  And looks like a wannabe sorostitute.  And too thin for her age.  Don’t women know that losing weight after a certain age makes you look weird and wrinkly and unhealthy?  I used to really like her, but maybe I’ve changed my mind?  I’m not certain.  I think it would be better if she was more–authentic?  Is that the word I’m looking for?

-I can’t decide if something is wrong with Rusty (my car) or if I’m just paranoid

It feels heavy sometimes.  At first, I thought my tire might be low, and it would need repairing (again).  And of course I was nervous about that since it happened twice in a month.  But it’s been a week, and no flat.  So is it in my head–or is there something else?  Now, I don’t know if there’s a problem or not.  So I need to decide if I should take it in or not. . .

-How could I not mention this!

To mark the talent show location, which is in a sort of random place, unfamiliar to many–I got balloons.  How could I not know about glow-in-the-dark balloons??!  So awesome!  I’m totally excited to use these tomorrow.  I hope they’re not terrible environmentally unfriendly, but suspect they might be.  But I am really excited to utilize them so I woun’t look that up until afterwards. . .  And of course, Cool and I will keep a couple for ourselves.  Though I don’t know what 2 homebodies will do with glowing balloons.

-I forgot why I originally opened a new post

So that’s all I’ll say.

Clogging Cue Sheet–>Talent Show 2013

1 Aug

“So Much to Say,” Dave Matthews Band

Music Cut & Spliced by Kidron Cool

Choreographed by L^urel Leh7

DMB 2

are written above the lyrics they go with; step break downs in brackets to right>

DMB 1

L drum feet; RS [LT,RT,LH, RH] [LR]

L drum feet; RS [LT,RT,LH, RH] [LR]

1 count

time step (long) [L stomp (xf), RT, LT, R stomp (xf), RT, LT, L stomp (xf), R RS, L stomp (xf), R RS, LT, R stomp (xf), RT, L stomp (xf)]

16+1 instrumental intro

R joey; L joey

I say my hell is the closet I’m stuck inside

R tpl

4

L brush; R brush

Can’t see the light

Rooster run (3 skips, traveling L) [L DS, R D (behind), LT, RT (xf), LT]

2 basics

‘And my heaven is a nice house in the sky

L charlston

I Got central heating

L pot-hole; R pot-hole [L DS, turn heels out, turn toes out & heels in, L chug; R DS, turn heels out, turn toes out & heels in, R chug]

and I’m alright..

2 basics

4

L charleston

Yeah yeah yeah

L pot-hole; R pot-hole

4

L tpl

Can’t see the light

half vine-pivot-stomp (travel R, turn half on stomp) []

Keep it locked up inside

R tpl (turn half)

don’t talk about it

high horse (turn full circle) [L DS, R DS (xf), R DS (ux), RT, R slide]

3

T-t-talk about the weather

L DS; R DS; L RS (complete turn)

<music gets faster>

catawba [L DS, R heel heel, L heel heel, R heel, L heel, L chug]

4

L buck joey

Yeah yeah yeah

R buck; L buck

4

R buck joey; tpl-cross

Can’t see the light

L canadian; R canadian

Op-en up my head and let me out…

buck gallop (to left)

A little baby’

achy-breaky [L DS, R DS (xf), R,L, R,L (shift wt on ankles)]

{bridge}

turkey [L DS, R dbl behind, L RS, R heel (to R), spin]

L DS, R DS, R RS

Cos here we have been standing for a long long time

R KY drag (travel R); R KY drag (travel R)

 R tpl

8

fave step [L canadian, RT, RT, R heel, L heel, heel, R drag back-L T tap; R canadian, L DS (twist L), L heel slide (twist R)]

Treading trodden trails for a long long time,

8

L twister [L dbl (twist L), R dbl (twist R), L dbl (both feet twist L), L heel slide (both feet twist R)]

Time, time, time, time, time, time

{slow jam} 

L grape vine w/turn (travel L); R heel, R heel 

I find… sometimes it’s easy to be myself

my-way (turn half) [R stomp (out to R), L (xf), RT, LT, RT (xf), R heel chug, R DS, L RS, L chug]

Sometimes…

grape vine w/turn (travel L); R heel, R heel; my-way (turn half)

I find it’s better to be somebody else

STOP hands & feet [L DS, R (xf), R (ux), RT (behind), jump on both heels (hands in stop motion out front)]

