Joy: The Foundation of Dance

Each dancer is unique

Some are master technicians.
Some are born performers.
Some are excited about dancing with their friends.
Some are a bit shy.
Some are happy when they sweat with the music.
Some are eager to hear their feet making rhythmic sounds.

But, throughout my years of dancing and teaching, I’ve found there is one thing all lasting dancers have in common.

It’s something that grabs hold of them the very first moment they begin their clogging journey and doesn’t let go.

From the moment they put on their clogging shoes.
From the moment they hear the jingle of their taps.
From the moment they start clomping on the dance floor in their clinky shoes.
From the moment they learn to make wonderful rhythms with their feet.

I see it radiate from every part of them.
I see it in the smile on their face.
I see it in the sparkle in their eye.
I see it in the energy of their movements.
I hear it in the tone of their voice.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a youth student or an adult student.

When I see it in them, it’s truly magical.

What is it that I see?

I see joy.

Joy is so important to a dancer’s long-lasting journey, that it’s in everything our students do at Silver Creek Clogging.

Joy is in learning a new skill or technique.
Joy is in working hard to earn a pass-off button.
Joy is in the exhilaration of a performance.
Joy is in finding out the song for the next routine.
Joy is in friendships with teammates.
Joy is in the rhythms and movements.
Joy is in getting lost inside yourself when you dance.

The joy starts with a spark and, for the lasting dancer, it continues to grow into the knowledge that when they are dancing they are comfortable, happy, and confident; and they are fully and completely themselves.

And that – is when they truly shine with joy; when they are fully and completely themselves.Maryanne Williamson wrote, “We are all meant to shine. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

At Silver Creek Clogging, we believe…

…the deep-down joy you feel when you are on the dance floor is the heart of it all.

Episode 29: Week of February 22nd, 2021

Audio Transcript

Hey everybody. It’s Ruth.

I’m here at your Silver Creek Clogging Dance and Movement Center in Silverton, Oregon. It’s the home of Dance Classes that Make Kids HappyTM.

This is what’s happening the week of February 22nd.

This week we are focusing most of our update on our foundational studio value, joy. But first I want to let you know what’s on the calendar.

So upcoming on our studio calendar, we have next Friday March 5th: first Friday open studio. more information about that coming soon.

Then the week of March 22nd is off. We have spring break that week and so we will be off for all classes in the studio. And for some of you, you may have a makeup class coming to be scheduled and we’ll look at options for scheduling those maybe during spring break. But more to come on that very soon.

The first Fridays in April, May and June, of course the first Fridays of every month, we have open studio. We are just waiting to give you updates on what’s happening for those first Fridays, as we hear more about reopening guidelines and what we might be able to do. So, just stay tuned for all of the info/updates on our first Friday open studios.

Also, please keep on your calendars some very important dates in May. May 14th and 15th, that is our Nationals competition in Salt Lake City and all of our competitors should plan now to participate in Nationals.

Also, May 29th, that’s a Saturday, it’s the last Saturday in May. We will be holding our all studio summer kickoff dress rehearsal and recital at the Historic Grand in Salem.

So, please for sure keep those dates on your calendar. Those are very important.

Now I want to talk about our studio value. So, last late last year we introduced our five studio values, with a short introduction to each and we promised to delve a little bit more into each studio value in the future. So that’s what we’re going to do here.

Our first studio value, it’s our foundational studio value, is joy.

And I’m just going to read you my blog article on joy.

THE FOUNDATION OF DANCE

Each dancer is unique.

Some are master technicians.
Some are born performers.
Some are excited about dancing with their friends.
Some are a bit shy.
Some are happy when they sweat with the music.
Some are eager to hear their feet making rhythmic sounds.

But, throughout my years of dancing and teaching, I’ve found there is one thing all lasting dancers have in common.

It’s something that grabs hold of them the very first moment they begin their clogging journey and doesn’t let go.

From the moment they put on their clogging shoes.
From the moment they hear the jingle of their taps.
From the moment they start clomping on the dance floor in their clinky shoes.
From the moment they learn to make wonderful rhythms with their feet.

I see it radiate from every part of them.

I see it in the smile on their face.
I see it in the sparkle in their eye.
I see it in the energy of their movements.
I hear it in the tone of their voice.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a youth student or an adult student.

When I see it in them, it’s truly magical.

What is it that I see?

I see joy.

Joy is so important to a dancer’s long-lasting journey, that it’s in everything our students do at Silver Creek Clogging.

