What's Happening
in the Shag World


What's Happening
at the Beach

 

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“IT STARTED WITH A KISS”
 
By Gary Mitchell, Past President
Charleston Area Shag Society

     The song “IT STARTED WITH A KISS” by “Hot Chocolate” was one of the first songs our group danced to when we began learning the “SHAG” in 1996 and had special meaning to Sheri Moore at that time.  Those words had a direct influence on the beginning of the Charleston Area Shag Society.  

The story goes like this:

Sheri was big into country dancing in ’96 and her son, Tim, was playing in a country band at the El Paso Club in St. Albans.  While there in March of ’96, she met a guy from North Carolina by the name of Kyle Roberts who was visiting family here in West Virginia.  They danced several times and hit it off so well that they started dating and Kyle offered to teach Sheri the Carolina Shag so that when Sheri visited him in North Carolina, they could dance.  After several lessons, they would “shag” to country songs that had a Shag beat.  Other country dancers watched them and immediately wanted to learn the new dance.  

So with that, lessons began at the El Paso and were later moved to the Atlantis in Charleston, where 30 or 40 new dancers learned the “Shag”.  

The lessons lasted for several months and in 1997, Sheri decided to see if there was enough interest to form a Shag Club?.....THERE WAS!  

With the help of Roy and Linda Smith, we were introduced to the only Shag Club in West Virginia-----the Beckley Area Shag Club.  Several members from Beckley (Freddie and Becky Legg, Tammy and Mel Hancock, Karen Callahan, Charlie Cline, Jim Hern, Tom and Janie Chips and many more) helped us form and teach during 1997 and Beckley became our “Sister Club” when we applied for membership to the Association of Carolina Shag Clubs (ACSC).  

After the mandatory waiting period we became a full member in 1998 and the rest is history.  We have grown from that few at the El Paso to over a hundred members now.  

So, in looking back, I wonder, if Sheri had not met Kyle and kissed him in 1996, would we be Shag dancing today???????  

Reba and I both love the music and the people we have met through these dances and always look forward to our next lesson, dance or party wherever it takes us.  We have seen other members like ourselves meet and form long lasting friendships from the Shag dance association.  What FUN !!!  

Thanks Sheri for the lessons and involvement in our Club.  
SHAG IS A WAY OF LIFE !!!   


WHAT IS “SHAG” ?????

Taken from “Shag from the Beginning”
By Kevin Twohig

Carolina Shag grew out of the Lindy Hop and its local cousin, the Big Apple.  In its early form, Carolina Shag was called Fast Dancing and the dancers were referred to as “Jitterbuggers” and in some cases “Beach Cats”.  

While some differ as to its actual birthplace, most historians believe it as Myrtle Beach, SC in the mid
1940’s.  With that said, however, the dances grew, due in large part, to the ocean front pavilions located at nearly every beach along the Grand Strand of South Carolina and the Crystal Coast of North Carolina.  The dance grew off the coast and into the inland cities of Carolinas.  Like many forms of dancing, each beach or city had their own distinct Shag look.  

The dance smoothed out and continued to refine during the 50’s, as the music changed to Motown.  In the Carolinas, local radio stations began hosting  R&B shows and local “beach bands” were playing to local audiences throughout the south.  

The invasion of Rock & Roll and Disco in the 60’s and 70’s hindered the spread of Shag but it re-emerged with the organization of the competitive shagging and the Shag Preservation Associations.  In 1977, Beach Music and Shag hit another growth with the Embers releasing the song, “I Love Beach Music”.  

In 1980, the Society of Stranders was organized as a reunion of “beach bums’ and later would foster the growth of Shag and Beach music.   Today, SOS is a corporation owned by Shag Clubs and hold gatherings three times a year at North Myrtle Beach.   YOU JUST GOTTO GO !!!!!!!!!