Twofer – Too Fun Toosday – NC Clogging and Irish Dancing

I am a North Carolina girl…a Tarheel of the Nth Degree.  I grew up a few blocks from Duke’s East Campus and sometimes, mistook it as an extension of our yard and therefore, part of my playground.

The wonderful thing about NC is our varied and wonderful heritage – a rich Scots Irish heritage that stretches from the seacoast to the mountains.  Music, food, dance, religion… all merged and settled into that beautiful state and became a unique part of us all.   When I was a young woman, I spent much time in the mountains at a commune of holistic health practitioners – back when holistic was not a part of health insurance and practice the way it is now.  One of the things I learned in more depth while a member of this commune, was folk music and folk dancing.

I already knew some Irish dancing based on my family heritage and because of the fondness folk from NC have for traditional dance and music.  When I went to the mountains, I REALLY learned how – clogging and traditional Irish dancing are happy family members.  I also learned the side-by-side comparison of the dance and music and the origins of such music and dance.

I found this fun video showing this.  I was feeling a wee bit homesick for NC and so went looking for such as this.  This time of year in NC is big time music and dance festival time.

I hope you enjoy this side-by-side dancing.  We are proud of our origins and traditions, our music and our dance.  If you ever listen to bluegrass music, you might pick up some of the centuries old melodies and methods in it.  We are American, we all of us came here from somewhere else – or at least our ancestors did.  Mine came from Ireland and are a rather heady mix of the Vikings and the Irish.  My father used to quietly excuse himself from some of the all-family gatherings and leave us to our dancing, music, and telling of tales.

But from wherever you hail, enjoy these lovely young lasses dancing the best of both worlds.   

42 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. seaangel4444
    Jun 17, 2014 @ 08:40:44

    Love this! What a wonderful way to start the day!! Thank you!! Cher xo


    • kanzensakura
      Jun 17, 2014 @ 08:54:43

      Thank you. I’m dancing around my kitchen making my cat nervous. I’ve decided my husband and I are heading down to the Eno River Folk Life Festival this summer. He has drug me around VA for years. It’s my turn now!


      • seaangel4444
        Jun 17, 2014 @ 09:02:53

        *LOL* Well I am sure the cat is wondering what on earth you are up to! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ And I think that would be fantastic to head down to the festival! Cher xo


        • kanzensakura
          Jun 17, 2014 @ 09:14:15

          I know Chicago has some fine Irish dancers and musicians, but I would think the southern clogging would be limited. I love to dance and today just said, shake the floors, girl! LOL, beach ball Kanzen bouncing along.


  2. Let's CUT the Crap!
    Jun 17, 2014 @ 09:10:01

    Hard not to start dancing when I pressed play. A whole bunch of fun. Gets the ole heart a workout. ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.
    Jun 17, 2014 @ 11:21:46

    North Carolina is a beautiful state and I enjoyed the time we lived there. We really thought that would be our final stop in our search for our retirement stop, but it wasn’t meant to happen. The artistic culture was easy to fall into.


  4. FlaHam
    Jun 18, 2014 @ 09:31:51

    Kanzen, That’s not that far removed from Kentucky were I call home. And I have seen similar dancing down on Grandpa’s farm, at “get togethers.” I can see where it brings out the home girl in you. Being honest I would have enjoyed it cause it was just so happy. Take care, Bill


    • kanzensakura
      Jun 18, 2014 @ 09:40:16

      It was happy! I’ll always be a home girl. NC is a very arty state – crammed full of all kinds of artists and performers. It is funny Bill. When an old opera house was refurbished and re-opened with the first opera of the season, the place was cheek to jowl with society poops, regular folk, young arty types and….mechanics, farmers, mill workers…All who could buy a ticket came for the premier of the new building and The Barber of Seville. All had fun and enjoyed. A month later, there was a clogging competition – symphony performers, musicians of all kinds, old style Irish, new irish, farmers, ballet folk – all there for the competition and to learn how to clog or to hone their skills. Virginia isn’t the same.


  5. Bernice
    Jun 18, 2014 @ 12:32:35

    What a great video – thanks for sharing. I love Irish dancing – so much fun to watch! And what a great story you told – I did not know that about NC as I never thought of them as being Irish like you do South Buffalo, NYC, Boston, etc.


    • kanzensakura
      Jun 18, 2014 @ 13:44:37

      Scot dissidents immigrated over and quickly headed to the mountains. the Irish dissidents or poor or bad second sons stayed on the coast and Piedmont. Every year, one of the biggest Celtic festivals is held in the NC mountains. Between the Scots, Irish, Quakers, NC inherited a very rich musical, artistic, education heritage. Three of the top universities are in NC, within 10 miles of each other. You’ll find, based on the area, a large number of descendants with names like McDonald, O’Riley, Flannery, Devine, Carey, Murphy, Gallager, Kelly, Campbell, Boyle…some with O’ added and front names with the old spelling such as Eion for Owen and Owen or Sean for John. My family hailed from Dublin, back from the days when the Vikings made their run on the British Isles. People are more spread out than in pockets like up north. those folks immigrated and got jobs in factories. Our folk immigrated and farmed or raised cattle/sheep or on the coast in small fishing villages. Some areas of the NC coast are linguistic gems. They speak as folk spoke several centuries ago. Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2014 16:32:36 +0000 To:


      • Bernice
        Jun 24, 2014 @ 20:57:31

        Thanks – what a wonderful bit of history and information!! Some of my relatives from a long time ago came from Belfast. Many many years ago I spent a lot of time studying Irish history and problems. We do enjoy Irish music and will go to an Irish festival when we have the chance. Greg enjoys a good corn beef and cabbage – I do not care for it myself.


        • kanzensakura
          Jun 24, 2014 @ 21:07:08

          Neither do I! We never got into it. We preferred cooking our cabbage using a bit of good ol’ southern cooking meat….frying the slices of meat, removing, putting in several sliced potatoes at the bottom and putting shredded cabbage on top to steam gently. I don’t like pastrami either…


          • Bernice
            Jun 24, 2014 @ 21:38:50

            I don’t like pastrami either. But your dish sounds good!


            • kanzensakura
              Jun 24, 2014 @ 21:54:34

              It is plain ol’ country cooking. My folks made these insanely good corn cakes to go with it…cornmeal, egg, buttermilk, baking powder in a thin batter, dropped by spoonfuls into a hot iron skillet like pancakes but thin crispy on the edges, more rustic. These were eaten with everything. Leftovers made a good breakfast, especially in summer. Reheat, top with slice of homegrown tomato and an egg. Or toasted and buttered spread with homemade jam. Good change from toast or biscuits. A cup of strong coffee or class of sweet iced tea finished it off. We called them smushed puppies because similar to hush puppies in flavor, but not rounded fried globes of cornmeal.


  6. Edward Hotspur
    Jun 19, 2014 @ 21:37:58

    Are any of those you? Or are you in this? Can you do this?


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