Smooth and easy—that’s what the Shag is all about. The pride of the Carolinas, the Shag (or the Carolina Shag) became popular during the big band era of the late 1930s. Born on the shores of North Myrtle Beach, the Shag is South Carolina’s official state dance. This easy-going dance is a slower version of the jitterbug (also called swing). If you love moving to beach music, old Motown, R&B, oldies, country, top 40, and disco, then the Shag may be just the dance for you.
The Shag is a great dance for beginners. There are no bouncing steps; it is very smooth and graceful. This is a couple’s dance, and partners reflect each other’s moves (called mirror steps). A dancer’s forward and backward movements are like a swinging pendulum. Since the lower body does most of the work, it is often said that the Shag is danced from the waist down. The weight is on the balls of the feet, instead of the heels. Because they shuffle their feet across the floor, Shag dancers need to wear leather-bottomed shoes (flats are preferred for women). If this video doesn’t make you want to get up and dance, we don’t know what will!
You can learn Shag dancing at the Arthur Murray Dance Studios in Charlotte and Lake Norman, NC. Schedule a lesson today with one of their professional instructors and find out why the Shag is so loved in the Carolinas.
Find out what dance is the official dance of your home town state!