Yes, Clogging Is A Sport

Yes, Clogging Is A Sport

Talent, hidden in the heart.

Growing up in a relatively small town, there were very limited options for activities to pursue outside of the traditional school and community sports. At the age of three years old, my mom signed me up for my first dance class at the local dance studio – little did she know – her careless decision would change my life.

Imagine me, as a little girl – for those of you who know me well – hold off on your comments. At the time, I loved all things frilly and pink – which luckily, including tutus, special ones – only for tiny little dancers such as myself. Over the course of my first dance season, I successfully learned two routines with the help of awesome teachers, ordered my first dance costumes, and learned how to correctly tie my tap shoes in my feet, to perfection. I vividly remember my first dance recital dressed as a bumble bee, with nearly twenty of my new found friends. I thoroughly enjoyed it, as my family had discovered that any stage with a spotlight, was the place for me.

Fast forward, two years – when the decision of whether or not to continue my skills in tap and ballet was presented. I remember being ready for a change in the practice room. A rapidly growing, fairly new style of dance called Clogging was taking precedence in my dance studio and I was eager to give it a try, at the age of six years old. I worked diligently with my friends to master the “double step, rock step,” and the “rocking chair” step which involved a series of “double steps” and a new, “brush-up.” I was ecstatic about my sparkling white clogging shoes, with fancy taps that clicked together perfectly with my every step. After one year, in a recreational class, my mom received the phone call I had been anticipating.

My all-time favorite dance instructor, by the name of Miss Claudia, called my mother and asked if I would be interested in joining the newest competitive clogging team. To say that I was excited is an understatement. I could not wait to wear the fancy makeup and lipstick, the velvet dresses and body suits, just like the older girls I had looked up to – not to mention that I got the opportunity to perform on numerous occasions throughout the year. Nothing could be better, right?

After many long nights, a few painful blisters, new team practice gear, and new clogging shoes – my team was prepared for our first competition of the year held in Saluda, North Carolina. We finished the competition with one first and one-second place win. On this day, I realized that clogging was the “sport” for me. I loved every minute of being on stage, in front of the crowd, trying my very best to impress the judges.

As the years passed by, my team, known as the Southern Jewels Sapphire swept the Overall Grand Champion Title at nearly 25 competitions over the course of four years. Earning an enormous number of spots in the “Dance-off” at each competition ensured us the chance to clinch the title of Overall Grand Champion at each and every competition we attended.

In 2009, my team, the Southern Jewels Sapphire, was named Overall United States National Grand Champions. The prestigious competition was held at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. Not only did we accomplish our goal of National Champions, my friends and I had a blast sightseeing in this beautiful city. As a result of our hard work, we were also awarded National Champion Jackets, and the opportunity to entertain the guests aboard the Royal Caribbean’s Cruise Ship, the Monarch of the Seas.

In 2011, my team was awarded the Clogging Champions of America, Overall Grand Champion title. In addition to our already earned National Champion Jackets, we earned National Champion rings, as well.

Following our second National Champion Title, my team was featured on an episode of “Down South Dance”, on TLC. This television show gave us the chance to showcase our talent to the world and give everyone a small insight of the “World of Clogging.” One week of our summer was spent filming the show, all while learning about the daily lives of movie star we see in the media. Needless to say, the constant attention and microphone taping is not for the faint of heart. Nonetheless, the experience was incredible and one that I would not have experienced without my talent of clogging, and top notch instructors – Chip and Misty Harrison.

In 2012, our team was again awarded our third and final - United States, Overall National Champion Title. The sense of victory and accomplishment is still the most rewarding feeling in the entire world to this day.

Finishing off my senior year as a dancer at Southern Dance Academy, my team was given the chance to audition for the reality show “America’s Got Talent,” in front of the celebrity judges in Los Angeles, California. This experience is by far, my most favorite. Never in my life, could I have imagined me, in the middle of Los Angeles, California auditioning for one of the most successful television shows with twenty of my closest friends. Although we did not advance to the next round of competition, the memories I made in California will stay with me forever.

So you may be wondering why I made this article so in depth, here is your answer – No, I did not endure hours of outdoor practicing, rather indoors where I could thrive in my own environment. No, luckily - I did not sustain injuries that prevented me from “playing” the sport I loved. However – I DID attend hours of practice several nights a week, I DID wear the proper uniforms needed to win each competition, and I DID obtain the skills necessary to thrive in a team environment. I am eternally grateful for each instructor and team member that poured into my life for 14 years – YOU are the reason I believe in myself!

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Fowler

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18 Times Kate Middleton Was Actually All Of Us In College, Beside The Princess Thing

Every girl has to go through her clueless college stage before she reaches Duchess status.

Kate Middleton is basically a household name by now, and how could this not be the case when she has the gorgeous hair, kind smile, and incredible fashion sense. With her constantly in the spotlight looking so put together, we sometimes forget that the Duchess was actually all of us in college!

Here are 18 times that Kate proved she was just like all of us.

1. Going all out in the name of school spirit

There is nothing like breaking out the war paint and screaming for your home team. Like Kate, we all love to get a little messy and make some memories with our friends.

2. Hanging out with the roomies

Some people may not get lucky in this area but for those who are best friends with their roommates, they understand the love. It's a dream come true for everyone who has always wanted to live with their best friends. It's like a sleepover that never ends.

