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Dance your heart out

A local dance trio is ready to take their show on the road — to the Iowa State Fair.

At Winterset a couple of weeks ago, Tori White, 11, Calleigh Klein, 11, and Lexie Penick, 10, qualified for the Iowa State Fair’s Bill Riley Talent Show.

They qualified with a clogging dance routine to the song “Electricity.”

They will perform on the Bill Riley stage at noon, Monday, Aug. 11.

Clogging might sound hard to some people, but it’s not so much for these girls anymore.

“It depends on what kind of classes you are in,”  White said. “Like, if you’re in easy intermediate class, then it’s kind of easy.”

“It’s kind of easy to us, anyway,” Penick said while laughing. “(For) some people, it might be, like, really difficult.”

The girls have taken dance lessons through Leslie’s Dance Emporium for eight years.  

When trying to describe what it’s like to clog, the girls made comparisons to other dancing styles. If clogging is compared to tap dancing, then it’s similar. However, it’s different from the style of ballet dancing.

The trio has been practicing their routine for approximately one year. They also do competitions during their regular dance season.

Klein said her favorite part of the routine was at the beginning.

“Because you get ready to perform in front of everybody,” she said.

This will be their third year at the Bill Riley Talent Show with a clogging routine. Their goal is to make it to the semifinals.

“The past two years we haven’t done it yet,” Penick said. “And Dena (White) said that she would scream and shout if we did. She would jump in the audience and go like ‘Yeah!’”

As for the trio’s biggest cheerleader — it’s Macee Penick, 5.

When asked why they devote so much time to their art, White replied, “Because I get to do it with my best friends.”

“All of our best friends are basically there. All of them,” Penick added.

With many south central Iowa performances under their belt, the girls had different thoughts about whether it’s harder to perform locally in front of people they know or at the state fair with tons of people they don’t.

White said it’s harder for her to perform at the state fair.

“I think it’s harder performing in front of people you know because it’s embarrassing,” Penick said. “In front of other people you don’t know, you don’t really know them so you don’t think much about it.”

Klein’s answer was a mix of the two.

“I like doing both because I’ve kind of gotten used to it over the years,” she said.

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