Weaving the traditions of Dance, Music, Art & Language

Celtic Junction Arts Center

Best Cultural Center in North America –IrishCentral, 2018

836 Prior Avenue, St. Paul, MN, 55104

A 501(c)(3) organization

Wild Goose Chase Cloggers

The Wild Goose Chase Cloggers is a non-profit educational organization based in Minnesota. Our mission is to promote and sustain interest in traditional Appalachian clogging by offering concerts and workshops anywhere we can find an audience. The Geese offer school programs, workshops for all ages, and performances of 15 minutes to full 1 1/2-hour concerts. The Wild Goose Chase Cloggers was established in 1979 and consist of 13 energetic dancers accompanied by the lively music of the Yard Buzzard String Band.

Clogging is an American style of dance that, like so many American folk styles, has its roots in the Appalachian region of the south. Clogging itself comes from three separate traditions. The type of foot movements derive from early African-American buck dancing, or flat-footing, which featured percussion created by foot movements and hand and body slapping. Plantations in North America eventually outlawed slaves from playing drums, but permitted the percussive sound of the banjo. Buck dancing usually accompanied the fiddle and banjo pairing and created even more percussion to the combination. The other components of clogging are English step dancing, and Native American dance, particularly from the Cherokee.

The earliest clogging involved only foot movements, and was meant to add percussion to old-time string-band music, which rarely included a drummer. Including choreographed formations was an innovation that evolved in the 1960s. This has become so popular that, to most people, the combination of choreographies with rhythmic foot movements is what now defines clogging. While related to the country-and-western “white-shoe” clogging tradition, Appalachian clogging incorporates more traditional steps danced to old-time music.