What is clog dancing?

This type of percussive dance began over 200 years ago, long before tap dancing, using the usual everyday footwear, clogs, wooden soled shoes with leather uppers.

During the industrial revolution people moved away from their villages into the new towns. They left behind them the old traditions linked to agriculture and the turning of the seasons. But people still wanted to dance.

In the mills you had to wear wooden soled shoes (leather soles rotted on the floors which were kept wet to keep the air humid). So people took their inspiration from the clatter of weaving machines and used their working shoes on the newly paved streets.  Clog dancing became very popular in the nineteenth century with 'Champion Cloggers' and Music Hall performances.

The musicians accompany the stepping with a variety of instruments including accordion, concertina, melodeon, violin and whistle. They play traditional  British tunes which would have been popular when the steps were being originally danced.

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You can see clips of us dancing if you search for "Charnwood Clog" on YouTube. An example video is embedded below.