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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Dance your heart away: SHAG!

Summer time, open-air beach parties, warm nights, cold beer and a hot date! With or without the beer, that was the era of the Carolina shag. An outdoor pavilion with the roar of the ocean waves in the background set the stage to dance your heart away hand-in-hand with your favorite gal or beau.

The roots of the shag are grounded in a cross-pollination of black soul music and club dancers in Myrtle Beach, SC with fun-loving carefree 40s white teenagers. The radio stations of the 40s did not broadcast black music so the kids had to flock to the beaches to play the music on jukeboxes.

Having been grounded in the 40s, the shag became THE dance of the 50s. 

There is, however, evidence those roots were possibly established well before the 40s. Even as far back as colonial times lies evidence of slaves dancing aboard slave ships for exercise. Not to be outdone, the white sailors began to show off their own moves. This resulted in yet another cross-blending that eventually led to the Lindy Hop, a type of swing dance. Onward into the early twentieth century evidences the jitterbug associated with various types of swing dances, including the Lindy.

A bit of evolution...

"The Lindy Hop was performed by young kids in the twenties, jitterbug in the thirties, swing in the forties, and rock and roll/​bebop/​Carolina shag in the fifties. In the sixties, young kids broke away and danced animal caricature dances; in the seventies they danced the hustle.” Each of these dances is characterized by a unique set of moves that are suited to the music of the period. “The music of the seventies lent itself to the development of the hustle just as the music of the twenties lent itself to the development of the Lindy Hop."
So what makes the Shag the Shag? It's all in the moves...slowing down the original tempo of the jitterbug and incorporating sexier, looser movement.

Let's Shag!

 Compare to the Jitterbug!

 Are you ready? Dance your heart away!

And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...

Related Articles: 

The Evolution of the Shag

Swing, lindy, jitterbug, shag, and hand-dancing

Carolina Shag History

The History of the Shag