Swing Discussion Boards > Carolina Shag

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by pygmalion, Feb 1, 2004.

  1. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    What is it? Does anybody here do it? All I've heard is that it's "weird." A direct quote, LOL. I've also observed that some people love it deeply. What's the deal with shag?
  2. suek

    suek New Member

    Carolina Shag is weird. And it's danced to the best freaking music. They call it beach music. Don't understand the category name, but here are a few sample titles: Chain Gang, Otis Redding; HuckleBuck, Otis Redding; Shake Rattle And Roll, Joe Turner; Shake Your Money-Maker, Paul Butterfield Blues Band; Lonely teardrops, Jackie Wilson; grass shackin; Juke, Little Walter; Bright Lights Big City, Jimmy Walker; Trickle Trickle, Breeze; Ruby Ruby, Drifters It's a mix of R&B and Blues. I love it.

    The dance is strange. More arm lead than body lead. Interesting footwork. I understand my class may be one of the only groups doing this dance on the west coast...great! Another dance I'm doing that no one else knows.

    How did this happen? I'm studying Balboa and Carolina Shag and I live in a town with about 2.5 leads for each. Lucky me.
  3. Swing Kitten

    Swing Kitten New Member

    I've wanted to learn some shag (Carolina or Collegiate) but didn't get to it during my brief visit back home.
  4. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Suek: If that's the music, I've gotta learn this dance.

    and Swing Kitten: What is collegiate shag?
  5. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Well I'm always willing to learn. :) I am getting the moonwalk as it was described in another thread today, and am available to learn something else as well. Any websites with free video clips that show the moves, or ones that describe the basic moves? By the way I learnt a little balboa last year. Must try and remember what I learnt, and practice it before I forget!!!

    Suek. You are talked about following. Do you do leading as well? If so, how much following and how much leading do you do? (I don't know why but this topic has a certain fascination with me? [shrug])
  6. suek

    suek New Member

    Sagitta, I lead a (very) little. It seems like now is the time for me to learn more leading, as it's part of the training for world-class follows. I lead a little balboa and beginning lindy. And every second I spend as a leader makes me understand following better. Not only that, it makes me want to apologize for being heavy and hard to lead and adds to my resolve to never ever do that again.
  7. jon

    jon Member

    It's an swing dance variant developed in the Carolinas and practiced mostly in the Southeast, to aforementioned music. A few years ago there was a good deal of crossover between WCS and Shag.

    For a gentle introduction you could go to the Atlanta Grand Nationals in May - it's by far the biggest WCS/Shag crossover event. Of course they have their own events including SOS at Myrtle Beach.

    If you are not very tolerant of smoke, be careful in attending pure-Shag events, as heavy smoking is much more common in that population than among WCS and Lindy dancers.
  8. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the warning!! That's it! No pure shag events for me then!!
  9. HepcatBob

    HepcatBob New Member

    Don't forget:

    The Drifters
    The Coasters
    The Tams
    General Johnson
    etc., ad nauseum

    I grew up and still live in NC. There are clubs around here that do nothing but Carolina Shag. It's sickening!
  10. HepcatBob

    HepcatBob New Member

    Triple step forward,
    Triple step back,

    And remember, it's all done from the waist down. Your upper body doesn't move. That's so you don't spill your beer while your dancing.
  11. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member


    Can you explain that, please, in further detail?
  12. redhead

    redhead New Member

  13. Jmatthew

    Jmatthew New Member

    kick ball change is:

    jazz kick forward (left foot)
    step (left foot)
    step (right foot)

    in the timing of a triple step.
    I think you can do it on either foot. I generally do it left-left-right (as a lead). I've gotten into the bad habit of doing it more than I do actual triple steps, something I need to work on.
  14. HepcatBob

    HepcatBob New Member

    Oh, yeah. The shag clubs can be good for a Lindy Bomb. My g/f and I do it occasionally.
  15. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Hi HepcatBob!

    Sorry I missed your shag posts. That sounds like a fun and fairly easy dance to try. Cool. I already have the kick-ball-change. I like to pop that into my ECS and WCS for fun. (Amazing how hard some people find it to do kick-ball-change *shrug*)
    So it should be relatively simple to get started with shag. And any dance you can do without spilling your beer, is a good dance, in my book. LOL.
  16. LindyKeya

    LindyKeya Member

    As has been mentioned, Carolina Shag is quite similar to WCS. I haven't been dancing much of either lately, and I can't really separate them in my head at the moment. Although the basic step is different, the feeling is fundamentally the same (at least in one's legs... leads/frame for the two are more different, as I understand it).
    Disclaimer: I don't know much Carolina Shag, so I could be wrong here!
  17. HepcatBob

    HepcatBob New Member

    Oh, you didn't miss 'em by much. Besides, they're not goin' anywhere. :wink: :wink:

    JMatthew, thanks for the kick-ball-change explanation.
  18. Sockhopper

    Sockhopper New Member

    Shag -basic step

    Jackie & Charlie Womble, national Carolina Shag winners repeatedly, teach Shag's 6-count basic thus:
    -triple (forward-together-back)
    -triple (back-forward-back)

    Their 'Basics Plus' tape has about 20 moves on it. It's great teaching and excellent value. You really need to see Shag danced: trying to learn from the step pattern I or anyone printd online won't give you a picture of what Shag looks or feels like. I know - I've been there! It was a waste of time that I could have spent learning it for real, for little money.

    I came into Carolina Shag from Lindy, WCS and Hustle. Shag feels and looks completely different from those dances. It's good for rock-and-roll music, some soul, or any pop music that's too fast to WCS to and doesn't really swing (eg. music for Lindy). But people also dance Shag slow.

    BTW, Carolina Shag is a different dance from St.Louis Shag. Most people who say they do Shag mean that from Carolina. If you dance Lindy or WCS, it's not hard to learn. With the caveat that it takes some getting used to the posture (the fact you don't use your upper body or your hips; it's all legs and feet with no zero hip action). The arm position (the post) is steady throughout and must be maintained for the basic step (above) to do what it's intended to do.

    Good luck with learning!
  19. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Cool, Sockhopper! 8) And thanks. :D
  20. Diavo

    Diavo New Member

    Hi, I'm curious as to what I'm about to explain actually is. By way of background, Tom Koerner (in DC) taught me this at a dance and said it was a Shag for very fast music. Now that I've seen www.jump.i.am it looks like their "Jump Feet".

    hop left
    hop left
    hop right
    hop right
    hop left
    hop right


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