Director, Happy Feet Cloggers, Happy Feet Cloggers
Martha Hemingway is the director, choreographer, and instructor for the Happy Feet Cloggers, an adult clogging group from Fairfax, Virginia. She teaches beginner, intermediate, and performer clogging classes on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings for the City of Fairfax Parks and Rec Dept., Green Acres Center, 4401 Sideburn Road, Fairfax, Virginia. Martha first learned to clog when she joined a Northern Virginia group called the Sugarfoot Cloggers in 1987. In September 2000 she founded the Happy Feet Cloggers. She was an instructor at the Potomac Double Down clogging workshop in Haymarket, Virginia, in 2006 and 2007 and an instructor at the Washington Area Square Dancers Cooperative Association’s (WASCA) clogging workshop in 2005 and 2006. Her first experience as a dance instructor was teaching tap and jazz classes for the Fairfax County Rec Dept. She also taught tap at The Dance Company, a private dance studio, and for the Fairfax County Park Authority. Martha’s “Happy Feeters” competed in the 2001 Mid-Atlantic Clogging Championship, held in Maryland each year. Her team brought home three 1st-place trophies, one 2nd-place trophy, and two 3rd-place trophies. Happy Feet is funded in part by the City of Fairfax Commission on the Arts.
Clog - How to Make Clogging Shoes
Dance instructor Martha Hemingway demonstrates how to make clogging shoes.
Hi! My name is Martha Hemmingway and I am going to be teaching some basic clogging, but first I want to talk about clogging shoes.
When someone hears of a clogger, they immediately think wooden shoes. No way, no wooden shoes involved here whatsoever.
Actually if you wanted to you could just clog with plain tennis shoes, but obviously you wouldnt hear any taps. So, if you happen to have a pair of old tap shoes at home that works perfectly. However, if you really want to do true clogging with true clogging shoes then what you can do is actually buy some clogging shoes online. I would just go online and type in clogging and you will find many different types of clogging stores that can order shoes from. For example this pair here; its a used pair, this was brought from one of the stores I was talking about. It has the taps already attached, this black piece right here is like a gripper, so it prevents you from falling or slipping on the floor and the taps that you see, if listen, they are called jingle taps. They are different from regular tap shoes which have just a single tap on the bottom; these are double taps that are bolted together.
Now, unfortunately these clogging shoes when you buy them online can be as much as $75 for women and I am sure they are more expensive for men. So, there is a solution to this problem. You can make your own clogging shoes. What I have here, are pair of tennis that has to have a very smooth bottom. You cannot buy tennis shoes that have real deep grooves and rigid because it wont work quite as well, and then just go to store and buy something called shoe glue which is a special sealant or adhesive and you order the taps again from online, get it from the same store or you can order clogging shoes from and you just order taps separately, buy the shoe glue and then just take the shoe glue and put a thick amount inside each one and then very carefully place it on top of the shoe and you have to remember that once you place it on top of shoe you have to keep the shoe level, until it dries a little bit. If you tilt it, it just going to slide right off, so make sure you keep the shoe level.
Normally tennis shoes dont cost that much at all. You can get the taps I would say for around $10 or so and the glue doesnt cost much at all, so it would be a much cheaper way of getting clogging shoes if you dont want to go real expensive ones.
So, I hope you have enjoyed learning about clogging shoes. Now, we are going to actually starting clogging. Next time I am going teach you whats called the double step and the rock step.