Swing Discussion Boards > Carolina Shag

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

  1. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Hi Diavo. Welcome to the forums. :D

    All those hops look unfamiliar to me, but maybe one of our swing dancers can help you. In the meanwhile, I hope you enjoy yourself in the forums -- nice people, and interesting conversation. :wink: 8)
     
  2. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Thats Colligiate Shag (also known as Double Shag).
    It used to be real popular here in CA, but with the practical death of Hollywood Style, Colligate Shag is rarely seen. Most people out here opt for Balboa, Bal-Swing, Charleston, or just fast Lindy Hop.

    There are some people who still do it, but not even close to the numbers a few years ago.
     
  3. Diavo

    Diavo New Member

    Thanks P, I've been a lurker for a while and decided to register. I've been swing dancing since '98.
    The aforementioned "hops" I learned about 3 (4?! time flies) years ago in DC.

    --Diavo
     
  4. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Welcome Diavo!! Glad that you decided to stop lurking and join in the action!! :D
     
  5. Diavo

    Diavo New Member

    Thanks dnice, steps people posted in this post had be wondering. I'm on the East Coast (Baltimore/DC area) and if my regular partner & I start shagging everyone looks scandalized, it's great! :lol:

    --Diavo
     
  6. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Swing Kitten probably knows more, but I've done some beginners' collegiate shag classes and since she hasn't answered yet ... .

    Mostly, it's fast foot movement and moderate to slow body movement. We were told that when done right, onlookers should be able to see that you're doing something neat, but not quite be able to figure out the footwork.

    Six-count. Lead's steps, follow mirrors:
    1. Step left.
    2. Hop on left foot. Normally style by a small sweeping movement that "taps" the right toe behind the left heel.
    3 and 4 repeat 1 and 2 on the other side:
    3. Step right.
    4. Hop on right foot, sweeping "tap" left toe behind right heel.
    5 and 6 are "run - run":
    5. Step left. At the same time slide the right foot back.
    6. Step right. At the same time slide the left foot back.

    You hold the partner pretty much like in Balboa, chest-to-chest. It's mainly a body lead as in Balboa. There's a bit of a bounce, but we were being advised to try to smooth it out. Though I understand from another source ( http://www.streetswing.com/histmain/z3colgit.htm ) that collegiate dances tended to get rather bouncy and wild. And like the Balboa, it can be used as a "resting step" to fast music.

    Turns are done. Mainly we learned the woman's turn as a kind of apache done on the run-run. Also a side-by-side promenade. Other than that, many swing-type moves can be done.

    StreetSwing also discusses Shag at http://www.streetswing.com/histmain/z3shagco.htm .

    Our instructor says he'll teach us some St. Louis Shag soon.
     
  7. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Re: Shag -basic step

    Being strictly SoCal, my only exposure to Carolina Shag has been through "Shag: The Movie". But your description of the steps sounds very much like what somebody recently demonstrated as what he had learned as "East Coast Swing" -- and admittedly, as a beginner trying to remember steps he hadn't practiced in a while, he didn't do very well. My own ECS training is "rock-step, triple, triple" which seems just the most natural way of doing it, so I always pay attention when somebody presents a "weird" way like he did.

    Could it be that some teachers are taking Carolina Shag and presenting it as ECS?

    PS
    By way of introduction, I was a completely untrainable non-dancer for decades, started learning a few years ago with Salsa (discontinued for now), finally learned to hear the beat about 1.5 years ago while learning WCS (returning to it), and have been learning ECS and Lindy for the past year. I've learned a bit about various other dances along the way, but Lindy is my passion.
     
  8. jon

    jon Member

    Re: Shag -basic step

    Unlikely. You just happened to learn a different way. Most of the ECS teachers I've seen start on the slow/triple.
     
  9. Genesius Redux

    Genesius Redux New Member

    Re: Shag -basic step

    Thanks for the basics, everyone!

    In general, kick-ball-change can be substituted for a rock step in most swing variants, right? I tend to do it more when I'm in an open position with my partner.

    Questions: I'm having trouble figuring out the first triple. Did someone say that the girl mirrors the boy (sorry for old fashioned gender)? Does that mean that both people step forward? How do you avoid stepping on each other?

    I'm guess that the lead would have to come mostly from the arms, right? Can someone describe the lead?

    The second triple--just like an anchor step?
     
