Orange Cloggers are loud and proud.
Kelsey Snow (left) and Patty Lumsden of the Orange Cloggers.
For Orange County’s Allen and Kim Snow, clogging is all in the family.
Allen became director of the Orange Cloggers in 2008 (succeeding his sister, who originally introduced him to clogging when he was 10 years old), and since 2010 has shared these duties with wife Kim.
Allen choreographs all of the clogger’s routines. Both of the couple’s children dance as part of the group—their 15 year-old son Bailey was a World Champion at the America’s Clogging Hall of Fame (ACHF) competition last year.
This year marks the 35th for the group, which will host its seventh annual Orange County Clogging Competition at the end of July—the only ACHF competition in Virginia.
Dancers compete in a variety of categories and group sizes; they must place first or second in two regional ACHF events to qualify for October’s World Championships in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Last year’s event in Orange hosted 12 teams (three hailing from Virginia) and more than 400 spectators.
The Orange Cloggers are a performance group, which means that its roughly 30 members don’t compete together, but rather as individuals. The group does, however, host classes for children as young as 3 years old, and performs exhibitions 20-25 times a year at community events and fairs.
Allen, 43, says that clogging helps connect audiences and dancers alike to their regional culture: “People are attracted to the heritage of it, where clogging has come from, and where it’s going. It’s Southern Appalachian pride.”