AskDefine | Define clogging

Dictionary Definition

clogging (See clog)


1 footwear usually with wooden soles [syn: geta, patten, sabot]
2 any object that acts as a hindrance or obstruction
3 a dance performed while wearing clogs; has heavy stamping steps [syn: clog dance, clog dancing]


1 become or cause to become obstructed; "The leaves clog our drains in the Fall"; "The water pipe is backed up" [syn: choke off, clog up, back up, congest, choke, foul] [ant: unclog]
2 dance a clog dance
3 impede the motion of, as with a chain or a burden; "horses were clogged until they were tamed"
4 impede with a clog or as if with a clog; "The market is being clogged by these operations"; "My mind is constipated today" [syn: constipate]
5 coalesce or unite in a mass; "Blood clots" [syn: clot]
6 fill to excess so that function is impaired; "Fear clogged her mind"; "The story was clogged with too many details" [syn: overload] [also: clogging, clogged]clogging adj : preventing movement; "the clogging crowds of revelers overflowing into the street" [syn: hindering, impeding, obstructive]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. present participle of clog

Extensive Definition

Clogging is a traditional type of percussive folk dance which is associated with a number of different regions across the world. In earlier periods it was not always called "clogging", being known variously as flat-footing, foot-stomping, buck dancing,clog dancing, jigging, or other local terms. What all these had in common was emphasizing the downbeat of the music by enthusiastic footwork.As for the shoes many old clogging shoes had no taps.Some were made of leather and velvet.The soles of the shoes were either wooden or hard leather.


Clogging is traditional in Wales and is a regular feature of both local and national eisteddfodau. Competition can be energetic with the dancers leaping over brooms. 'Welsh Clog Dancing is not like North-West or Lancashire Step. It is not a revival, as it is danced in the style of the unbroken tradition.'


Clog dancing was a common pastime in 18th century England. It is thought to have developed in the Lancashire cotton mills where wooden-soled clogs were preferred to leather soles because the floors were kept wet to help keep the humidity high, important in cotton spinning. Clog dancers were a common sight at music halls throughout the 19th century and into the early 20th century. Dan Leno became the world champion clog dancer in the 1880s, although records show that competitive clog dancing was a frequent occurrence throughout the 19th century.
English clogging started in the Industrial Revolution. Men sitting at the weaving machines wore hard-soled shoes, which they would tap to the rhythms of the machines to keep their feet warm. At their breaks and lunches, they would have competitions, where they were judged on the best rhythm patterns. In later years of the Industrial Revolution, they clogged on proper stages at competitions. In these competitions, the judges would watch the routine and judge it according to footwork, precision, and technique. Clogging traditions still exist in some festivals in Northumberland, and are danced to the traditional music of the area.
More recently Peter Zebedee has begun a Clogging revival in the provincial Northern town of Keighley. Modern Clogging or "Clog Clubbing" is picking up and proving to be quite popular.

United States

In the U.S. clogging originates from the Appalachian region and the Ozarks and is associated with the predecessor to bluegrass"old-time" music, which is based on Irish and Scots-Irish fiddle tunes. Clogging developed from aspects of English, Irish, German, and Cherokee step dances, as well as African rhythms and movement. It was from clogging that tap dance eventually evolved.
Traditional Appalachian clogging is characterized by loose, often bent knees and a "drag-slide" motion of the foot across the floor, and is usually performed to old-time music. Modern competitive clogging, which is inspired by traditional styles is performed to a wide variety of music, including bluegrass, modern country, rock music, pop, and hip hop. Also the style has evolved from flat foot to dancing on the balls of your feet and also toe stands are the most popular and award winning moves. These high-energy styles have opened the forum to a wide audience with hundreds of workshops and competitions every year.
Clogging is the official state dance of Kentucky and North Carolina.
Clogging shoes are often black or white. Some people feel that white shoes are better at attracting attention from an audience. Clogging shoes generally have taps that are double taps or "jingle taps". This makes it so there are four taps on each shoe--two on the ball, and two on the heel. One is securely fastened to the shoe, while the other is more loosely fastened and hits both the floor and the fastened tap while dancing or simply walking about. That is why you can hear cloggers on carpet as well as hard surface floors.


In 2005, nearly 500 teenagers attempted the "Guinness Book of World Records" bid for the largest number of clog dancers. It took place in The Hague. They were dancing the ballet version of the Dutch clog dance rather than the folk version. The ballet "La Fille Mal Garde" contains a well-known clog dance. For this specific dance the choreography was created by Stanley Holden (1928 - 2007), though Ashton took overall responsibility for it. Cecil Sharp frequently encountered step dancing and clog dancing in his search for folk dances in England, but it was Maud Karpeles who was more conspicuous in documenting it. She encountered groups of Morris clog dancers in the North-West of England. Her book The Lancashire Morris Dance was published in 1930. In 1911 John Graham had published Lancashire and Cheshire Morris Dances from the same area. Both in the USA and in England it was also known as "buck and wing" dancing. The "wing" referred to, is the step where a foot is kicked out to one side, striking the ground as it goes.
clogging in Danish: Clogging
clogging in German: Clogging
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