Joy is in learning a new skill or technique.
Joy is in working hard to earn a pass-off button.
Joy is in the exhilaration of a performance.
Joy is in finding out the song for the next routine.
Joy is in friendships with teammates.
Joy is in the rhythms and movements.
Joy is in getting lost inside of yourself when you dance.

The joy starts with a spark and, for the lasting dancer, it continues to grow into the knowledge that when they are dancing they are comfortable, happy, and confident; and they are fully and completely themselves.

And that – is when they truly shine with joy; when they are fully and completely themselves.

Maryanne Williamson wrote, “We are all meant to shine. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

At Silver Creek Clogging, we believe…

…the deep-down joy you feel when you are on the dance floor is the heart of it all.

And that is our foundational studio value. Joy so important.

And with that I wish you, Happy Dancing!

Episode 28: Week of February 15th, 2021

Audio Transcript

Hey everyone! It’s Ruth.

I’m here at your Silver Creek Clogging Dance and Movement Center in Silverton, Oregon. It’s the home of Dance Classes that Make Kids HappyTM.

This is What’s Happening at Silver Creek Clogging the week of February 15th.

And, boy, it has been a wild weekend. I know a lot of you are dealing with power outages that have lasted for days on end. I know at our house the power is out and has been out since Friday. I been a devastating, a devastating weather event here in this area and I’m really thinking of all of our students.

Also, I want to turn our attention to a little bit of a happier note, which is our competition this last weekend in Boise.

Our students did awesome this last weekend. I just want to say we had six competitors (four advanced, one intermediate and one beginning), and they rocked it. With those six students we had a combined, let me see let me make sure I don’t say this the wrong way. We had a combined 25 first place awards. We had two second place awards. And, we had three master soloist awards (that means that three of our students competed all five all-around solos in their skill level and got first place in all five solos, so that’s awesome, they are master soloists). We had one student achieve a high gold and that means that they had 98 percent points possible they got  98 percent of the points possible in their event so that’s 29.5 or higher out of 30 possible which is awesome!

Yay, Silver Creek Clogging students! I’m so proud of how well you all did this last weekend in competition. Every single one of our students qualified for Nationals, our team routine qualified for Nationals, duet qualified for Nationals, every single one of our soloists qualified for Nationals. Awesome! Yay!

And, I kind of really wanted to keep this next little announcement a secret. I was going to announce it at class tonight for the advanced students in their team class tonight but, considering that class is kind of up in the air with everything that’s going on with this weather event that we just had, I just couldn’t keep it in. Plus, I’m super excited about it because it’s just really, really awesome.

But, our studio won a Overall Studio Grand Champion award in the advanced level.

We were one of three studios that had the most wins in the advanced level and we were awarded, along with those other two studios, as an Overall Studio Grand Champion.

I think this is huge for us. One, because we had four advanced students at competition and those four advanced students won so many first place awards that we -our studio, with our six students- placed in the top three among studios who had dozens of competitors at competition. So, look at us go.

I’m just thrilled! I feel like, you know, those other two studios who were named Overall Studio Grand Champions with us in the advanced level, they’ve been competing for a lot of years. They are well respected in the western clogging world and one of those studios has several National Championships under their belt. So, we’re in really, really good company.

I think this says a lot about our program.

But, even more so, I think it says a lot about our students who – they set their goals, they were focused on what they wanted to achieve, they worked hard, and then they achieved what they had set out to do.

So, I am really, really proud of every single one of our competitors who worked hard, brought everything they had to competition, and did such an amazing job.

And, I’m really excited to see our students continue to grow and continue to just be in the best, with the best. Really, really awesome.

Please remember, for our competitors, that Nationals -clogging Nationals- is in May it’s on May 14th and 15th. That’s in Salt Lake City.

It will be held at Lagoon Amusement Park and all of our competitors, all of those competitors who participated in Boise and qualified for Nationals should start planning now to participate in that May 14th and 15th, okay?

So, we don’t know what the schedule is yet. So far America OnStage has been operating in studio blocks. So, if they continue that process, depending on how COVID protocols go, we will be assigned our studio block, just like we were in Boise, and we’ll come and perform all of our stuff and then leave.

The competition event fees are a little higher for Nationals. You’ll see that in your email. But, still very comparable to what they were for this regional event.

And, at Nationals there’s an opportunity to do a dance-off (an All-American dance-off), that’s only for students who are advanced level or higher. And, I’ll talk with the advanced students about the dance off and what that means for them if they want to participate in that. But, it is optional. It’s not required.

And, all of the fees, all of that, that’s in your email. So, check that out.

