Clog dancing is more than just donning wooden-soled shoes for teacher Adele Greenfield. For six years, Greenfield has highlighted the diversity of clog dancing to her students. When the Irish, Scottish, English, and Dutch-Germans settled in the Appalachian Mountains in the 1700s, they taught each other folk dances set to fiddle and bluegrass music, creating new combinations that survive in clog dancing today. Greenfield strives to impart this history to students.
Joyful clogging: Greenfield calls her class Clogging for Joy, an emotion she feels when she dances a solo. “I just get into the music and it makes me feel good and whatever is going on in my life, I forget about it because I’m connecting to the music and the rhythm and the dance,” she said.
Heel, ball, toe: When Greenfield teaches, she gets to the basic steps first. “We’re helping them understand the different parts of their feet, because the heel click on their toe and the ball of the foot, they’re different,” said Greenfield.
Hidden lesson: Students who only take one of Greenfield’s classes still go home with a lifelong lesson. “Maybe a little piece of that seed I planted on diversity and appreciating differences and respecting others might stay,” said Greenfield.