Dancing is a solo dance with it's roots firmly based in
the stable lofts, fairs and inns where dancers would compete
against each other in dexterity and tricks. But it calls
for more, much more than fast feet. It is essentially
an exhibitionists dance where the personality and character
of the dancer must be transmitted to the audience, otherwise
the dance becomes mechanical and spiritless.
is the only unbroken element of the traditional dance
that we own and there are many people who remember seeing
Caradog Puw and Hywel Wood of Bala clogging during the
dance grew in popularity during the 60s for many years
I had great pleasure in teaching children from Colwyn
Bay area to clog dance. Several had invidiual success
but we also performed as a group or with myself leading
and the children as a chorus. It was such a performance
that won the first prize in the Llangollen Eisteddfod
of 1969. LAter competition was extended to dancing duets
and trios which meant that at last we could recreate on
stage the true tradition where one dancer was trying to
out-dance the other.
next development happened when it became a competition
for women also - it was given a theme which invited
storytelling. Dawnswyr Nantgarw have led the field
in this development and performances such as the
"Quarrymen" and the "Cerdd Dant Trio"
will stay with me for many years to come.
now group clogging has become an integral part of
our eisteddfodau and dancing tradition. The craft
and technique of clog dancing is secure enough and
we have many excellent dancers from the age of 7
upwards. Teachers and choreographers are now able
to puch oput the boundaries of step dancing and
develop it as they should in any living and breathing