Ninety-four-year-old Bonnie Jedlund is having fun clogging with friends in Webster

Priscilla Bauer
The Webster cloggers goofed for the camera after their class. Front (left to right): Students Cheryl Chelmo, Bonnie Jed- lund, Bonnie Dahlstrom, Karen Walker, and instructor Sheryl Baker. Back: Students Karen Thompson, Chris Wynn, Jeanette Harder, Dawn Fern, Terri Elfstrom and Yvonne Fair.
WEBSTER – Bonnie Jedlund is a woman of that generation, we all know the one, and people of it. They are the folks who just keep going, living life
to its fullest.
Though they may be in their 80s and 90s their energy and enthusiasm for growing and learning hasn’t seemed to have waned over the years.
You can find them boogying off to book clubs, clamoring to do crafting and quilting, biking, hiking and running around the town, voraciously volunteering, exuberantly acting in community theater, just to name a few of the activities satisfying their desire to discover new opportunities for fun and adventure.
Ninety-four-year-old Jedlund is a prime example of that group, with her young-at-heart attitude. Ever active in her community, she sports the expression of a woman who is up for it all.
And one activity Jedlund is definitely up for is clogging.
Clogging is an authentic form of American folk dance. The dancer’s footwear (which does not involve wooden shoes, but, instead, shoes which could be used much like a tap shoe) is used to strike the heel, the toe, or both against a floor or each other to create audible rhythms.
Jedlund’s start in clogging began 10 years ago. After talking to her family for a while about wanting to learn to clog, one day her son Steve presented her with a pair of clogging shoes, remarking, “Put your feet where your mouth is.”
And so, equipped with the proper performing footwear, Jedlund found a clogging class to take while on vacation in Arizona.
Clogging so captivated her, once back home in Webster Jedlund sought out friends to interest them in giving clogging a try.
After finding out Sheryl Baker was teaching clogging classes in Frederic and St. Croix Falls, Jedlund and friends Bonnie Dahlstrom, Chris Wynn, Cheryl Chelmo and Jeanette Harder traveled to St. Croix
Falls for her classes for a number of years.
“Bonnie Dahlstrom and Bonnie Jedlund had traveled to St. Croix Falls to take my classes and worked very hard to get me up in Webster to teach classes,” commented Baker.
Since then Jedlund’s original group of recruits, Dahlstrom, Chelmo, Wynn and Harder, have continued to clog together and have been joined by some 10 other women, meeting once a week for class with Baker at the Webster Community Center.
Baker, who has been dancing for 33 years (32 of those also instructing), teaches shuffle clogging, buck dancing and Canadian step dancing as well as traditional mountain figures and some flatfooting.
“I demonstrate to the Webster group all three styles but mainly I teach shuffle clogging to my recreational dancers,” explained Baker.
When Jedlund is asked what it is about clogging she loves, a broad smile crosses her face. Her answer is simple: “Because it’s fun, and it’s good exercise.”
Baker, herself a woman full of energy and enthusiasm for her art, has only admiration for her student’s spirit.
“Bonnie Jedlund is someone who inspires you to be your personal best! Her zest for living life to its fullest is very meaningful and she is a great role model for all adults! She enjoys many activities and social outings and is a selfless citizen that gives way more than she receives! I can only hope to be the woman she is as I age! Bonnie is amazing!”
Dahlstrom and Chelmo agree.
“I admire Bonnie so much. She inspires everyone with her positive attitude. There is no holding her back,” expressed Dahlstrom of her friend’s vitality for life. ”She’s like the Energizer Bunny. She can do circles around people 20 years younger than her.”

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