But, please do plan now… start planning now to participate in Nationals May 14th and 15th. It’s just in a few months down the road.

Let us know if you have any questions.

For classes this week, we are planning to hold classes. I know right now that there are several of us without power, without internet. So, if you’re scheduled to attend virtually we’ll keep you updated with any updates as we have them.

Also, we will be sending students home with a special Valentine Day surprise for your families, whom we love so much! Anyway, we’ll be sending that home.

We just want you to know that we appreciate you and we love you and so you’ll just get a little token of our appreciation sent home with your student this week.

Also, please, students be prepared to come to class and share a little love with your classmates by bringing a happy story or thought about your team that you want to share in class. Okay, yeah, that’s what we’re going to do this week.

Coming up, we will have first Friday as scheduled the first Friday of March, April and May. Those are on the calendar, so just keep those on your calendars.

March 22nd, that whole week, no classes for spring break. We will have a couple of makeup lessons to be scheduled, so we might end up scheduling those during spring break, depending on how things go.

And then, of course in May, super important events.

May 14th and 15th- that’s our Nationals competition, for our competitors. Remember, just plan now to attend.

And then, May 29th is our, our uh, spring kickoff. Goll, I had to remember what season this is, with everything that’s been going on this year, my mind it just gets a little bit muddled, but that is our spring kickoff recital – summer kickoff recital in Salem. So, please keep that day on your calendars.

I want to leave you this week with our quote of the week, “Sometimes you just have to jump out the window and grow wings on the way down.” And, Ray Bradbury said that. I really love that quote.

And, with that, I will say… happy dancing!

Episode 27: Week of February 8th, 2021

Audio Transcript

Hello, it’s Ruth. I’m here at your Silver Creek Clogging Dance and Movement Center in Silverton, Oregon. It’s the home of Dance Classes that Make Kids HappyTM.

This is What’s Happening at Silver Creek Clogging the week of February 8th.

We have several announcements this week, so we’re just gonna get right to it.

First: competition is this Friday in Boise. Super excited! Just a couple of notes, for those who are attending Boise competition in person. We will meet this Friday, February 12th at the Nampa Civic Center at 11:00am sharp and then we will go on the competition circuit.

Remember that masks are required at all times while inside the facility and the only exception is while dancers are on stage dancing. So, you’ll wear your mask all the time immediately up until you get on stage, then you’ll go on stage, you’ll dance and then you’ll put your mask right back on.

Another thing. Audience. As of now, there are no audience members allowed except for the instructors, directors, coaches and the dancers. However, there is a chance that could change. If it does change, we will let you know as soon as we know. We just got an email yesterday, from America OnStage, indicating that updates these days come more frequently than usual. So, they’re gonna just keep us up to date with all the info. So, if there are audience members allowed we will definitely let you know.

Another update regarding the competition is that for all Thursday classes this week, they’re going to be conducted online. So, if you have a class that’s on Thursday, just get ready to do that online and Brooklyn, who has been one of our fantastic instructors here at Silver Creek Clogging, will be substituting in those classes. So, that’ll be kind of fun to get to dance with Brooklyn this week. It’ll be super awesome.

One last reminder about our updated phone number and our office/admin hours is that we’re gonna make the final switch this week. So, if you haven’t already updated your contact information for Silver Creek Clogging in your address book, please do that with our new phone number which is: 503-874-6458. Because, we’re cutting off that old number this week, okay?

And then, just remember our office hours Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00 to 5:00 and Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 to 3:00. That’s just when we’re regularly monitoring our emails and phone calls and texts and such. So, just an update on that.

I also want to give you an update on our instructor certification course. So, this is something that we had announced at the end of September last year; that we were going to roll that out early this year and I just want to update you on that.

We are putting all the final touches on that. We’re kind of waiting to see how things go with COVID before we actually hit the start date on that, but all the details on that instructor certification course are in your email.

Just a couple of things. One, you’ve got to be a currently enrolled Silver Creek Clogging student for the duration of the program and the subsequent student teaching requirement in order to be eligible to take the course; you’ve got to be at least at a high intermediate (so, a level two intermediate) in order to take the course; you have to be able to demonstrate a high level of technical proficiency and quality of your sounds, including an energy of presentation, and that’s going to be determined by Silver Creek Clogging (that’s another requirement to be able to take the course); and you also need to commit to do the program, complete all the requirements, complete the post program student teaching requirement; attend, participate, all of that; and those are the requirements as of now. If there’s any other requirements, we’ll have that in your application. So, there will be an application to enroll.

