Occlusion, a dance worth discovering in 2022

Noise coming out of Harrow United Church in the Osborne area on Monday evening. We could hear plates under the shoes of the dancers outside. These platelets are one of the hallmarks of obstruction. And unlike folk dance, they are mobile.

Clog dance shoes have movable metal plates.

Photo: Radio Canada / Genevieve Murchison

Each participant is placed in a row to learn new steps. At the front of the room, Darolyn Pachagic explodes with energy to express her passion. I have practiced and taught this activity for over 30 years. She explains that blocking is good dancing on the floor, without jumps and to the wrong beat.

Coach dancing on stage.

Teacher Darolyn Pchajek teaches blockage to students in Winnipeg.

Photo: Radio Canada / Genevieve Murchison

It’s a great form of exercise and it’s easy on the knees. It’s also a lot of funDarolyn Petchagic enthusiastically explains.

During the pandemic, she posted 25 educational videos online. Today, she is happy to find her students.

Occlusion origins

Traditionally, the blockage was danced with the family in halls in the southern United States. In the 1970s, American Bill Nichols taught her at a resort on the East Coast of the United States. Then vacationers imported this style and formed clubs in their cities, which helped to expand this dance.

Today, blockages are common in Japan, Europe and Australia. American universities even offer scholarships.

Dance lovable

There is a complete vocabulary for occlusion. Every movement has a name, like aerial, the rock step where is the double face. The leader loudly announces the next step to be taken.

Gisele Johnson Humboldt was introduced to this dance by a friend over 12 years ago. She noticed some differences from French-Canadian folk dance or square dance, dances that this pit performed long ago with the Ensemble Folklorique de la Rivière Rouge.

I noticed that there are a lot of similar rhythms, but [dans le clogging]High heels. French Canadian Folk Dance Uses more effective music, she adds.

Even for this veteran who has already danced four times a week, the blockage provides complexity and fun. The slip-on shoe, Gisele Johnson Humboldt, plans to continue dancing beyond the New Year.

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