Clog dancing and step dancing

A commenter (Ofelas) drew my attention to this 1964 film of clog dancing in western North Carolina.


Now I have come across this Irish step dancing from about the same time (1963), filmed in Tipperary in Southern Ireland. I am not knowledgeable enough to comment really, but one can imagine that these styles share similar roots. It certainly seems possible that the Scots-Irish picked some of this up from the original Irish and took it to America.


Here is what Wikipedia has to say about clogging in America.


2 responses to this post.

  1. I did a fair amount of square dancing growing up, and one of the highlights at the annual conventions was the cloggers. Imagine that instead of a living room, you’ve got a gymnasium filled with cloggers–sometimes dozens, perhaps even a hundred at times–doing the same routine, most of them smiling all the while. It certainly seemed to be connected with Scots-Irish and gaelic culture at the time.


  2. Posted by Ofelas on December 15, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    Thanks. That is true about the resemblance suggesting the same origin – many of the settlers in Appalachia were of Irish and Scottish origin, and brought their music with them and maintained it, and even though it developed over the couple of centuries, it still has the features and structures of what it grew from. It is interesting how the music and dance of their homeland served first for these emigrees naturally as their culture, as some connection to their tradition, homeland, ancestors, basically part of their cultural identity, they kept singing and dancing and playing in the new land like they used to do back home, and over course of time that music and dance started to connect with the region and define the region in a way, and originally imported thing became local thing and traditional culture of the people of the area, regardless of their origin.
    This is very simplistic how I try to express, since the Irish and Scottish with their jigs and reels and ballads etc were not the only communities bringing their music into that area, there’s more influences, but these, Irish and Scottish, Celtic basically, influences seem to be somehow prominent, which may have something to do with the proverbial strong family/clan/blood relations’ based bonds typical for the Celts, going hand in hand with sticking to their ways, music, songs, traditions?

    The topic of music as one of the things that defined community, and how even territories could be drawn based on the ways people played and sung and danced, and how themes and styles and folk songs and their motifs and even rhythmical and melodic patterns spread and were ‘borrowed’ and built into neighboring traditions, is very interesting, unfortunately it seems to be rapidly dying out in the western world, leaving only isolated areas where it’s still living.


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