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Harley Constant, Sr.



From: Valerie Fitzgerald

Harley Constant was born and raised in North Carolina where he first learned to clog. All of his family
were cloggers and enjoyed it as their favorite past time. Harley came to Auburndale, Florida in 1970
and his wife, Deborah, quickly learned the Appalachian freestyle clogging that Harley was
accustomed to. In 1979, Harley and Deborah formed the Black Mountain Cloggers. He went back to
his roots of North Carolina to get the name from Black Mountain, North Carolina. This clogging group
would include their two children and nephew. He was the first one to bring clogging to Central Florida so his group quickly grew. Harley taught clogging lessons weekly at Carl Allen’s, a local restaurant
and entertainment venue. He went on to teach weekly for the City of Auburndale. His love for
clogging was infectious. As the popularity of clogging grew, the team began to perform all over the
state of Florida with performances on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Sometimes there were up to
three performances on Saturday. They traveled and performed in Tennessee, North Carolina, and
Georgia. The cloggers gave him the name of “Boss Harley.” Not only did Harley direct these
cloggers, he drove them to all of their performances on a bus. The cloggers would meet at his home
and he would chauffeur them to the performances. Deborah made all of their costumes which made
them have a unique style. He opened his home to these children who sometimes stayed the whole
weekend because of lack of their parent involvement or they just loved being with Harley’s family.
Harley loved each and every one of the children that danced for the Black Mountain Cloggers. He
was a father figure to many and often assisted them with problems they may have had in their life
away from clogging. He repaired their cars, provided food or just listened when they needed to talk.
Still today, he will see one of his past members and they will thank him for the changes he made in
their life by allowing them to be a part of his passion for clogging. He always said if you keep kids
involved in something and keep them busy it will keep them out of trouble.

In 1995, Harley opened Crazy Legs with his son Harley Constant II. This was a non-alcoholic family
dance club that provided clogging every weekend for entertainment. After several years of business,
Crazy Legs would close and the Black Mountain Cloggers would do their last performance in March of
2000. In 2010, Harley gathered many of the past Black Mountain Cloggers for a reunion performance at the Auburndale Bluegrass Festival. This time the group included the new generation which
included his grandchildren and some of the other member’s children. His son Harley Constant II
carries on his father’s legacy by teaching clogging at a local dance studio. His nephew has continued
to clog and directs his own team.

Although he no longer teaches, he can still be seen at every local clogging event as a spectator or
lending a helping hand to keep things running smoothly. He is gracious and supportive to each and
every clogger from each and every clogging team. At these events, it is not unusual to see him on
stage doing his specialty freestyle dancing. At the young age of 75, Harley still cannot keep his feet
still when he hears the music. In 2015 he will have the honor of having the first annual Bartow
Clogging Festival named in his honor as the Harley Constant Senior Clogging Classic.

The love of clogging that Harley has in his heart has touched many children and they would be there
for him in a minute if he said he wanted to have a team again. He does miss clogging but his children
and grandchildren keep it alive for him through their performances.

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