We will be learning several things. It’ll be between an eight to ten week course. We’ll be learning… The first week, we’ll have an introduction to the course and an introduction to Silver Creek Clogging’s philosophy to dance education. So, that will be the first week.

The second week we’ll learn about music; like how to select a song per skill level and so forth, how to map out a song to choreograph, how to edit the music, all that kind of stuff. That’s what our second week is going to be.

Then, our third and fourth weeks we’ll do choreography. So, we’ll learn about selecting the steps based on your skill level, how to use formations and arm movements and that kind of thing. Those are… that’s going to take us two weeks.

The following week, we’ll do class structure and leadership. So, we’ll learn about the lesson planning and how to run your class and how to manage the team interactions and all of that kind of thing. So, that will be the next week.

The following two weeks, we’ll do teaching and instructional techniques. So, we’ll be learning about breaking down the steps, breaking down techniques, how to review and troubleshoot items with students. We’ll talk about and learn how to do advanced queuing, all that kind of stuff.

And then we will have our final week. It will be a certification exam and a celebration.

So, that will take us through eight weeks. If needed, we have two additional weeks built in that, you know, if we need to take extra time, an extra week, on some of those more critical/time consuming items, then we’ll have those extra two weeks kind of as needed or optional, just depending on how things go.

We, as of now, are tentatively planning to begin the first part of April. But, of course, all of that’s going to depend on the COVID guidance in place. What we’re hoping for is that we’ll be able to roll out this course in time for students to complete that eight to ten week course this spring and then also have time to do their post-program student teaching requirements, so that then they’ll be poised to take on a class either fall to winter. So, that would be really, really awesome.

And, anyone who completes the program successfully, they pass the certification course, they successfully complete the post-program student teaching requirement, they will be eligible to apply for teaching jobs at Silver Creek Clogging in the future. Yeah? Yeah. It’s gonna be awesome.

So, we’re gonna have an eight to ten week program. It’s $150. It includes all the weekly classes, there’s a course workbook and, if you pass the certification exam, then you can go on to get your post course student teaching mentorship; which will be required for being fully certified.

So, I’m really excited about this course of training our up and coming clogging instructors. We’re the front runners in our area and it’s really awesome to see. I’m really excited uh yeah so that’s that please let us know if you have any questions about that.

Also, I want to let you know what’s on the calendar. So, of course, this Friday is competition. Check out the America OnStage Facebook page, if you want to see livestreaming.

March, April, May (the first Friday of all of those months) we’re gonna have first Friday open studio. We’ll see how that goes, as far as you know what we’re gonna do on those days, depending on COVID and all that stuff. But, please keep those on your calendar; we’ll do that every first Friday.

Also, March, the week of March 22nd, we will not have classes at all. So, please put that on your calendar, because it’s spring break. So, we’ll just take a little week off, get a break. That’ll be awesome.

May, please keep the following dates on your calendar. May 14th and 15th, Nationals competition in Salt Lake City, our qualifying students/routines will be participating in that.

And then, the last Saturday in May, we’re going to do our recital at the Historic Grand in Salem, so please keep that on your calendars as well.

This week, I want to leave you with our quote of the week. This is something that Les Brown said. This really spoke to me.

Les Brown said, “If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts will take you places that will amaze you.”

And, one of the reasons this really spoke to me, is because it talked about the gifts that you have. You have your own unique talents and gifts that can take you amazing places. So, remember: set your goals, work hard to achieve them and then enjoy your amazingness.

Prepare to be amazed by your amazingness. There you go, that’s the thought.

And, of course, remember… happy dancing!

Episode 26: Week of February 1st, 2021

Audio Transcript

Hi everyone. It’s Ruth. I’m here at your Silver Creek Clogging Dance and Movement Center in Silverton, Oregon, and this is What’s Happening at Silver Creek Clogging the week of February 1st.

Happy February! Yes!

And we have some exciting news today, on this first day of February. We are going to be back in the studio this week. So, with the new guidance that was issued last week, we’re able to begin holding classes in the studio again.

However, there is a new distancing protocol that we need to follow as part of these new guidelines; which means that we need to have 25 feet between everybody in the studio. So, with that our available class size in the studio at any one time is limited even farther than it was before.

However, for most classes it won’t mean anything to your class. You’ll just need to come. We have enough room for everyone in most of our classes. So, that’s great news.

However, for teams Dynamite and Heat, we’re gonna implement like an A/B schedule. So, you’ll trade off attending online and in person so we can give everybody a chance to be in the studio. You have a couple of schedules to choose from. That’s in your email.

