TAPPING OUT A FUTURE TO TUNES OF PAST AND PRESENT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 21, 2006EDITORIAL CONTACT: Gina Logue, 615-898-5081
(MURFREESBORO) - The fastest feet in Fayetteville belong to Kory Posey, a 21-year-old MTSU senior recording industry major with a house full of trophies attesting to his expertise in the fine art of clogging. For those who recently arrived from a colder climate or those who think Posey renders plumbing fixtures unusable in his spare time, an explanation might be in order. No less an authority than Arthur Murray defines clogging as "a freestyle dance style, originating in the Blue Ridge Mountains, characterized by double-time stomping and tap steps resembling a tap dance with the upper body held straight and upright." "I started when I was five years old with my dad and my aunt," Posey says. "They started taking lessons because they thought it would be fun just to have something to do." Posey says he has taken no lessons in any other form of dancing, but clogging itself has expanded beyond the same familiar footwork, venturing into musical territory its veterans never could have imagined years ago. "The more modern cloggers use all genres of music," Posey says. "They use hip-hop, pop, rock. I've seen a routine to every song and every genre. It's amazing how many different things you can do with music." As a music minor who played saxophone in high school and is teaching himself guitar and piano, Posey has an advantage over some of his competitors on the clogging contest circuit. His seemingly intuitive understanding of the blend of music and movement guides his every step. "I feel like I took to it pretty naturally," Posey says. "My whole family did. They kinda stayed with their more old-school approach to clogging-you know, line clogging. And I took off in more modern steps and more syncopation. Some of the older people who do it really can't do those steps because it takes a lot more energy and they go a lot faster." Posey says precision clogging is more syncopation-based, whereas old-time clogging and buck dancing require the dancer to stay in lockstep with the beat.
In buck dancing, the feet may not rise more than six inches off the ground and all body movement must come from the waist down. In traditional clogging, there are more kicks and more energy. In modern clogging, virtually anything goes. Judges in all categories look for rhythm and timing, appearance, and even sportsmanship based on how competitors get along with their fellow dancers. Since 1999, Posey has been dancing with the Cookeville-based Rhythm-N-Motion Cloggers, the national clogging champs. They recently won a square dance title in Lebanon, which entitled them to perform on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. They received a standing ovation in their debut performance and closed the show by dancing to the music of Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder. "We got to meet people like Charley Pride and Pam Tillis," Posey says of his Opry experience. "It was a lot of fun. It's such an honor to do it, and the thrill that you get is indescribable." His most recent awards are national individual titles in old-time clogging and old-time buck dancing at last year's Uncle Dave Macon Days in Murfreesboro. He won his first competitive awards at that annual event at the age of eight. He comes by his knowledge of such gatherings through family ties, as well. Posey's parents, Jerry and Paula Posey, are co-organizers of the Lincoln County Bluegrass and Crafts Festival. After he graduates, either in December 2006 or May 2007, Posey says he would like to start his own record label. But his feet never will take him far from a dance floor."I'll never give it up," Posey vows. "But, eventually, I guess once I'm done figuring out the recording industry, I guess I'd like to come back and start a younger team and ... keep the tradition going."
ATTENTION, MEDIA: For color photos of Kory Posey in performance, please contact Gina Logue in the Office of News and Public Affairs at 615-898-5081 or firstname.lastname@example.org.