Cloggers train for performance debut

Two students from the beginning clogging class at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor will be showcasing their talents at a performance at the Bell County Museum Saturday, April 17.

Sophomore athletic training major Keishla Maldonado and freshman pre-pharmacy major Alayne Cockrell are both looking forward to the opportunity.

“I am a bit nervous about this performance, but I am also really excited to get a chance to do this,” Maldonado said.

“It has been a lot of work so far, but I really think it will all be worth it,” Cockrell said.

Keishla Moldonado (left), instructor Garland Bullock (middle) and Alayne Cockrell practice for their clogging performance which will be Saturday, April 12 at the Bell County Museum.

Keishla Moldonado (left), instructor Garland Bullock (middle) and Alayne Cockrell practice for their clogging performance which will be Saturday, April 12 at the Bell County Museum. Photo by Jasmine Austin

Their instructor, adjunct professor Garland Bullock, has been clogging for a number of years, and has been vital in helping the women prepare for the performance. Bullock will also participate in the show.

“I have been teaching clogging here (UMHB) for three years, and I have also been teaching adult classes in Georgetown on Saturdays for about the past eight years,” Bullock said.

All told, he has been doing serious clogging for close to 10 years.

Bullock found out about the performance opportunity due to a letter he sent the museum more than a year ago. He wrote the museum to find out if any of their special events could incorporate clogging.

“I didn’t hear back from them for almost a year until (a museum employee) e-mailed me back to see if we were still able to dance for one of their … programs. It was a pleasant surprise to hear back from them this fall.

“Alayne progressed very quickly from beginning to intermediate clogging in the fall and Keishla was willing to pick up clogging again in order to practice for the program, so this has turned out to be the right time to make this happen,” he said.

Cockrell and Maldonado have been putting a lot of effort into preparing for this performance. They practice with Bullock every Thursday night after their clogging class ends, and then try to practice often outside of the classroom as well.

“When my roommates go home for the weekend, I practice for a while in my dorm,” Maldonado said. “I try to practice at least once or twice a week outside of the class.”

“We have a wooden deck at my house, so whenever I get the chance to go home, I try to practice clogging on that,” Cockrell said.

This is not Cockrell’s first clogging performance. She participated in a talent show on the last Saturday of spring break with Bullock and one of the members of his adult clogging class.

“There must have been 50 people there, but I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be,” Cockrell said. “Once we started, I was so focused on the moves I forgot about the people.”

Both Maldonado and Cockrell took clogging for the first time at UMHB, and they feel they made a good choice.

“I needed an elective course, and I had never heard of clogging before, but it sounded interesting, so I decided to try it out and see what it was like,” Maldonado said. “It turned out to be a lot of fun, and now I’ve been clogging for about two years with him (Bullock).”

Cockrell said, “I had taken dance classes in high school, but I had never tried clogging, so when I looked at all the dance-type classes here, clogging sounded like fun.”

The team will be performing at least three songs at the museum. One song has a bluegrass theme to it; another is similar to an Irish river dance, and the third is set to “Mama Mia” by the A*Teens.

“I like the beat of Mama Mia, so I am really looking forward to dancing to that one,” Maldonado said.

The performance will be held on Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Bell County Museum, 201 N. Main St., Belton.

Author: Artie Phillips

Bio info coming soon!

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