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Area dance students express delight in clogging while also helping out a community service

COURTESY PHOTO: SILVER CREEK CLOGGING - Aubrey Defabis of Gervais, left, and her dance friends show off buttons earned through their clogging class.Aubrey Defabis of Gervais was initially circumspect about clog dancing.

But once she became involved, she embraced it entirely.

"At first, when my mom signed me up, I was a little bit worried," Aubrey acknowledged about joining Silver Creek Clogging in Silverton."Now I'm happy. Dancing with Silver Creek Clogging makes me feel amazing."

Aubrey's mom, Katlin, had a hunch about it, and it proved fruitful. She said the activity is about much more than simply dancing.

"We love Silver Creek Clogging," Katlin enthused. "Not only do they teach the kids how to dance, but they talk about other things in class like respecting others, believing in yourself, and being positive. My daughter really enjoys it."

That was the original intent of proprietor Ruth Mattox, who opened Silver Creek Clogging more than five years ago. She didn't want to open just another dance studio.COURTESY PHOTO: SILVER CREEK CLOGGING - Students take in their lessons at Silver Creek Clogging.

"Silver Creek Clogging was founded on the belief that, through the unique style of dance we teach, we have the ability to encourage self-awareness, inner-confidence and growth – both on and off the dance floor, and for a lifetime," Ruth said recently.

She added that a part of the process is to give students on-going leadership training while they are learning how tap out rhythms with their feet.

"Every month, the whole studio focuses on a leadership principle," Ruth explained. "In classes we help students identify and develop the principle, learn how practicing the principle helps them to become better dancers, and understand how they can use those skills outside of the studio in their schools, families, and professions."

The most recent theme wove in well with Thanksgiving and the overall giving season.

Silver Creek Clogging's November leadership principle was community service; students explored what it means to be part of a community and how serving others helps them to be successful leaders. They also be practiced community service as part of the studio's "Let Them Eat Pie" fundraiser for Silverton Area Community Aid.

Ruth said students, families and friends voted with their donations for the staff member they would like to see get a pie in the face at the end of the month-long fundraiser.COURTESY PHOTO: SILVER CREEK CLOGGING - Adult cloggers from Silver Creek Clogging perform at an outdoor market.

"Communities are powerful. By working together, we're able to combine small donations from many individuals to help make a positive impact in our community," Ruth said. "These are important lessons for students at Silver Creek Clogging – and this one is a lot of fun too."

Teresa Bauman, a Silver Creek student who hails from Mount Angel, agreed.

"My experience with Silver Creek Clogging has been a very positive one. I had taken about six years of tap dance prior, so I wanted to give clogging a try," Teresa said. "I was interested right away.

"Ruth, the owner, was easy to talk to and helpful with any questions I may have."

Teresa said learning a new skill was part of the delight, but there is more to it than just that.

"Overall, Silver Creek Clogging is an excellent place to make new friends, learn a new skill or brush up your old skills and get some exercise while doing something fun with other students who have the same goals in mind," she said. "Also, the online and in person communication through the TeacherZone, and social media has made me more confident to accomplish things I may not have thought could be possible before coming to Silver Creek Clogging."COURTESY PHOTO: SILVER CREEK CLOGGING - Stepping into the swing of things at Silver Creek Clogging.

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