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Stuff to do in Tucson for the week of Jan. 9-15

Fancy Footwork

Southern Arizona Clogging Festival

10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday, Jan. 10; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 11; 9 to 11 a.m., Sunday, Jan. 12

Old Pueblo Dance Center

613 E. Delano St.

290-2368;sardasa.com

Clogs are more than just a fashion accessory. They're also a musical instrument of sorts.

Though not nearly as popular as tap shoes (and their accompanying cacophony of sound), clogging still has a solid following, which will be on display this weekend at the sixth annual Southern Arizona Clogging Festival.

For those not familiar, clogging is "like the cousin of tap dancing," said Tom Bogan, a member of the Square and Round Dance Association of Southern Arizona, which is hosting the three-day festival. "But the taps are different. Clogging has two taps (on the bottom of the shoe) separated by a rivet."

Clogging can be done with almost any type of shoe, Bogan said.

"Clogging shoes are really any shoes that you feel comfortable with," he said. "The taps are glued on or screwed on. Sandals are tough (to use), though, because they don't stick to your feet."

The festival will have something for every level of clogger, Bogan said. It will also be a great place for the uninitiated to get some information about the dance style, which features a square- or round-dance caller issuing the steps.

But while those other dances are done as groups, clogging is more of an individual effort, Bogan said. In that respect, it's more aerobic.

"Many years ago I'd never even heard of clogging, and I went (to the festival) and enjoyed it," he said.

Clogging workshops are offered during the day on Friday and Saturday, with dances scheduled for both evenings. The festival wraps up with a "farewell dance" on Sunday morning.

Tickets range from $12 for an individual session to $35 for all functions. The cost is $5 more at the door.


Equine Elegance

Arabian Horse Heritage Show

8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 10; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 11; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 12

Pima County Fairgrounds

11500 S. Houghton Road

762-3247;saaha.org

Southern Arizona has an active and vibrant horse-loving community, though economic issues during the past decade have reduced the number of horse owners and the size of their stables.

But when it comes time for a horse show, interest always seems to be there.

"There's a group of people that are going to show horses no matter what," said Marilou Balloun, president of the Southern Arizona Arabian Horse Association. "They just have a love for it."

Many of those horse lovers will be at the Pima County Fairgrounds this weekend for SAAHA's annual Heritage Show, which will feature about 100 Arabian and half-Arabian horses participating in a traditional equestrian competition similar to what you might have seen in the Summer Olympics.

While not as much is at stake at this show, that won't lessen how much the participants will enjoy it, Balloun said.

"It's a competition for the riders, a chance to get out and do something with their horses," she said.

Balloun said the still-recovering economy has cut into the horse numbers locally, but she's seen a recent uptick in equine activity. SAAHA is running about eight schooling shows per year, with the biggest increases in participation coming from children and professional women.

"I think it's building back up," Balloun said.

All of this weekend's performances are free.


No Time for Plot Development

Short Attention Span Theatre

10:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 11

Live Theatre Workshop

5317 E. Speedway Blvd.

327-4242;livetheatreworkshop.org

YouTube videos. Twitter. Vine clips. What do these things have in common? They're all meant to get to the point as quickly as possible.

Long, drawn-out explanations? To quote one of those Internet videos, ain't nobody got time for that!

This is the world we live in, so we might as well embrace it.

That's what Live Theatre Workshop has done, putting together a series of two-minute plays (30 in all) that are presented back to back without any breaks. Called Short Attention Span Theatre, the event features eight performers (who are also part of a 10-person writing crew) who create new material for each show.

"It's really a lot of work, especially because in the beginning of the process ... none of us were actual writers," said Keyanna Khatiblou, the show's project director and also one of its writer-performers. "We're all theater students."

Khatiblou, who is graduating from the UA in May, said the plays lean mostly on the comedic side, though a few have serious storylines. But regardless of the subject matter, one thing stays consistent: Get them done as quickly as possible.

The performers must finish all 30 plays in 60 minutes in order to get a reward: They get to eat cookies that were originally intended for the audience. If they fail, the cookies go to the crowd, and the performers must watch them being consumed.

"It's gone either way," Khatiblou said. "The cast has been getting more and more competitive over time, but at the same time the plays have gotten longer."

Shows are planned for the second and third Saturdays in January, February and May. Tickets are $10 at the door. If you pay in cash, the exact amount is appreciated. There's no time to deal with making change.


Rocks, Ropes and Trophies

ABS Youth Division 2 Championship Bouldering Competition

7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 11; 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 12

The BLOC Climbing + Fitness

8975 E. Tanque Verde Road

882-5924;rocksandropes.com/BLOC

More than 200 of the top youth rock climbers from the Southwest will descend on Tucson this weekend in hopes of being the best at ascending. For the third straight year, BLOC Climbing + Fitness is hosting the American Bouldering Season Youth Division 2 championships for USA Climbing. Boys and girls ages 7 to 19 will be navigating BLOC's four walls' worth of hand- and footholds, with as many as 16 climbers on the course at one time. Participants are from Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Nebraska and Kansas. Roughly one-third of them will receive invitations to the national championships based on their performance in Tucson. While BLOC's 7,000 square feet of climbing walls are open year-round for novices and climbers of all skill levels, the routes are redone for the youth competition and none of the participants gets to see the course beforehand, said Luke Bertelsen, BLOC general manager and a route setter for USA Climbing. "The climbers are in isolation before they come out," he said. "You have no preparation for those specific climbs. You get five minutes per problem, and we score them based on how high they get and how many number of attempts they make." Climbers will compete in qualifying on Saturday, with those who advance moving on to Sunday's finals. Bertelsen said he expects a large crowd to attend the free event because the climbers are on one side of the facility while viewers are on the other. "It definitely encourages cheering," Bertelsen said. "Our minimum crowd is often triple the competitors, because each kid comes with mom and dad and their siblings."

More by Brian J. Pedersen

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