L stomp, R DS, L RS, L chug

8

Simone Stomp  [L DS, R DS, L stomp, R stomp, LT, RT, L stomp, R stomp, LT, RT,]

I see you young and soft…

fancy dbl [L DS, R DS, L RS, L RS]

L canadian 

oh little baby

____?____ [R slap T, R slap T, R kick (xf), R kick (ux), L RS, R slap T, R kick (xf), R kick (ux), L RS]

Little feet, little hands, little feet, little feet–(same phrase)

L canadian

(same phrase)–little baby

cotton-eyed-joe turn [L DS (turn L), R Dbl, both feet stomp, R hop, R hop, (turn 3/4) both feet stomp, L hop, L hop]

R DS, L RS

One year of crying and the words creep up inside

Kokomo stomp (move forward) [L, R, L, R]

Creep into your mind–

–yeah

{Refrain}

So much to say, so much to say,

L stomp, syncopated step [R dbl (back), L dbl (back), R T, LT, RT, pause 1 count, RT, LT, L dbl (back), R dbl (back), R step, R RS]

so much to say, so much to say

hop-step [L DS, L slow hop (bring R knee up), R RS, L slow hop (bring R knee up), R RS]

4

_____  [R Rock-split L, L rock-split R, L chug]

{Refrain }

So much to say, so much to say,

scuff step [L DS, R scuff toward L foot & tap it, R RS; L DS, R scuff toward L foot & tap it, R RS]

So much to say, so much to say,

finish scuff step [R scuff to L foot; L scuff to R foot; R RS]

R DS, leprechaun jump [L click heels in air]

4

L basic; pause 1 count; dbl-dbl [L DS, R db-l (front), R db-l (back), R db-l (front), R db-l (back)]

R Rock- R RS, R slide L chug

‘Open up my head and let me out…

windmill [L DS, R DS (xf), R DS (un-x), R circle-loop behind, R circle-loop behind, R brush)]

R DS, L chug, chug

2

jump on both feet

little baby

do the splits

raise one hand

 

Trying to Forget

30 Jul

Thinking about clogging for my school’s talent show made me happy.  I was good at it.  It will be something fun–and not related to any long term goals.  It’s just stress-relief and showcasing my background.  And yesterday, work finally went well!  What a difference a  doctor makes. . .  Anyway, I never felt like a cool kid when I was super-involved with clogging.  We were not cheerleaders, nor ballerinas, or hip-hop dancers–all awesome in the wider world of grade school.  We were sort of nerdy, in my own mind.dancing

So much of the time I spent as a dancer, I wasn’t pleased when the routines pilfered popular songs.  I spent most of MY personal time (away from dancing) trying to disassociate each song I heard on the radio from the dance steps that went along with it.  The task proved impossible.  I couldn’t get the choreography out of my head.  Clogging ruined a lot of songs for me.  I just couldn’t mindlessly sing to the radio or bob my head on the team bus like the rest of my peers.  I would be thinking, “stomp, double step, double, hop, heel, kick,” and the like.  Or I would be thinking, “jazz fingers, head up, move forward, star formation.”  But never just enjoying the songs.

And it was a wide range of songs that transcended genres.  All of Elvis, “The Sign,” “Everybody Dance Now,” Twilight Zone,” “Mr. Vein,” Boot-Scoot-n-Boogie,” “Twist & Shout,” well, I couldn’t even begin to name a quarter of them.  If it was popular–there was a dance that went with it.  It really put a damper on my full enjoyment of music Laurel's pics 429for the longest time.

Thirteen years (What?!  Wow!  How did that happen?) after my last clogging class, I can’t for the life of me remember many steps at all.  I worked so hard for so long trying to forget–that I most thoroughly did.  And what a shame!  Now I’m trying to make up a good show dance, and I have only a few steps at my disposal.  And those are the most used stand-bys, nothing flashy or awesome.

Also, I can’t remember how to write the cue sheets in the simplest way, so as I’m looking on YouTube and trying to write the footwork that goes with the names I’m likely to forget, it’s taking a long time.  And I’m not sure it will make sense later.  This may be the most difficult routine I’ve tried to choreograph–and it’s Laurel's pics 762because I just can’t remember. . .

