Great State: Okie Stompers
NORMAN, OKLAHOMA — Shaking the dust from 2012, Linda Jones had her intermediate clogging students clicking their heels pretty hard after their annual holiday break.
But, she said, “We started out very slowly.”
Jones started clogging almost 20 years ago.
She’s been teaching for 13 years, despite some early, mistaken notions about what clogging was.
“I was thinking wood shoes and square dance skirts,” she says. “I thought, ‘I don’t want anything to do with that.”
Lessons start with the simple steps, double step, rock step.
But as Linda’s students demonstrate, clogging gets pretty complicated.
Mindy Lemmons is an MD without her clicky shoes on.
She says it’s not easy but it is good for you.
“When we’re clogging hard songs we really get our heart rate up,” she says. “It’s excellent exercise and you’re really exercising your mental muscles as well.”
In might be a new year but clogging was pretty good to the Okie Stompers last year.
They accepted an invitation to dance in the 2012 Pearl Harbor Day Parade in Hawaii.
The Stompers danced at the Polynesian Cultural Center, and were even the first cloggers ever to dance in front of the old Battleship Missouri.
“The crowds were just fantastic,” says Stomper Linda Price. “You just forgot any fear you had in you…even though I had my arm in a sling.”
The trip of a lifetime, or her injury, didn’t stop Price from dancing, even with a broken wrist.
She slipped during practice, “But I caught myself,” she laughs.
The Stompers might stay in the Lower 48 for 2013 but don’t expect them to make any less noise.
“We don’t sneak up on anybody,” says Mindy Lemmons.
The Okie Stompers practice and teach clogging at the Whittier Middle School through the Norman Parks and Rec. Department.