A little history of Shag

If you are from the South, and you do swing dance, you do the Carolina Shag. It is THE swing dance of the south. Moreover, Shag is imbibed with a certain mystique. As one old-timer describes it, "Shag is a warm night with a cold beer and a hot date."
The shag originated in the late 1930's in clubs in Myrtle Beach, SC. Early Shaggers called themselves "Jitterbugs." The early swing music was fast, big band swing. The term "Shag" came about over a decade later. By the early '50s, shag adopted the tempo and feel of rhythm and blues. Shag has gained such a following that it is now the Official State Dance of South Carolina.
The roots of shag can be found in the cross-pollination of black music and club dancers in Myrtle Beach with the natural openness of a fun-loving and carefree group of '40s white teenagers. The racially myopic mainstream radio stations of the '40s South did not play black music. The kids had flock to the beaches to hear it on jukeboxes.
Shag emphasizes grace and smoothness over turns and athleticism. Unlike free style and hip hop dancing, shag is "danced from the waist down."
But most of all Shaggin' is a life-style, a way of life, and a life-time of memories.



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