The Mississippi Clogging Council is a nonprofit, educational organization which is dedicated to the preservation, promotion, teaching, and continuing evolution of Appalachian Clogging and Traditional Dance. It encourages and supports the establishments of groups in the state of Mississippi interested in these objectives. It trains teachers, musicians, and leaders in order to further these objectives.
The MCC decided early on to have gatherings during the year to bring members together. On these days, the officers and representatives meet in the morning to discuss business and plan events, and all other members and friends arrive in the afternoon to learn a clogging routine, play games and other fun activities, and enjoy snacks. A different clogging team hosts each mini workshop so that everyone gets to know all the teams. The format and details of these events have changed over the years, but the purpose for gathering is the same: to encourage and support fellow cloggers.
In 2006, Rebecca Rouse (then director of Southern Vybe Cloggers, Purvis) sent an email to several clogging instructors around the state of Mississippi seeking friendship, encouragement, and possibly the organization of a gathering that could include all clogging groups in the state. Carol Hosch (director of Lauderdale County Country Cloggers, Meridian) and Angie Miller (then director of Mississippi Magnolia Cloggers, Clinton) responded to the email, and that began the first communication of the Mississippi Clogging Council.
As the ladies discussed creating a state clogging organization and a state workshop that could help promote clogging in Mississippi, Charla Lewis ( director of Clear Branch Cloggers for Christ, Florence) joined the conversation:
Plans for the first Mississippi Clogging Extravaganza were made, and work began on the process of creating Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws based on successful clogging councils of friends in neighboring states.
These four ladies became the official incorporators of the Mississippi Clogging Council. At the first annual meeting of the MCC in August 2006, they were elected as the first Board of Directors: President, Charla Lewis; Vice President, Carol Hosch; Secretary, Angie Miller; and Treasurer, Rebecca Rouse. Located in different communities around the state, these ladies had successfully created a source of information for cloggers in Mississippi and a united organization that could serve cloggers everywhere.
The Mississippi Clogging Extravaganza is the biggest gathering coordinated by the MCC. It is held each year in August with a guest national clogging instructor as the main event and other classes by local MCC instructors. The workshop is the only one of its kind in the state, so it provides cloggers in Mississippi the expertise of a national clogging instructor without the expense of travel to a national workshop. Angie Miller coordinated this event from 2006 – 2013. 2014’s Extravaganza director is Karla Clearman.
As part of the Extravaganza weekend, a solo freestyle competition was added in 2008 to give Mississippi cloggers a chance to compete for the Grand Champion Award.
In 2008, the MCC contracted with the Mississippi State Fair to host cloggers on stage at the Fair. The Mississippi Square and Round Dance Association had previously organized this activity, but they were not renewing their contract. Since many of the MCC member teams had danced on the MSRDA stage at the fair, the MCC was eager to keep this tradition going. Clogging at the Fair is something that our Mississippi teams look forward to each year. With the Fair Commission’s assistance, this has been a great way to promote clogging. Kay Miles has been the Chairwoman of this project since it began.
Carol Hosch is an insurance agent by trade, so it was natural for her to Chair the MCC Insurance Program. This component was added in 2009 as a service to the members. All member teams can purchase liability insurance through the MCC at a reduced rate making insurance affordable for Mississippi cloggers.
The MCC also has a scholarship program. Created with the inception of the MCC in 2006, the scholarship was first awarded in 2008 to Karah Purvis (Mississippi Magnolia Cloggers). Riley Rouse(Southern Vybe Cloggers), April Vernon(Mississippi Magnolia Cloggers), and Cheyenne Spikes(Dixieland Cloggers) have also received scholarships. The applicants must be active members of a clogging team, maintain high grades in high school and their first year of college, and be leaders in their community. Judy Walker (Mississippi Magnolia Cloggers) oversees the scholarship selection process.