The second style, which we have called “Vernacular Clog/Step Dance” was performed in either clogs or shoes depending on the prevalent footwear in the area concerned. For clarity we use the phrase “step dancer” to denote a performer in shoes and “clog dancer” for one who danced in clogs.
We have much less information about this style of dance for a number of reasons, not least because most of the occasions when the dance was performed were limited social gatherings which went unreported or unrecorded. This often leads to the appearance of regionality whereas in fact this is more a result of localised collecting and recording activity. Stylistically the dance is much more variable that the stage style of clog dancing, not least because it was performed in both clog and hard shoes, in areas where clog-wearing was common, typically in the north of England, the dance was often, although by no means always, performed in clogs. In the south of England where clog-wearing was not the norm in the nineteenth century the reverse was the case.
Because of the small-scale nature of the occasions on which the dance was performed dance contests tended to be on a similar scale and again usually unrecorded. Exceptionally, in Devon for example, these migrated into larger events involving a higher degree of formality. Because of its less structured content the choreography is rather more difficult to record and researchers have tended to concentrate on steps with a more formal pattern, or have sometimes reformatted steps into such patterns. In some cases all we have are a few fragments of stepping which have been incorporated into local social dances.
Search below to reference pages on individual dancers or locations.- insert here
For ease of access we list the main informants from whom choreographies have been collected below:
Cann, Bob. Step dancer from South Zeal, Devon.
Gibbons, Bill. Clog dancer from Burscough, Lancashire.
Hewitt, Dick. Step dancer from Hanworth, Cromer, Norfolk.
Rice, Leslie. Step dancer from Chagford, Devon.
Tracey, Pat. Clog dancer from Nelson, Lancashire. Learned from her mother, Sally Nutter and other relatives and informants. Also danced Stage Style steps.