East Texans Heat Up Dance Floor Clogging

If you've seen the movie "Coyote Ugly" or the TV show "Hee Haw," then you've seen clogging.

Lindale native Lauren Maes loves to dance, and clogging is her favorite style.

"It's exhilarating," she said. "That would be the best word for it."

Maes started clogging when she was 10 and has performed professionally for 15 years. Recently, she offered a couple of free classes to fellow East Texans at Tyler Dance Academy.

"Clogging is a mixture of Irish step dancing, Appalachian flat-footing," Maes said. "It's just kind of a conglomeration of different European styles of dancing, you know, that Americans have taken and made it their own."

The dance is distinct because of the noise cloggers make, and that's the fun part, according to the beginner cloggers taking Maes' class. The shoes sound like tap shoes.

"In other dances, you can't exactly hear what your feet are doing. You can just see it," Jessica Hampton, 14, one student, said. "And in clogging, you can hear it."

You can clog to all types of music: bluegrass, Irish, rock 'n roll, and even Ricky Martin.

"You have to be really paying attention," Ashley Davidson, 10, another student, said. "And you have to be coordinated."

Clogging also requires stamina. After a few dances, even the pros get tired.

Maes is offering clogging classes starting this week at Tyler Dance Academy. If you're interested in finding out more, call 903-593-0077.

Julie Tam, reporting.