Nomination Letter for Arthur Blaksley
I am writing this letter to nominate Arthur Blaksley to the Florida Clogging Council Hall of Fame. Arthur is my father and has been a great supporter and participant of clogging for many years. He was the director of the Old Hickory Stompers Clogging group originally originating from Geneva, Fl, but moving homes in our groups later years to Deltona and Debary in Volusia County for practices, our group always maintained a strong clogging presence here in Central Florida for the past 25 years.
In addition to being our director, Arthur also became the main instructor for our group due to my night work schedule; he took over teaching beginner classes, club dance time, and also emceed and taught at workshops all around the state of Florida for nearly the past 20 years. He has taught at many of the conventions around the state of Florida and the FCC State Conventions. He is a certified FCC Clogging Instructor and has helped to critique other instructors getting certified over the years.
Arthur has been an integral part of promoting clogging for the past 25 years. Our group has offered free clogging lessons to the community for over 10 years, bringing together families for a great family activity. We have built a strong clogging family amongst our own dancers, our fellow cloggers around the state, and friends from around the nation by attending many of the CLOG National Conventions. Many of our cloggers began with us as small children and we have watched them grow up and have children of their own who have become cloggers. Arthur was a strong part of booking our groups at shows at the Central Florida Fair in Orlando for over 10 years, being a part of many numerous parades and festivals all across central Florida (too many to even count), the Manatee Festival in Orange City, clogging competitions all around the east coast of the United States, and the National Championships in Maggie Valley to just name a few.
In the early 1990’s, our clogging group had three divisions; a youth group called Electric Youth, our main exhibition team-Old Hickory Stompers, and an adult competition team called Southern Comfort Cloggers. Over our 25 year history, even though we have had as little as 3 members or as many an nearly 100, seeing clogging surge and die down over the years, Art has always stuck by our side, supported our group and supported clogging. Art has supported clogging through our group on a local level but he has also supported it on a national level. Art was the lead to run the sound department for one of the CLOG National Clogging Conventions in Orlando and Memphis under Joann Gibbs, another year ran security for the convention halls in Nashville, and drove transportation to get cloggers from the airport to the hotel in Orlando. He attended classes to become a certified clogging judge. In addition he was nominated and selected to the All American Clogging Team in Maggie Valley at the Stompin’ Grounds in 1993. Art has always been an active member of the Florida Clogging Council and C.L.O.G. for many years.