I do find it amazing, really, really neat, that my feet seem to remember the footwork though.  As long as they call out steps, and show feet, I can jump right in and do all the steps/dances on YouTube that I’ve found.  So that is pretty awesome.  I guess that’s more muscle memory than my brain?  Maybe deep, down under a lot of layers, I remember a lot of stuff?  At least my feet know what to do if my brain refuses to function how I want!  I wonder if I could pole vault still?

Get Serious about the Clogging Essay

13 Dec

This thing is all but due, and I am still in the brainstorming stage.  I need to get busy.  Like yesterday.  To do:  Answer the question (see below), shorten the essay, and provide showing statements about the characteristics I want to convey.  Easy peasy.

Knowledge or creativity in a field: Describe any of your special interests and how you have developed knowledge in these areas. Give examples of your creativity: the ability to see alternatives; take diverse perspectives; come up with many, varied, or original ideas; or willingness to try new things.

tongue, Muscle of the tongue

 

At least I didn’t have to do the above dissection and anatomy & physiology study of every animal species.  OK, I can DO this.  Writing is the easy part of school.  And writing about a topic of my choice, about me–should be the easiest thing ever.  Do it, do it!  And honestly readers, I just wanted to use this photo because I just found it again, and I think it is awesome.

You will quit pasting the snippets you already wrote in different orders, and answer this question!  Here goes:

Knowledge or creativity in a field: Describe any of your special interests and how you have developed knowledge in these areas. Give examples of your creativity: the ability to see alternatives; take diverse perspectives; come up with many, varied, or original ideas; or willingness to try new things.

I was a rebel just for trying clogging.  My school friends were all involved in the more socially acceptable, and notable endeavor of ballet.  They wore pink tutus and displayed careful femininity.   I was always different, and my choice of dance genre reflected that.  Cloggers did not wear sheer, pastel wrap-skirts or practice soft body-lines and decorum.  Clogging, a dance with Appalachian roots, featured stomping on double taps.

While my friends were able to take dance lessons in our small town, my mother and I drove a half hour, working on that week’s spelling words and eating a dinner of string cheese and an apple as we went.  Once inside the larger city’s blue two story Pinkerton’s Studio of Dance, all of the lean and graceful ballerinas could be seen leaning nimbly on the benches in the hallway.  Jazz dancers in black spandex pants and soft shoes stretched on the floor.  The tap dancers with their shiny black shoes did homework on the stairs between classes.  And then there were us cloggers.  We had a hardier build, and were loud compared to the lithe, graceful dancers within Pinkerton’s walls.

I walked into the mirrored room and put on my worn, white practice shoes, tying the purple sparkled laces extra tight.  The toes of my shoes were black from working on my buck steps and a hole was just starting to form on the ball of both shoes, since the majority of the steps required slamming the ball of my foot to the floor.  Since most of the other types of dance required leotards for practice, the studio was uncomfortably warm for my tee shirt and gym shorts.  I was sweating already.  Our teacher switched on a country song to warm us up.  It sounded extra loud and twangy over the soft, classical echoing down the hallway.  We had to have loud music to hear the beat over our tapping.  We danced “Twist and Shout,” one of the first songs you ever learn as a clogger, and went into “The Sign” by Ace of Base.

Though it was no fun to be the only girl in my peer-group that was not a ballerina, I do not regret my enthusiastic participation in clogging.  While my friends were pointing their toes, I was working my calf muscles and strengthening my lungs by doing a series of fast double-steps, stomps, and windmills.  Instead of learning the strict choreography of the Nutcracker year after year, I was using my mind to memorize not only countless steps, but a wide variety of songs, as well as designing novel routines.  By missing that extra time with my schoolmates, I was learning to work with a diverse group of people in a team, adapting to variable audiences throughout the Western United States, and taking instruction (and criticism) from clogging teachers and judges.  Being an individual and participating in an alternate form of dance as a student, show dancer, competitor, and instructor for eight years enabled me to accrue many more life skills than sticking with the group in a more acceptable past-time.

symphony hall 3It needs more work, but this may be the track I will follow.  It answers the question at least.  I am just finding it very difficult to edit anything out, because clogging was such an important aspect of my school life, and it all seems imperative and telling about my character.  We’ll see if I still like this one tomorrow.  Maybe next year I’ll randomly write all of my essays based on clogging so I can include everything!

