Local dance team to perform in San Francisco11.10.2005
ABINGDON ? Xtreme Dance Company's senior clogging team is taking its act to the edge of traditional clogging and the other side of the nation.
As the only clogging troupe to perform at the San Francisco Hip Hop Dance Fest, Xtreme will learn more about West Coast street-dancing while demonstrating their distinctive mix of clogging and hip hop.
Xtreme, as they are listed for the festival, is a group of nine girls ranging in age from 13 to 25.
They will perform Nov. 17-19 at the Palace Fine Arts Theatre as the only clogging team alongside hip-hop troupes Funk Beyond Control (first-place winners of the Hip Hop World Championship) and Culture Shock, who debuted in the 2004 street-dancing movie You Got Served.
The event is produced by Micaya, a veteran hip-hop dancer who has choreographed music videos, commercials and National Basketball Association dance teams. Her own troupe, SoulForce, will also perform at the festival.
Xtreme auditioned by sending a video of its unique clogging hybrid, which won it a spot in the festival.
"(The performance is) just totally different than what most people around here think clogging is," said Kim Fore, 25, founder and instructor of Xteme Dance Company with studios in Glade Spring, Abingdon and Chilhowie, VA.
While the troupe does perform the traditional hoe-down, Fore said clogging is continually changing and expanding around the basic double-toe step, leaving room for a creative blending of hip-hop moves.
Clogging shoes are about all that tie Xtreme's costumes to the conventional frills. Instead, the girls sport tight army pants jazzed up with gold sequins ? and an attitude to match.
Fore is looking forward to the variety of hip-hop culture and dance moves her girls are going to observe while in San Francisco.
"We're so excited (about the festival) because the kids are going to get to see stuff they probably never imagined," Fore said.
Due to the girls' busy school schedules, Xtreme practices once a week — eight hours on Sunday afternoons. The other six days of the week require a self-disciplined regimen of stretching and rehearsing.
At 13, Lindsey Blevins from Chilhowie is the youngest in the troupe. "It's just an everyday routine," she said. "That's what you do when you get home from school. You go in your room, close the door and dance."
Shae Hamilton, 14, of Meadowview, who has danced with the troupe since its inception five years ago, said that traveling always strengthens the performance. "It brings us together as a team," she said.
Other members of the dance team attending the trip are: Jamie Ballance, 24, Mars Hill, NC; Jennifer Doss, 20, and Mckenna Boyd, 14, Abingdon; Jessica Larson, 24, Maggie Valley, NC, and Caitlin Wright, 18, Chilhowie.
The dance festival has covered the cost of airfare, while the girls are raising funds to pay for their food and accommodations. The dancers have sold hot dogs, held yard sales, danced at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC, and performed local shows to pay for their trip. Anyone interested in contributing toward their trip can email Fore CLICK HERE
Xtreme will also present its routine at their annual recital on Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. at Viking Hall in Bristol, TN.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the Bristol Herald Courier, Nov. 10, 2005.