In our Group with Dance Unique Clogging

Dance Unique Clogging’s Merril Gardner shares the benefits, including helping mental health and reducing stress, of the local dance club and she invites the community to join in.

How can the community become involved?

Clogging encourages participation for all ages, as young as eight to 88.

It has a more relaxed atmosphere, with a focus on good mental and physical health and above all having fun.

Adults benefit from reducing stress and depression, increases energy and serotonin, improves flexibility, strength, balance endurance, strengthens bones and boosts cardiovascular health, increases mental capacity by exercising our cognitive processes.

For children, clogging is also beneficial for brain development such as counting, music, and movement, engages many parts of the brain and helps to improve learning.

Tap shoes are similar to a percussion instrument; develops coordination and gross motor skills with the combination of movement and sound, promotes teamwork and social skills.

There are no dance exams or expensive costumes.

Friendships are formed not only in our local area but Australia wide, with numerous workshops throughout the year in each state and a national convention is held each year in a different state.

Clogging classes are held on a Monday afternoon starting at 4 pm, at the Caledonian Pipe Band Hall, Victoria Street in East Bundaberg.

All are welcome to just drop in, to see for themselves what clogging can offer them.

Tell us about the group?

The clogging club is called Dance Unique Clogging, which is only small, but (we) would like to see it grow.

The dances are cued, which means each step is called, we do not have to learn an entire dance only the step names - unless we are performing demonstrations and even then, some dances are cued.

Why is the group important to the Bundaberg Region?

Why clogging? Why not clogging!

Clogging is the perfect alternative to exercise in a relaxed atmosphere.

It is also a great place to meet people and develop new friendships.

Clogging is our extended family; we make sure and ask the question - are you okay? if someone is having a difficult time.

What motivated you to share clogging with the community?

On numerous occasions my aunty tried to get me to come along to a clogging class.

Along with most people, when I heard the word clogging I imagined clogging was danced in wooden clogs – how wrong I was!

It wasn’t until I saw a demonstration of clogging at my aunties 70th birthday party that I realised not a wooden clog was seen, but tap shoes with a little difference.

The taps have a double plate instead of a single plate, which gives clogging its distinctive sound. 

I first started clogging in 2011 and joined the Australian Clogging Association soon after.

I started my own club teaching juniors in 2015.

I gained my gold accreditation in 2020 with the Australian Clogging Association, which is a five-year process.