TOLLESBORO — A Kentucky clogging team, including a Lewis County native, will be featured on Little Big Shots on July 12.
Little Big Shots is a show that features children who demonstrate talent and engage in witty conversations with the host, Steve Harvey.
Malachki Long, 15, said his journey as a competitive clogger with Star Power Cloggers, out of Winchester, began when he first saw the Amber’s Angels clogging group during a show several years ago.
“We went to an auction where the Amber’s Angels were performing,” he said. “I remember thinking that it looked like a lot of fun and I wanted to join. I was with them for about four or five years.”
Long said his aunt was the one to turn him onto competitive clogging.
“She knew I really enjoyed it and she told me about a competitive clogging group and it interested me,” he said. “I’ve been with Star Power for four years.”
According to Long, the group has competed in several competitions in Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and North Carolina. One of those competitions was nationals, which was how the producers of Little Big Shots discovered Star Power.
“They found a video of our national competition,” he said. “I guess they really liked it, because they asked if we would come down. Videos were sent in and we weren’t sure if we were going to make it, but we did. We were all really excited about it.”
In October, members of Star Power flew to Los Angeles, Calif.
“I’d never flown before, so it was really exciting,” he said. “The ride was bumpy when it landed, but I’m assuming it’s supposed to feel that way.”
When they arrived at the studio to film for the show, Long and the other Star Power members were able to meet Harvey, as well as a cast of other kids who were also there as guests of the show.
“It was a lot of fun meeting (Harvey),” Long said. “He was tall. It made me feel really short. But, he was nice to everybody. We were able to meet a lot of different people. They were young, but really mature. There were even a few other people from Kentucky there.”
Long said he believes the team did well, because they received a standing ovation from the audience.
“It felt great,” he said. “They were cheering and we had a standing ovation for our performance. We all enjoyed being there and being on the show.”
He also loved being able to visit the city.
“It was a large city, so I was excited to see it,” he said. “There were a lot of people and it was just a great experience.”
According to Long, the best part about being a competitive clogger is meeting new people.
“You get to meet a lot of new people,” he said. “They can become life-long friends. Being on a clogging team, you learn about respect and just about new things in general.”
The team practices in Winchester and though Long is unsure what is next for the group, he knows good things will happen.
“I don’t know where we’re going next, but I do know that we’re going to continue to grow as a team,” he said. “It’s fun being a part of the team and I know we’re going to continue to be a great team.”
Long’s mother, Angie Long, said she was proud of her son’s accomplishments.
“He works so hard and he’s constantly practicing,” she said. “I’m really proud of him. He’s such a great kid and he deserves it. I was nervous when he went to California. I researched everything to make sure he would be safe and I’m glad to have him home.”
Since completing their performance on Little Big Shots, Star Power Cloggers were also featured on the June 25 segment of Live with Lee and Hayley, which airs on LEX18. The team was also the 2015 CCA champions, according to Long.
The episode of Little Big Shots, featuring the five-member Star Power Cloggers team, will air on NBC on July 12.