3. Dressing up cute on the first day of school...

You got to make a good first impression on your way to school. Whether it's during your 7 A.M or 4 P.M., it's always best to dress to impress.

4. ...and wearing yoga pants for the rest of the year

And this goes all the way until the last week of school when you don't bother getting out of bed to wear pants at all.

5. Going grocery shopping and throwing in cookies, ice-cream, and every type of Pringles because your mom isn't there to say no

You'll probably regret that in a few months when the Freshman Fifteen kicks in.

6. Walking for miles from your car to your dorm carrying groceries

We can't park by the apartment for a solid five minutes to carry our groceries up to the kitchen or we will risk a ticket, but we can walk a few miles carrying food that gets heavier, and heavier, and heavier with every step.

7. Going out for a night on the town on a Friday night

Dancing, laughter, and fun? Everyone in college has been to a party or two. It's a classic part of the college experience. Sometimes you just need a distraction from all the essays and tests.

8. Being so late to class you threw on whatever your hands grabbed next

We've all been there. Our alarm doesn't go off, we press snooze a few too many times, or forget to even set an alarm and next thing you know we are running around the dorm room like Taz from Looney Toons. You throw on whatever, then run to class.

Unfortunately 9/10 times our outfits don't turn out. Although, Kate can certainly pull off this look, no matter how mismatched.

9. Pretending your walking to the same building as the cute boy you met so you have the excuse to keep talking to him

I am very guilty of doing this. Although I missed my class, at least I got to talk to the really cute boy who has class at 9:45 in the STEM building. It was worth it.

10. Sitting on the floor or standing because you're a poor college student who can't afford chairs or tables

Eating on the floor? Always. Being a college kid is tough and sometimes you have to sacrifice some things to obtain the others. Such as choosing chocolate milk and Halo Top over vegetables and hair conditioner.

Judging by Kate's beautiful locks, she chose the conditioner.

Probably the vegetables too.

We should just all follow her example.

11. Going on cute date with the boy you followed to class-turned-boyfriend

Now my short-lived romance may not have extended farther than us talking and walking to his class, but Kate and William obviously had a better ending. Nevertheless, college is the place to grow and date and possibly find the one.

12. Keeping your hair long and growing because you can't afford to get it cut

Don't trust your roommate. No matter how many times she begs you to let her cut it. Don't.

13. Turning 21 and getting dressed up and going out with your best friends

While this one probably doesn't apply to Kate, since you can drink at age 18 in most countries, all my people in the United States know the sweet freedom of turning 21. It's an iconic time in a students life and marks a huge milestone as well.

14. Passing out flyers for some type of movement or protest

Everyone wants to be a part of something bigger - which is why college is the time to stand up for what you believe in. May that be RedforEd, Planned Parenthood, anti-Abortion, Trump, the Wall, pizza bagels, it's all an exercise of the first amendment.

15. Ranting to your friends about the professor that just "doesn't understand you"

You know your thinking about that professor right now as you read this. And you know that that's your reaction whenever they give you a bad grade or say something you disagree with at the tiniest degree.

16. Getting glammed-up for those senior photos

Pick out your best outfit and make sure it's a good hair day because everyone will be viewing these photos forever... and in Kate's place that is more than true. Luckily she looks as gorgeous as ever. Does she ever have a bad hair day?

17. Walking out of your last class knowing you'll never have to write a single paper again

And purposefully not thinking about how you will be going into the real world in less than a few days.

18. When you've graduated and realized you have no idea what you're going to do with your life

Maybe a prince will be right around the corner to sweep you off your feet so you won't have to figure your life out.
Cover Image Credit: Laura Warshauer

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20 Amazing Songs You Need For Your Travel Music Videos

Planning to make your new travel video? Use one of these songs as your perfect background music!


Based on the mood you're currently feeling, here are 20 different songs categorized by when you should use them for a traveling music video:

1. For Those Classic Summer Feels

"Harvest Moon" by Poolside

"Gone" by JR JR

"Hold My Hand" by Jess Glynne

"Summer" by Calvin Harris

For all the lake adventures and mission trips, these are the perfect songs to put behind them to share your experience. Using these songs, your video can have a perfect summer vibe to it!

2. For A Good Winter Vacation

"The Days" by Avicii

"Something Just Like This" by The Chainsmokers

"Roses" by The Chainsmokers

"It Ain't Me" by Kygo ft. Selena Gomez

It's hard finding a perfect song for a cold winter day. These songs can work amazingly to any snowy adventurous video you've made for your winter break.

3. For Everyday Adventures

"Shut Up and Dance" by WALK THE MOON

"To Let Myself Go" by The Avener

"All That Matters" by Justin Bieber

"Youth" by Troye Sivan

We all have our daily vlogs filled with school and friends. These songs can put a touch of amusement and thrill to these videos!

4. For The Perfect Spring Break At The Beach

"Steal My Girl" by One Direction

"The Nights" by Avicii

"Runaways" by Galantis

"Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen

Every girl has the perfect week at the beach once a year! These songs can show off how incredible your experience with your friends was.

5. For Those City Nights

"Bullet Train" by Stephen Swartz

"Love You Like A Love Song" by Selena Gomez

"G.O.M.D." by J. Cole

"The Heart Wants What It Wants" by Selena Gomez

We all take visits to the city and never have the right songs to make a video with. These upbeat songs will make your city vlog into a perfect travel video!

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