New Zealand Clogging

Clogging in New Zealand

            History of New Zealand Clogging
                                 by Elva-May Lindsay

.Elva-May Lindsay first heard of togging in Hawaii in 1980, while attending Continental Squares dance convention, but she first saw clogging in 1987 when Denny Lantz, clogging instructor of Misty Mountain Cloggers Medford, Oregon, USA visited New Zealand. Denny taught a small group the basic 2 count clog and the 4 step chain. He left them with cue sheets, audio tapes and a video. As Elva-May was a square dance caller, having to teach and cue for clogging came easily and she loved it! She set about teaching it to others.

The groups first demo was 1987, New Years Eve, at a Rotorua Square Dance.

Kiwi Mountain Cloggers' Club commenced on Sunday 21 August 1988.

Denny Lantz came back to New Zealand in March 1989 for a workshop and the first graduation party in the evening.

They were very proud of their first 25 Cloggers. Denny Lantz left them with a donation from Misty Mountain Cloggers to put towards a portable wooden dance floor which became invaluable for getting out in the public with demos, and they did so at every opportunity. Kiwi Mountain Cloggers grew from strength to strength requiring a larger club venue. Their numbers grew to 80 at the highest.

They travelled from Dargaville in the North of the North Island to Christchurch in the South Island, from New Plymouth in the West to Napier in the East to workshop and promote clogging. In the nineties they travelled to America and Australia annually for new material and the music required.

Tutors visited from America and Australia to do workshops, to name a few: Ralph and Phyllis Turner (Michigan), Marilyn Hansen (Anaheim), Janice Jeston, Berdella and Duane Root (also from America), Edith and Dean Sandy (Gympie, Australia) and Vicky Dean (Sydney, Australia). For a number of years Elva-May was Australia's New Zealand representative for the Australian Clogging Association. On October 23rd 1999, Elva-May and Russell travelled to Maggie Valley, Tennessee, USA to be inducted In the 'American Clogging Hag of Fame

At the 6th New Zealand National Clogging Convention in New Plymouth in 2002, President Jean Watford announced that Elva-May and Russell had been awarded life membership of the New Zealand Clogging Association, in recognition and appreciation of their contribution to New Zealand clogging.

It was with much sadness that we announced that after a long and bravely fought illness Elva-May passed away on 23rd April 2005.

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Napier on the East coast of the North Island isn't too far from Tauranga where clogging had started. Sometime in 1988 a new club opened and Pam Paget was the teacher/cuer naming the club Twinkle Toes Cloggers. Pam retired in 1992 and it looked as though clogging would stop so Colleen Annabel) took over and became the new teacher cuer. In 2000 the club was renamed Bay Cities Cloggers,

They have hosted the 2001, 2006 and 2010 conventions.

Chere McGregor had started clogging in Tauranga with Elva-May but then moved to New Plymouth with her husband. No clogging there, so it seemed the obvious thing to do was to start a new group. Taranaki Mountain Cloggers danced from 1991 to about 2004. They hosted the 2002 convention.

1992 saw clogging start in Auckland. Frank Delgrosso was a Round Dance teacher and was heavily involved with Square Dancing together with Joy his wife. Frank had been travelling to Tauranga to learn clogging from Elva-May. That year, 1992, the Square Dance convention was being held in Tauranga and Elva-May and her dancers were demonstrating and teaching clogging during the mid­day break. Many of the Auckland dancers were there and once they had seen clogging they wanted it in Auckland. Frank agreed to teach clogging but didn't want to run a club as he already had his Round Dance club. Together with Elva-May's help Frank and Diane Stanford started the Auckland club in July 1992 and named it Clogging Hillbillies. Diane was the 'leader' but she had to learn to teach and cue. In 1996 Diane and her partner John, organised for a group of cloggers to attend the

During 2000 four people spent a weekend creating the Constitution of the New Zealand Clogging Association Incorporated, registered with the Ministry of Commerce on 21st November 2000, thereafter referred to as the NZCA. The National Convention Rules and Guidelines were also created at the same weekend.

At the 2000 AGM there were discussions about how the National Dance List should be set up. During 2001 a National Dance List was given a clearer format on voting and where new dances came from. That remains in place.

A Step Directory was created in 2001 and made available for all dancers to purchase. It is updated every 2 to 3 years.

NZ Conventions and International guests

1997 Rotorua      

1998 Rotorua                   Jason Nicholson NSW

1999 Auckland                Vickie Dean and Jason Nicholson NSW

2000 Nelson                    Shirley Smith and Mary Nuske VIC

2001 Napier                     Olive Borovsky QUEENSLAND

2002 New Plymouth         Steven Hope QUEENSLAND

2003 Auckland                Chris Anderson QUEENSLAND

2004 Tauranga                Colleen Annabel  NZ

2005 Nelson                    Jason Nicholson NSW

2006 Napier                     Neville Flegg VIC

2007 Wellington               Jenny Neil QUEENSLAND

2008 Auckland                David McGrath NSW

2009 Motueka                 Shirley Smith VIC

2010 Napier                     John Bishop VIC

2011 Nelson                    Cheryl Holland VIC

2012 Auckland                Eric Bice USA

2013 Auckland                Barry Welch USA

2014 Nelson                    Dell Sutcliff  QUEENSLAND

How many have you been too?

So this is the New Zealand history of dogging, as far as we know it. As can be seen,
some information is already lost. I hope you have enjoyed reading and remembering times you may have
danced with us.

An update of where clogging is, in 2016.


The Invercargill group stopped dancing in early 2014.

The Motueka group stopped dancing after the 2014 Convention. This leaves Nelson and Auckland groups.

With the numbers in just two groups, it became impossible to hold conventions. The current 2015/2016 NZCA financial members voted to Wind Up the NZCA Association.
This took place on
June 2016.

While there is no longer a registered association for NZ clogging, Nelson and Auckland continue to hold weekly classes as before. Auckland now holds a Social Workshop
day 3 times a year. The day
might include teaching new dances, group learning how to choreograph a dance, guessing steps, fun dances and new ideas from the dancers.

New Zealand Cloggers will continue to attend and support Australian conventions,
and when possible attend the Southern California Conventions

Jean Watford

Leader Rhythm Cloggers Auckland.

                                                                                        . . . Jean  Watford      (updated 2016)