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Part: 6 Picture Perfect > Term Paper #3 - Pg. 352

Sample Term Papers 352 Clogging was influenced not only by the step dancing from Ireland, but also by dances brought to America by other settlers from the British Isles, as well as Native American traditional dances, and solo buck and wing dances of the African American slaves (Mangin, Julie < ~jmangin/clogging.htm>). Clogging began as a very social dance, which was a far cry from the competitive nature of Irish step dancing. The inhabitants of the Appalachians were part of a rural society, and they worked hard during the day, many in the coal mines or on the farm. After sundown, for special occasions or just for enjoyment, families and neighbors would gather together in a barn or on a porch to play music and dance (Charlton 23). Although the dance has become somewhat rare in comparison to its popularity a century or two ago, a few "old timers" can still be seen flatfooting at Appalachian music festivals today. In Angela Charlton's Associated Press article, she quotes Jane George, a clogging instructor from West Vir- ginia: "Clogging is ... more structured. Flatfooting is freer. You can watch a bunch of people flat- footing and they'll all be doing something different." Dancers who flatfoot have no specific style of dress, but simply wear whatever they've already got on at the time, including everyday shoes. Traditional clogging has been described as the most energetic form of step dance and is charac- terized by a relaxed upper body and fast-moving, percussive footwork ("Stepdance/Clogging in Nova Scotia" <>). It is a mobile, informal dance whose steps have become somewhat standardized only within the past century. Distinct steps and their names used to vary from region to region, and West Virginia is one of the last places to retain those differences (Charlton 23). The two most basic steps, which are the foundation for most other clogging steps, are called the shuffle and the buck, and are very similar, if not exactly the same, as some dance steps seen in modern tap dancing. Subsequent Irish Immigrants: The First Great Wave