PHS students discuss Absaroka Mountain Clogging

I just want everyone to find a home and through that our chapter can do that and my team can do that. 

More stories from Emma Brence

December 21, 2023

Abby Wambeke

AMT Explosion gets ready to perform the first dance of the day at Lagoon Amusement Park.

Clogging is a percussive form of dance often referred to as buck dancing or, more recently, power tapping. Clogging is more commonly performed in the southern part of the U.S., but is still relevant in the central-western region.

On May 14, Absaroka Mountain Thunder (AMT) clogging studio competed in the America On Stage Clogging/Power Tap National competition. AMT clogging has been attending this competition for years.

I loved seeing every member of our team get on stage for the big awards, I love seeing the girls being recognized for their hard work.

— Tara Shorb

“My favorite part would have to be seeing everyone coming together to compete,” junior Katie Beavers said. “Our team feels like a family, and I loved being able to all sit together while waiting for awards.”

AMT has three teams each competing at a different skill level. AMT Excitement competed in the beginning category, AMT Express in the intermediate level, and AMT Explosion competed in the advanced category.

“Each dancer put in hours of hard work,” junior Abby Wambeke said. “It really showed in our performances.”

Like most dance competitions, clogging is scored on the execution of steps, costumes and team togetherness. The scores determine the place of the dance by point range; all six of AMT’s dances placed in the first place point range. In addition, both of AMT’s advanced dances scored a high gold first place which is only given out in the advanced, championship and pro categories.

“I think everyone performed really well,” Beavers said.  “I truly feel like this was one of our better years competing, and we all followed our motto if you mess up, mess up big and have fun.”

Each skill level gives out overall awards to the top ten dances of the day. Adding to the first place awards, AMT brought home 4 overall awards. AMT Excitement won an overall for their dance ‘Do It Like This.’ AMT Express won two overalls for their dances ‘Light It Up’ and ‘Celtic Rock,’ and AMT Explosion got an overall for their dance ‘Just Dance.’

“I loved seeing every member of our team get on stage for the big awards,” AMT coach Tara Shorb said. “I love seeing the girls being recognized for their hard work.”

Concluding the competition season, Absaroka Mountain Thunder is getting ready for the summer season when they perform at local events.

“I’m looking forward to our local performances,” coach Shorb said. “Those opportunities allow us to give back to our community and let the girls share their talents with audiences in this area.”