The Rainbow Stew Cloggers will be celebrating their 20th anniversary this September. The cloggers perform at many events in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Rainbow Stew Cloggers celebrate 20 years

The name comes from shoelaces and a song they danced to in their early days

Carli Berry

reporter@pqbnews.com

The Rainbow Stew Cloggers will be celebrating their 20th anniversary this September.

Instructor Sharon Lafferty said the first class was Sept. 29, 1995 and she has been teaching the cloggers since then.

The Rainbow Stew Cloggers got their start after Lafferty attended a clogging class in Nanaimo and it was there that she learned how to perform. She brought back her findings to her exercise group where they learned how to clog.

Originally starting with only three people, the Rainbow Stew Cloggers got their name because of some rainbow shoe laces and a song they danced to in the beginning called Rainbow Stew, by Merle Haggard, Lafferty said.

The class may have started with only three people but as the years went on the size increased.

One year, Lafferty said they had 120 people sign up for the classes. However, there’s a reason why one doesn’t see 120 stew cloggers performing at events.

“Only 20 to 25 people like to perform,” she said.

Now, she said, the group ranges from approximately 50 to 70 members.

Performing is a large part of the stew cloggers, Lafferty said. Not only does it provide people with entertainment, it also gives the cloggers recruitment opportunities.

“You cannot keep a club alive unless you have new members,” Lafferty said. The cloggers put on a variety of performances throughout the year and especially during the summer months. They’ve performed at places like the St. Mark’s Fair, the Magnolia Court Mall, the Qualicum Beach Farmer’s Market and will be performing at the Lighthouse Fall Fair in September. Their performances are only in the Oceanside area, Lafferty said.

They’re known to dress up for their performances too. Lafferty said the old uniform was a shirt and denim bottoms, but as time went on  she decided to let the members choose their outfits due to the expenses.

The outfits are based on a theme at each event. For their performance at the St. Mark’s Fair the cloggers dressed up like fairies and made-up creatures. In the past they’ve dressed as pirates for their Fire and Ice performance.

Lafferty said the summer months are prime recruitment opportunities and she sees approximately six new members each September.

There’s no set age limit to join, she said, but she does recommend that children bring their parents.

Classes are held at the Qualicum Beach Community Hall on Wednesdays and Nanoose Place on Thursday evenings. There is a $5 drop in fee.

For more information  one can visit the clogger’s website at cloggers.weebly.com.

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