Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

NOW CLOGGERS BUST A MOVE; A Teacher Says the High-Energy Dance Can Become Addicting

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

NOW CLOGGERS BUST A MOVE; A Teacher Says the High-Energy Dance Can Become Addicting

Article excerpt

Byline: CARMEN ESSA

If you want to try a new hobby or are looking to learn a new dance, clogging is the way to go - at least, according to Greg Dionne, 43, of Mandarin.

It's one of the few things a family can do as a group," said Dionne, who runs the Pure Energy Cloggers group and whose own four kids ages 1 to 10 are also learning.

For anyone wondering what clogging is, the best way to describe it is as a type of tap dance that originated in the Appalachian mountains. Cloggers attach a piece of metal to the heel and toe of their shoe, allowing the shoe to make various sounds as the feet hit the floor.

Riverdancing, step dancing and clogging are all similar dances, with only the rhythms of the taps differentiating them.

Dionne says he got into clogging at age 18 when a co-worker introduced him to the classes. Already interested in rhythms and sounds as a member of the Ed White High School band, he decided to take the class and give it a try. He's been clogging ever since and now teaches classes in the Jacksonville area.

Melissa Van-Asten, a student and friend, says the family-friendly factor was one of the main reasons she took on clogging in the first place, not to mention that it's easy, good exercise and loads of fun.

"There are two rules to Greg's class," she says. "No chewing gum and you can't say that you can't do it."

Another student, Kay Evans of Arlington, adds that in addition to building stamina, Dionne himself is what makes the class so great.

"He's a great guy," she says. "He's here every week and he doesn't get paid for it."

During the day, Dionne works as a software trainer. At home he builds bunk beds, desk and shelves for his four young children. But clogging, he says, is an addiction.

"It's the rhythms and writing the choreography that I like best," he said. …

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