A Description of Shag Dance
This is a 6 beat form of dancing that would be similar to the 6 beat forms of Retro Swing we see today using [Step Step] [Kick Step] [Kick Step] types of step patterns.
Shag Dance Music
Two bands stand out when talking about shag: the Chairmen of the Board and the Tams. You may know the first band from their 1970 hit "Give Me Just A Little More Time" and the latter from their 1962 hit "What Kind Of Fool Do You Think I Am" (later covered by Bill Deal and the Rhondells in a more uptempo version that's also prized amongst the faithful). This kind of slow and sexy soul set the stage for the shag music genre, but other later (and earlier!) hits also qualify.
History of Shag Dance
Ground zero for the shag phenomenon has always been Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where "jitterbugs" swing-danced at open-air beach parties during the Thirties and Forties. This was one of the first examples of African-American culture bleeding over into the mainstream: white college kids would routinely visit racially segregated dances, pick up the moves, and bring them back to the beach. In addition, these kids pushed hard for local radio stations to play rhythm and blues as soundtrack for their party, creating a movement so sturdy that there are still radio stations in the Carolinas with "beach music" playlists. Billy Jeffers and "Chicken" Hicks are two of the main shaggers credited with developing the dances we know now, helping to slow down the tempo of the original jitterbug and incorporate sexier, looser movements into it. The phenomenon faded in the Seventies, enjoyed an early-Eighties renaissance, faltered again slightly when clubs began restricting those under 21, and flourished again in the Nineties. Today, shag is an established segment of Southern culture. Indeed, the basic dance is now the official dance of the state of South Carolina.
Common Beginner's Mistakes
Common Intermediate Mistakes:
Common Advanced Mistakes:
Click Here for the Collegiate Shag Wikipedia Article
Click Here for the St. Louis Shag Wikipedia Article