There are many versions of the history of clog dancing in the United States. Clogging is generally thought to be a combination of the various native dances that settlers to the Appalachian region brought with them. As the different cultural groups mingled and combined so did their dances, until what we now know as clogging was formed.
One of the contributing cultures was the Cherokee people, who lived in the Appalachian area when European settlers arrrived. Dancing was very much a part of their culture, and they would beat the drum and make music for various ceremonial dances such as the hunting dance or rain dance. European settlers brought their own dances, including the Lancaster Clog Dance from England (which at least gave the dance its name). The polka step, from Czech and German origins, is the basic rhythm for clogging. The most influential of the European cultures is that of the Irish, with the Hard Shoe dances that bear a striking resemblance to clogging. The other most important influence were the dances of the African-Americans who were brought to the region.
Elements of all these various dances combined as people living in the Appalachian mountains taught one another what dances they knew. The different dances gradually blended together to create a new dance form—clogging.
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