Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Well was practicing last night went hop, hop, hop...spring onto left foot (landed a bit heavily) and 'Ouch'. Had to put right foot down coz left just wouldn't take my weight.
I can walk on it it just hurts when I stand on left foot on its own.

I think I'll erm...have to rest it for a bit just 'walk through' the steps sitting down instead.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Double shuffle.....

Whoop! Tried the 'double shuffle' yesterday (despite the oppressively hot weather) and did it without falling over or doing a 'wobble' this I'm quite pleased about.
As I was worried that after a weekend of no practice I'd forget how to do stuff.

Hopefully I'll record a video soon.

btw. Any advice on posture/technique? Should my knees be bendy (like shock absorbers) or more stiff. I just wonder as my stepping seems a bit smudgy rather than precise....or will that come in time?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


So....really need a post to put up for today...thought I'd explain my practice regime.
It goes something like this:
1. Step/Shuffle exercise
2. Hop/Spring exercise
3. Sit on chair with feet on board - walk through first/first progression/second/third schottiche (easy when siting down. lol!).
4. Stand up and run through first schottiche all the way through.
5. Go back and do the bits I did wrong right but slower.
6. Have a go at other schottiches in book.
7. Anything I'm not sure on....put DVD on and watch, annotating the book with things that will remind me of how to correlate the two. e.g. with first schottiche worked out instead of pausing to turn the page over that it just repeated....(so if I just drew brackets - round first 2 paragraphs of steps and wrote x3 it was the same).

Friday, June 17, 2011

music and dance

Not just been trying the dancing...been playing the tunes as well. Noticing an improvement.
Tried Fisherman's hornpipe on fiddle...which feels quite nice to play, and I notice a 'bounce' to it.  Just wish it didn't sound so screechy.
So this is it on melodeon.

Next one to do is steamboat hornpipe. Tried playing it a while back.

Here is the latest version

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Latest with sound

So I managed to finally record Fisherman's Hornpipe with few enough mistakes that it might be dancable. Took me a while to figure out how to play the music and record the tap sound of the steps at same time.
Went with melodeon rather than fiddle easier on the ear.

Update 16/6/2011

Been doing another exercise suggested by Brenda. Springing & Hopping.
Quite exhausting (I am so unfit) but fun.
And here is basic break again...
and First Scottiche
I have tried the first scottiche (progression) but manage to sit down suddenly every time I do the hop shuffle. lol!

Technical note: I used an external mic placed close to the board for the sound.
Now for some reason I have the Okycokie stuck in my head???

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Decorating...board to step on

Here is the board I have
Mum wants to 'decorate' it. I said just put a nice stain on it or a white wash so it matches the other wood in the room.
But mum would like to plaint it blue with a big flower in the middle.
I said why not do a nice watercolour scene on it. Or maybe striped like a deckchair...

So what do you think? And suggestions or recommendations?

Springing to action...

Last night I managed to follow along with the 'slow' video and keep up. Only got the wrong foot twice. lol! (Case of wrong foot right rhythm). At least I kept going rather than crumbling to a halt.

Which was a nice milestone.

Only thing is I'm starting to doubt myself. Was reading the glossary at back of book. And started to think but that's not what I'm doing..but it looks/sounds okay to me?* Maybe I'm getting the wrong end of the stick?

*Spring R Straight tap L in place...I think I might be doing more of a hop than a spring

btw. On a side note. Managed to get dots for fisherman's hornpipe the other day...and I'm noticing a nice 'bounce' when I play it on fiddle. Maybe learning to dance does help playing music. Gotta get the hang of it on melodeon next.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Walking before I can run...

Decisions, decisions...should I keep working on first schottiche till I get it perfect, or try first schottiche (progression)?
Should I work on my, erm, balance a bit more?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Update 12/06/2011

So got the board on saturday. And today I decided to record some videos to show where I'm up to.
Firstly the shuffle step exercise Brenda mentioned.

then the 'break' on its own

then me trying to do first scottiche all the way through

comments and advice welcome...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Update 9/6/2011

1. Thanks to Deborah for donating me a piece of wood (picking it up at weekend).

2. Will be working on my shuffle....I realised I was just just wiggling my foot while brushing it along the ground and hoping for the best, so have made a concerted effort to analyze what I need to do, to do it properly. (Shuffling on tiles office kitchen floor while waiting for kettle to boil in lunch break is the plan. lol)

3. To get the tunes/rhythm in my head I am making myself an i-pod playlist of tunes from the DVD. Thanks Brenda for sending the list. :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Stepping on concrete

So I had a sneaky quick go at trying the steps on the concrete while the weather was good and no one was watching.
Didn't slip over!
Getting further...although still adjusting to being on toes all the time (I don't wear heels...but can walk on stilts).

Only thing is the concrete has left the bottom of the clogs of pockmarked. Experts is this a bad thing?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Some history....

Showed my grandad & grandma my clogs the other day.
My Grandad turns round to say his Dad told him his dads mum (My great great grandmother) used to own a pub in Grimsby, where she clog danced. How weird is that. lol!
I hope it's true and I've inherited the right genes. ;)

7/6/2011 update

I just found the slow motion option on my macbook dvd player...ah, now 'spring R stright tap L front' makes a bit more sense...can't do it [without slipping over] but I understand it. lol!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Left or Right Foot? worked out a system now. I clench my hand into a fist on the side I start on...that way I remember where I am at the end.

All the right steps but not necessarily in the right order...

To misquote Morcombe and Wise. ;)
Well at the moment I'm saying the steps out loud as I do them slowly. In hope of memorising them. (Can't read the book at watch the screen at same time. lol!)
Remembering what foot I started on by the time I get to the end, so I know which foot to start on next is the problem at the moment.

Going to practice on the tiled floor in the kitchen at work at lunch...while I wait for the microwave to cook my food. lol!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Videos and boards

Been enjoying watching the videos on the 'clogfest' channel

Looks fun!

In other news on hunt for some kinda wood board to dance on. I did notice an empty wooden pallet left outside a shop for rubbish collection but wasn't sure which shop to go and ask if I could take it. Plus it was rather heavy. Maybe a trip to B&Q is needed instead? Problem is I don't do I'd need some help. Oh well.....

Left, shuffle right, hop....erm....what was that again?

Why is it whenever I hear music I suddenly forget which is right and which is left?
The Book/DVD arrived yesterday...had a quick speed read of the book, watched all the DVD.
Then tried to go slowly but for some reason hoping in slow motion doesn't work...especially when I haven't got a board only got carpet. Ended up sitting on the floor a few times. lol!
My solution hang on to the radiator to keep upright. ;)
I think I've got the hang of the first scottiche (shouting left, right! to myself)....well except the 'break' if only I could do it in time to the music.
I never realised how tiring it would be...maybe I'm just unfit? Actually no maybe about it I am unfit.
I expected it to be more like those dance mat games
But its actually not that easy. lol!

Strictly Clog Dancing

So I saw 'Come Clog Dancing' on the BBC and it made me think 'Yeah I want to try that'.

(See link below for clip)

It was definitely English Step Clog I wanted to do rather than NW morris clog or Appalacian.

First thing I did was order clogs from Trefor Owen.

And several months later they arrived. Aren't they pretty?

My second though was 'Get some lessons or to a workshop' now problem is asking around takes time...and I seem to have missed a lot of stuff earlier in the year. So gotta wait and wait and wait around for workshops.
So decided to be pro-ctive. Couldn't find any youtube tutorials but found a DVD/book for beginners.
So have decided to get it, that way I can work at my own pace and might have a chance of picking it up in a group or workshop situation.

More updates soon.