All clogging steps consist of some combination of the following basic movements. The movements themselves fall into two groups: toe movements and heel movements.
Each TOE movement occurs on an UP beat of the music and is followed by a HEEL Movement on the DOWN beat of the music. The heel keeps the rhythm of the dance. When the heel sounds, the knee is flexed and then straightened on the following upbeat, resulting in the characteristic up and down motion of the dancer’s body.
The word “click” below indicates that a tap has contacted the floor. All clogging sounds should have a sharp, clear sound, not scuffed or muffled. Clogging steps usually (but not always) start on LEFT foot. But most every step can begin on the right.
The weight of the body is already on the ball of the foot when the HEEL is clicked. Quickly lift and snap the heel down, producing a sharp click, and flex the knee downward, distributing the body weight along the entire length of the foot.
Place the entire foot flat on the floor, producing a simultaneous click with the toe tap and the heel tap and transferring the body weight along the full length of the foot while flexing the knee downward.
The ball of the foot produces a click while the heel remains out of contact with the floor, usually the body weight is transferred to the ball of the foot.
Produce two clicks in the count of an upbeat of music. The ball of the foot strikes the floor during the forward motion of a short kick and the knee straightens (ankle is relaxed and foot angles downward). The knee bends upward immediately and the same foot swings backward with the ball of the foot striking the floor again in the same spot. The heel does not touch the floor. The two motions of the foot are considered to be one movement with no hesitation between them. Normally, the clicks occur slightly in front of the body, but they may be done in other directions as well.
Produce a click by transferring the weight onto the ball of the foot slightly behind the body’s center of gravity. The knee is in a flexed position at first, causing the body’s weight to “rock” back slightly as the center of gravity changes. The opposite foot is always lifted off the floor during a ROCK. The heel of the foot doing the ROCK does not touch the floor, but the knee does straighten, producing a rise and fall motion.
The foot swings from the knee with a pendulum action, producing a click when the ball of the foot strikes the floor and continues in the direction of the swing (which may be to the front, to the rear, or crossing in front or in back of the opposite leg). Movement comes from the hip and the knee joint, and the knee of the BRUSHing foot always bends upward following the click (at the same time as the following heel movement). Think of pedaling a bicycle backwards.
The foot is flat on the floor and the knee is flexed when the DRAG begins. With a springing motion which moves the weight of the body up and back, straighten the knee allowing momentum to lift your heel slightly off the floor and drag your foot back about half the length of the foot. The weight is distributed along the length of the foot at the end of the movement and there is no distinctive click. (This can also be done with both feet on the floor in the same manner )
A SLIDE is the opposite of the DRAG. When the slide begins, foot is flat on the floor and knee is straight. Push the foot forward and bend the knee, sliding along the floor. Drag/Slide is sometimes done as a replacement for a Heel Click.
Feet will be slightly apart when a SLUR begins. On the upbeat, draw the toe tap along the floor (giving a slurred tap sound) toward the weight-bearing foot (usually ending across in back). Drop the heel to the floor producing a click on the bass beat.
A variation of the BRUSH that simply omits the sound of the toe tap by eliminating any contact with the floor. Leg motion and action is the same as the BRUSH.
A strongly accented flatfoot step (both the heel and the toe touch the ground) taking the full weight of the foot.
A strongly accented flatfoot step (both the heel and the toe touch the ground) without taking the weight of the foot. The foot is lifted up instead.
A term used to imply the same sound and motion as that of a TOE, but the foot is immediately picked up again without transferring the body weight to that foot.
The entire side of the foot has been turned sideways and away from the other foot to become flush with the floor. Weight is borne by the other foot.
Describes a motion on the ball of the foot in a given direction. Usually occurs on the upbeat and does not necessarily include dropping the heel on the following bass beat.
Scrape the tip of the clogging shoe along the floor usually toward the other foot. Can be done from the rear, from across in back, from across in front, etc.
Abbreviation Key for Cue Sheets
DS or DTS=Double Toe Step
L = Left; R = Right
b=back; ib=in back
f=front; if=in front
o=out; ots = out to side
x=cross; xif = cross in front; xib = cross in back
in=toward the weight bearing leg
out=away from the weight bearing leg
up= raising of the foot
ins=inside (beside the instep of the weight bearing foot)
o&b=out and back (as a brush starting from an xif position)
oba=out, back and around (foot makes a horizontal semi-circle from front to back)
xba=across, back and around (foot makes a vertical circle behind the body)
e marks a 1/4 count
& marks an upbeat (1/2 count)
a marks a 3/4 count
1 – 8 numbers a bass beat (full count)
e.g &1, &2, &a3 ea&4