Clogging Workshops, Competition and Show
When you’re visiting the Smokies in March and you hear a thunderous clatter, don’t look to the skies for an incoming storm. Instead head over to the Gatlinburg Convention Center to experience the Smoky Mountain Encore Clogging Convention to see and hear some of the best foot-stomping good times around. Held from March 10-12, Smoky Mountain Encore is three days of heel clicking, toe stepping fun.
The art of clogging got its start in the mountains of Appalachia, so it’s fitting that the event is held in Gatlinburg. As settlers came to the mountains, they brought with them the traditions of step dancing from their communities in Europe. In the hills and hollers the elements of cultures blended, taking a step here from Irish dances, a move there from Dutch-German heritage, throwing in something from the Scottish and English for good measure. The result is a unique rhythmic and percussive form that is continuing to evolve.
Attendees can take part in a wide range of classes, from scratch all the way up to advanced plus. That means you can learn how to rock, brush, drag, and stamp even if you’ve only gotten as far as lacing up your clogging shoes. More experienced cloggers can challenge themselves with workshops on intricate and complicated routines. With over 140 seminars and workshops led by more than 30 professional instructors, everyone can add something to their fancy footwork repertoire.
Ever wonder how the dance competitions are judged? If so, then attend the sessions on how to be a judge. You’ll learn a lot about viewing the techniques and distinguishing a sloppy pivot or a perfectly executed push off.
The convention is not all classes and workshops though. There will be plenty of entertainment too. The exhibitions and the Saturday night show are sure to delight. The doors open at 7 p.m. on Saturday for the 7:30 p.m. exhibitions. Following the exhibitions and the instructor introductions, at approximately 8:30 p.m., the audience will enjoy a professionally staged, themed production show. Because the show is put on for cloggers by cloggers, everyone there will have a great time.