The early Shaggers called themselves "Jitterbugs" and today we sometimes
describe this dance as a "slow southern jitterbug".
Shag is a swing dance similiar in some ways to both the East Coast and West Coast
Swing. The footwork is the same timing as the East Coast Swing : triple step, triple
step, and rock step and it is danced in a slot like the West Coast Swing. Shag
emphasizes grace and smoothness over turns and athleticism, unlike freestyle or
hip-hop dancing. Shag is danced from the waist down and is a great dance for lead
and follow: the lead usually does some fancy footwork that is mirrored by the follow.
But Shag is much more than a style of swing dancing, it is a way of life for people
from Clarksburg, WV to Florida. True seasoned Shaggers take pride in adopting their
own versions of the dance, each being distinctive and smooth. Using the balls of their
feet and small steps, Shaggers manage to perform this very "cool" style of dance to
|History of Shag
The shag, now the Official State Dance of South
Carolina, originated in the late 30's in Myrtle Beach.
Shag developed from the cross pollination of black
music, club dances, and the fly-by-the-seat
of their pants attitudes of the 1940 teenagers who gathered at the Pavillion at