Clogging classes taught in Hallettsville (video)
Sept. 12, 2013 at 4:12 a.m.
Updated Sept. 15, 2013 at 4:15 a.m.
Amid antique furniture and paintings artfully displayed on easels, four pairs of shoes enhanced with metal clappers rhythmically disrupt the peace of the Englein Haus in downtown Hallettsville.
With hands on her hips, a smile crosses Kassie Wilkinson's face as she shares a passion of hers with the small class and teaches them to clog.
Wilkinson, 24, learned to clog as a freshman at Calhoun High School, when a friend dragged her to a free class in the gym after school.
"I ended up loving it; she ended up quitting," Wilkinson said, laughing at her initial reluctance to try the dance style.
After moving away for college and returning to the Crossroads, Wilkinson is now following in the tapping, clapping footsteps of her first instructor, Susan Roberts, of the Victoria Stars and Stripes Cloggers. Primarily, Wilkinson has learned from Roberts' example by keeping her classes free.
"I like to do it for free 'cause that's all I've ever known," she said.
The group, dubbed the Kolache Kloggers, do not compete against other cloggers and instead do free performances for nursing homes and festivals. In August, the group performed with the Stars and Stripes Cloggers at the Flip Flop Festival in Port Lavaca and will be entertaining at Hallettsville's own Kolache Fest on Sept. 28.
"It's a passion of ours, and we want to share it with everyone else," she said.
With help from Nancy Braus of the Englein Haus, who opened her doors and offered her wooden floors to the cloggers, Wilkinson has been able to offer a safe environment for exercise and fun in Hallettsville. Teaching has also allowed her to pass on the joy and confidence that she found in performing years ago.
"When I started teaching, I was scared that I wasn't going to get to be the one on the stage in front of people," she said. "But now that I see my girls blossom in front of people, that's my favorite part."