Wedding receptions are usually where we see fathers dance with their daughters. It’s a sight that leaves everyone teary eyed. There’s just an unspeakable beauty to the moment. A daddy daughter dance is a rare sight. Until you see the Wests.
Sam West and Sydney Kemble West aren’t just champion dance partners.
Yes, you guessed it right, they’re actually father and daughter! Myrtle Beach played host to the 2020 National Shag Dance Championships (NSDC) and the duo wowed judges while dancing to a version of “Stand By Me.”
A talent for dancing certainly runs in the West family.
Sam began learning the Shag at the young age of nine, and through the years he’s racked up many titles and awards. He’s also been named the Overall Champion of the NSDC many times over the years, including in 1995 with his sister (and dance partner) Sarah. Sam’s also brought home multiple titles dancing with his wife Lisa.
As a team, they’ve been instructing and spreading their passion for Shag around the U.S., and have put on workshops in other countries as well.
It’s not surprising that Sydney is also a champion dancer in the style of Shag. It runs in the blood!
She and her father were named the Professional Division’s first-place winners at the NSDC.
Sam and Sydney took the dance floor to compete in the Professional Division.
Once Eric Marienthal’s jazz rendition of “Stand by me” fills the room, dad and daughter’s feet begin to glide and their skills come out. They move as smooth as silk with every step. Those spins were surely rehearsed but you can tell that it comes naturally as well.
It’s a dance that pulls on your heartstrings.
It’s not too often you get to watch a dad dance so beautifully with his daughter. But add a little “Stand By Me” to the equation, and it makes it even sweeter. One viewer admitted he even got teary watching the two together. He wrote:
“I know Sam has to be so proud to have danced with his daughter in the Nationals and they will have special memories that they will NEVER forget. While I was watching the video my eyes were leaking.”
The NSDC has been established since 1984 and it takes place every year in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. According to its website, NSDC is the “longest continuously running” Shag competition in America with 2020 being their 37th contest.
Shag is actually the official state dance of South Carolina!
Sam and Sydney put on a spectacular show of Shag that even the audience had a great time!
First-place winners in the Professional Division AND also as the Overall Champions of the contest. How amazing is that? While the experience must have been unforgettable for the pair, they also went home as champions! Family time really is gold!
You can watch Sam and Sydney’s stunning dance for yourself below!
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