For Team Dynamite and Team Heat, just respond to the email and let us know what your preferred schedule is from the A/B, whichever one of those. So whichever one you’re in the studio for, you’ll be in the studio, and then the next class you’ll be online and other people will be in the studio. Just so we’ll trade back and forth. So, just make sure check your email, that you got last night, with all the details of that.

And, of course, if you’re not on either Team Dynamite or Team Heat, you just can show up to the studio at your scheduled time – a couple minutes ahead of your schedule time. We’ll complete all the same check-in procedures that we used to complete when we were in the studio just before Thanksgiving. So, yeah that’s that!

I’m so excited to be able to see most of you in the studio this week for classes. It’s going to be awesome.

All right, so just a quick reminder that our phone number here at the studio has changed. If you haven’t done so already, please update your address book with the new contact information for Silver Creek Clogging. Our new phone number is 503-874-6458. You can call or you can text on that line. Just be aware that it might not always be me who’s responding to your calls and texts. So, FYI on that.

And then, our regular office hours and administration hours are as follows: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nine to five and then Tuesday and Thursday nine to three. So, if it’s outside of those hours you’ll just get a like auto respond that says, “Hey, our office is closed and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.”

So just make sure to update your contact info for us, because we do not want to miss your call or your text. We like to hear from you, so please connect with us and yeah that’ll be awesome.

So quick update on Boise competition. We’re going to prepare for that. This is the week for that, on Saturday actually. So Saturday is two things.

One, we’re going to have a question and answer session online via google meet at 9:30am. It should last about 30 minutes, maybe you know plus or minus 10. To just kind of give you a little layout, answer your questions make sure we’re all prepared for when we show up in Boise to compete.

The other thing that’s happening on Saturday is at 10:30am, anyone who is participating virtually is invited to show up at the studio at their scheduled time and have us video your events – your virtual events.

So, there’s a schedule of when people need to come.

The required people who need to come to the studio to video are Team Dynamite, for Rhythm Nation (we’re gonna video that at the studio) and then Abby and Gwen, we’re gonna video your duet. Everybody else it’s optional. If you prefer to video your individual events at home you can do that and we can give you some tips on how to do that at our 9:30am meeting.

But, please know that you are welcome and invited and we would be thrilled to help you with your videos on Saturday, at your scheduled time if you would like us to do that. So, we are excited to do that.

I also want to announce our top three practicers for the month of January. They are Gwen, Sydney and Teresa. Yay! Congratulations you guys.

We will be putting your names into the hat and drawing a winner for our practicer of the month prize during classes this week. So that should be fun. I love the practicer of the month.

Upcoming, on Friday this week, we have our first Friday open studio, and this month we are going to do just a regular old open studio, virtual style.

So, what we’ll do is, we’ll just open up open studio on google meet at 6:30. Anybody who wants to come and get like you know a critique, get help with technique, you can just kind of come and show up. And that’s what we’ll do.

This will be good for those of you preparing for your competition videos or even competition in Boise either this Saturday or next Friday. So yeah, that’s what we’re gonna do, starting at 6:30 and we’ll wrap it up around 7:30 or 8:00, just depending on who’s there. So you can join just by the link on your student dashboard. So that’s that.

February 12th, we will be competing in the Idaho kickoff competition in Boise. I’m excited that we’re going to be able to dance. That will be awesome.

Upcoming, we have open studios scheduled for the first Fridays of March, April and May, so please keep those on your calendars.

Also, March – the week of March 22nd is spring break and we don’t have any classes scheduled for that week. So, just heads up for that.

Please also, especially for our competitors, keep May 14th and 15th on your calendars. That is the Nationals competition in Salt Lake City. So, I’m really looking forward to having some amazing qualifiers.

And, then May 29th, this is our super, super important day for all of our studio students. We will be participating… this is our spring kickoff dress rehearsal and recital. On that Saturday, we’ll have our dress rehearsal in the morning and we’ll have our recital in the early afternoon or sorry… late afternoon / early evening. So, just make sure to keep that date on your calendars. And that’s that.

Lots of info this week. Lots to look forward to. I’m really excited to have you guys in the studio this week. It’s gonna be awesome.

Please, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We love to hear from you. We love to have questions. So, please, please, please… On our brand-new phone number, we would love to hear from you.

We appreciate you. I just think you guys are an amazing community. So super supportive.

You guys have been amazingly supportive of each other and of us as a studio all through this pandemic, as we’ve been working to comply with the ever-changing string of guidance and closures and openings and all this. You guys have been so super supportive of us and I really appreciate you, and I’m so grateful for you, and I want to wish you happy dancing.