 

 

blend performance and competition

15 Nov

Often weather condition/s were [unconcop] not contractible negative optimal independent clause for coordinating conjuction be/ing outside in lycra and sequence. dependent clause = embedded sentence

Using my peripheral vision, I scanned right and left, to make sure I was lined up in perfect formation with my teammates. Despite the downward angle of my head, I could tell the lights were bright.  Staring at my own, freshly polished white leather performance shoes, I could only hear the chatter and rustling of the audience that had amassed in the large auditorium earlier in the day.  I tried to remain calm and collected, but I could hear my own tense breathing as I anticipated the first notes of “Twilight Zone,” which would cue the beginning of the dance.  Hoping the music would be loud enough, cued to the right spot, and playing at the correct speed, I worried more that the stage would be slick under my taps.  Experience and the knowledge that the sticky Pepsi they had poured over the stage was sure to do its job and provide traction helped assuage my  nerves.  At least we are not dancing outside in the middle of a gravelly street in wind and rain or blazing sunshine, like we had to do for performance routines, I told myself.  I adjusted my arm just slightly, feeling the sequence of my fuchsia and turquoise lycra costume brush my shoulder as I did.  The grinding synthesizer echoed throughout the room and without thought, I stood straight, smile pasted on my garishly made-up face, and threw my arms into a left arrow to begin the dance.

Sometimes nerves would cause team members to wander off track and you would have to steer them back in the right direction. Pretending you were having fun and there was no problem or deviation from the routine was ingrained in all of us, as we had practiced showmanship along with the steps until it was second nature.  Luckily, during this performance everyone was in their proper place and remembering their cues and steps.  We did not have to employ any flexibility or perform damage control.

As I did the buck joey I knew there were only a few steps left in the song, one more line formation, and then we would do our final toss.  Then, we would have exactly three minutes to line up on the wings of the stage for our entrance to “When Doves Cry.” This meant running off stage, hastily throwing off our pink satin shorts and peeling off our pink and turquoise leotards and slipping into our purple leotards with the sheer purple split-leg pants.  Remember the headband, I reminded myself as I  completed the last vine of the song, making sure my right toe was pointed and that I elevated my knee as high as possible on the forward crossover.

Chopping the Clogging

4 Nov

This is so difficult!  I think in trying to narrow and keep it entertaining and show-case certain sholarshippy characteristics I have omitted some pertinent facts and timeline and history.  I really need to get a move on with this essay because the deadline is fast approaching.  So sorry, readers, but here is another outline/brainstorm of my last scholarship piece of writing.

Brainstorm of what Clogging Made me:

responsible, dedicated, practice, commitment, flexibility, team-work, show, positive, teacher, patient, choreographer, student, fast learning, excitement, travel, priorities, time management, organization, performer, following through, memorization, balance, calm under pressure,

Logistic things I need to make sure to sneak in:

-clogging is like tap dance with double taps.

-Appalachian roots

-I started as a 2nd grader

-clogged for 8 years

-did performance/show and competitive dancing

-taught clogging for 5 years

Possible Outlines:

1.  Chronological–>indicate what I missed–car ride–practice–blend competition pre-song and festival charateristics–finish with how I experienced more important then show I missed.

2.  Dramatic–>start with pre-song–go back around to how I had to prepare with the practice–talk about car ride–then address what I missed–wrap up with super characteristics.

3.  5 Paragraph Essay Style–>Talk about TV show–in last paragraph that compares my friends and me, insert the longer pertinent paragraphs of practice, performance, etc.

I like this as a possible intro:

1.  the blue two story Pinkerton’s Studio of Dance.  All of the lean and graceful ballerinas leaned nimbly on the benches in the hallway.  Jazz dancers in black spandex pants and soft shoes stretched on the floor.  The tap dancers with their shiny black shoes did homework on the stairs between classes.  And then there were us cloggers.  We had a hardier build, and were loud, and well, not as proper, compared to the lithe, graceful dancers within Pinkerton’s walls.  I walked into the mirrored room and put on my worn, white practice shoes, tying the purple sparkled laces extra tight, and stomped the double tap on the floor for good measure.  The toes of my shoes were black from working on my buck steps and a hole was just starting to form on the ball of both shoes, since the majority of the Appalachian-based steps required slamming the ball of my foot to the floor.  Since most of the other types of dance required leotards for practice, the studio was uncomfortably warm for my tee shirt and gym shorts.  I was sweating already.Our teacher switched on a country song to warm us up.  It sounded extra loud and twangy over the soft, classical echoing down the hallway.  We had to have loud music to hear the beat over our tapping.

