What Is Shag Dance? Origins & Steps

Shag Dance Origins

People believe the first time they witnessed the Shag dance was many years ago, on one of the beautiful beaches in South Carolina. 

In the 1940s, “beach music” was a trend among the younger generations, and it was rare to see Shag absent when these songs played.

The rising of the Shag dance led to many dancers gaining fame, their influence enticed the communities even further. 

Some great examples are Billy Jeffers, “Chicken” Hicks, or “Big” George Linberry. They also added a modern touch to the dance and made it more approachable for more people.

Shag eventually expanded beyond the beaches and made its name known across the whole country after the appearance of beach clubs, where the youths could sneak in and dance the night off.

At last, the Shag dance – “swing dance of the South” – became a phenomenon and an icon of excitement, rather than a mere dance to break the ice.

Check more: What Is Milly Rock Dance?

Shag Dance Steps

Despite being a popular dance for a big gathering, the essence of Shag is a man and a woman dancing while facing each other.

  1. When the male dancer steps his left foot forward, the female dancer needs to put her right foot forth as well. They both will switch sides after and repeat the move with their other foot.
  2. Imitate the move but step backward. So the man’s left foot and the woman’s right foot would be at their first position again.
  3. Put the other foot behind and let the weight rest on the front foot without inching back or forth before shifting it back.
  4. Pull the front foot back so both feet are parallel.

Once you get the steps above right, it’s time to repeat everything on the opposite side. 

Adding your creativity to the movements is completely encouraged too. For example, the male can twirl his partner in his arms or move around her for a playful vibe.

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