By: Paula Walter
Fifteen-year old Shea Huyard has been clogging since she was five years old. Her dancing team has won four overall grand champion awards at Dollywood. They have secured their spot to clog for a national title at Opryland Hotel this September. Shea, the daughter of Tanya and Eric, dances with members of the High Country Dance Studio, located in Boone.
Clogging is a folk dance where the music is made from the strike of the dancer’s shoe, whether it’s the heel, toe or sometimes both that create its own sound and rhythm. The dancing styles and the shoes have changed over the years. American clogging has its roots in England, Ireland, Germany, Native American dances, along with music and dance movements from Africa. This particular style of dance has become a competitive event. High Country Dance Studio gives back to the community in many ways. They have donated money earned from shows to several different charities and organization around Watauga County. Shea and her family are members of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church. Giving of her time and talents is very important to Shea.
Clogging is the official state dance of both Kentucky and North Carolina. In the 18th century, clogging was named the social dance of the Appalachian Mountains. In the United States, it is associated with blue grass music that is based on Irish and Scot-Irish songs played on the fiddle.
“She knew how to clog before going to her first class,” said Tanya, also a clogger who shared her love of the dance with her daughter. Shea’s dancing skills extend beyond clogging as she dances to modern music, hip-hop, traditional and even ballroom music. According to Tanya, Shea looks upon her dancing as a stress reliever. When asked if she plays any musical instruments, Shea’s reply is “I play my feet.”
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