Eating my “dinner” of string cheese, a cracker pack, and an apple, I spelled the fourteenth word on my spelling list.  My mom was quizzing me during the twenty minute car ride into Carson City for clogging class.  We would not have time for homework after class, because it went right up to my bedtime, and tomorrow would be an early morning.  During my years of clogging activities, my family and I had to maximize our time.  Every moment was utilized, because with clogging and school, there was not a lot of time to spare.

For clogging performances, all the girls in my group had to apply blue eye shadow and bright red lipstick so our features could be made out under the harsh lights.  The stage makeup was ugly close-up, but you could see that we had eyes and lips when we were on stage.  We also had to wear our hair in high ponytails with the strands in back falling down in curls.  My hair wanted no part of these acrobatics.  My mother would put curlers in my ponytail early that morning.  While I patiently sat on the toilet lid, she would roll small strands of my hair in the spongy, pink curlers.  I hated pink.  Then showers of sticky hairspray would coat the locks.  Fumes choking everyone in the vicinity.  I would wear my pink curlers until I was in the wings of the stage, with my clogging instructor frantically yanking and untwisting the curlers back out.

Using my peripheral vision, I scanned right and left, to make sure I was lined up in perfect formation with my teammates. Despite the downward angle of my head, I could tell the lights were bright.  Staring at my own, freshly polished white leather performance shoes, I could only hear the chatter and rustling of the audience that had amassed in the large auditorium earlier in the day.  I tried to remain calm and collected, but I could hear my own tense breathing as I anticipated the first notes of “Twilight Zone,” which would cue the beginning of the dance.  Hoping the music would be loud enough, cued to the right spot, and playing at the correct speed, I worried more that the stage would be slick under my taps.  Experience and the knowledge the sticky Pepsi they had poured over the stage was sure to do its job and provide traction helped assuage my  nerves.  At least we are not dancing outside in the middle of a gravelly street in wind and rain or blazing sunshine, like we had to do for performance routines, I told myself.  I adjusted my arm just slightly, feeling the sequence of my fuchsia and turquoise lycra costume brush my shoulder as I did.  The grinding synthesizer echoed throughout the room and without thought, I stood straight, smile pasted on my garishly made-up face, and threw my arms into a left arrow to begin the dance.

Sometimes nerves would cause team members to wander off track and you would have to steer them back in the right direction. Pretending you were having fun and there was no problem or deviation from the routine was ingrained in all of us, as we had practiced showmanship along with the steps until it was second nature.  Luckily, during this performance everyone was in their proper place and remembering their cues and steps.  We did not have to employ any flexibility or perform damage control.

As I did the buck joey I knew there were only a few steps left in the song, one more line formation, and then we would do our final toss.  Then, we would have exactly three minutes to line up on the wings of the stage for our entrance to “When Doves Cry.” This meant running off stage, hastily throwing off our pink satin shorts and peeling off our pink and turquoise leotards and slipping into our purple leotards with the sheer purple split-leg pants.  Remember the headband, I reminded myself as I  completed the last vine of the song, making sure my right toe was pointed and that I elevated my knee as high as possible on the forward crossover.

My friends at school would talk about “The Simpsons.”  To this day I have never seen a full episode, so at recess when the subject would come up, I would be lost, and feel a little left out.  As my best friends laughed about Bart’s latest antics and Homer’s ineptitude, I would just listen, not having anything to contribute to the conversation.

While my friends were gathered around their television watching cartoons with their family, I was at clogging practice.  Or studying my spelling words in the car as my mom drove us to clogging practice.  Or at some performance at a festival in a park somewhere.  Maybe I was just out in the driveway, shoes on, practicing my steps for our newest dance.

Though it was no fun to be in the dark about the coolest shows of the time, I do not regret my enthusiastic participation in dance.  While my friends were sitting, I was working my calf muscles and strengthening my lungs by doing a series of fast double-steps, stomps, and windmills.  Instead of mindlessly watching the sit-coms, I was using my mind to memorize not only countless steps, but a wide variety of songs, as well as choreography that went with each different routine.  By missing that family-time in the evenings, I was learning to work with a diverse group of people in a team, adapting to variable audiences, and taking instruction (and criticism) from clogging instructors and judges.

Aside from not knowing who exactly Krusty the Clown is, whatever happened to Lisa’s saxophone, or if Marge ever got a hair cut, I think I fared pretty well with the life skills I accrued.