  10. jon

    jon Member

    Re: Shag -basic step

    By starting far enough apart. Shag is a slotted dance like WCS, but the connection is very different as you're moving in the opposite direction from your partner, rather than the same direction. So the connection doesn't have the tension/"away" nature of a WCS sugarpush.
     
  11. Genesius Redux

    Genesius Redux New Member

    Re: Shag -basic step

    Hey DWise1-

    Nice to meetcha!

    I learned ECS as triple-triple-rock; timing-wise it doesn't matter whether you start on the rock or the triple, since it's a 6 count basic, and you're going to be going on and off the phrase anyway. But lead-wise, I was also taught to release my hip as a pick-up into the first triple, which I originally learned as a side step to have it refined into a forward step later.

    It sounds like we're going the route of the mambo-salsa thread, in trying to figure out what makes a dance a coherent dance. If the motion back and forth is the same motion as ECS, then what makes the Shag a different dance? Or if it's more like WCS with the slotted movement, what again distinguishes Shag?

    I'd also heard the same thing about not spilling your beer applied to WCS, only there the analogy was to a mixed drink and a cigarette. Is the only difference in the kind of drinks you're holding? :wink:

    Definitely dazed and confused,

    Genesius
     
  12. Genesius Redux

    Genesius Redux New Member

    Re: Shag -basic step

    Oh--okay, thank you, Jon--that answers some of my questions in what I posted while you were posting this.

    Do you start with a two-hand hold? What happens to my upper body, especially as I move from the first triple to the anchor step? And what do I do with arms/elbows?
     
  13. jon

    jon Member

    Re: Shag -basic step

    Disclaimer: I don't really know much Shag despite having lived in Chapel Hill for a decade, the swing and shag communities didn't cross over much at the time.

    That said, there is a fairly standard Shag starter step and throwout from closed, but the basic is done in one-hand L-R hold. Shag upper body styling is (at least historically) relaxed and upright, most of the action happens below the waist with lots of fancy footwork for the advanced dancers. Free arms stay close to the body, the better not to spill your beer :)
     
  14. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Carolina Shag is not ECS. ECS has footwork that travels side to side or in place when in open position, and either side to side or forward and back in closed position. Carolina Shag's basic is always forward back regarldess of the position (as far as I know).

    In your basic open position Shag has little to no arm tension at all, the dancers move in towards each other and away in an "accordian" fashion.

    As to how you don't step on each other, it is more than just starting far enough apart, though that obviousely is a very important aspect. There is also frame. IF both partners have an engaged frame you'll find it very difficult to step on your partners feet.
     
  15. Genesius Redux

    Genesius Redux New Member

    Hey d nice! Loooooove your posts! Thank you!

    Okay--so if I think I'm getting the idea--you step into a slight in connection on the first triple and then push off into an away connection for the anchor step, then shift from a back to an in connection in the rock step or kick-ball-change? Is that right?

    It feels like there should be a lot less hip involved than in ECS? Again, a similarity to WCS?
     
  16. etchuck

    etchuck New Member

    Re: Shag -basic step

     
  17. jon

    jon Member

    Re: Shag -basic step

    It was never done in CH, way too many Damned Yankees there. Around 1997 when I left was when the swing dancers were starting to hang out a bit at Loafer's, and that's grown since there's a regular swing night there now. There was and AFAIK still is Shag periodically at the Longbranch and other venues too.

    Of course Loafer's typically had so few patrons that we wondered how they stayed in business - Mary Lou thought they were really a numbers-running front :)
     
  18. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Don't think of it as an anchor step... the further away you can get yourself from wcs terminology and methodology the easier it will be to do shag. Yes there are definitely some similarities, but wcs is generally taught using some serious absolutes that will mess you up if you bring them into another swing dance.

    There is the ever so slightest in connection on the first triple, and you just let it disolve away in the second triple, turning into the slightest out connection on the step-step. The idea is that the hand is on a post and that you should be able to dance with your partner with your hands just touching each other, no actual "grip" being used... a little hard to describe correctly through words, but easy to demonstrate.
     
  19. Genesius Redux

    Genesius Redux New Member

    Thanks D Nice! I've got kind of an idea from your description--I guess I'll have to find someone who knows the dance to really show me! 8)
     
  20. HepcatBob

    HepcatBob New Member

    Re: Shag -basic step

    Mixed drinks and cigarettes are allowed in Carolina shag as well.
    :cheers:
     

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