Since 1984 the Carolina Shag has been South Carolina’s state dance. The Carolina Shag has deep history in South Carolina. The Junior Shag Dance Team is a nonprofit organization created with the intent to keep young dancers to keep the Carolina Shag relevant.
Take a look at the Junior Shag Dance Team competing at the USA Grand Nationals Dance Championships. These dancers are amazing!
The Carolina Shag was created in beach towns along the coast of South and North Carolina in the early 20th century. The modern Carolina Shag has widely evolved from its origins.
The original Carolina Shag, “originated at Myrtle Beach in So. Carolina in the 1930’s, when back then, the dance was originally a mix of the Charleston and Collegiate Shag …with some of the original basic steps being called the: Cuban Step, Shuffle, Twinkle, etc.”
The Carolina Shag was known as beach dancing in the very beginning.
That is because, “There were many beach club pavilions sporting dilapidated outsides and wooden dance floors where teenagers would sneak off and dance the night away. Probably the most famous of all of these dance clubs was the Pad in Myrtle Beach, S.C. In its prime, the shag became more than just a dance; it was a social phenomenon, with teenagers from all over the Carolinas drawn to its image of daring and excitement.”
The popularity of the Carolina Shag started to decline during the 1960s but began a revival in the 1970s.
Since the 1970s revival the Carolina Shag has evolved into the current modern Carolina Shag.
The modern Carolina Shag is, “a slotted East Coast Swing style dance with a splash of the West Coast Swing slot or a kind of slotted east coast swing, including both 6 and 8 count patterns. The “Shag” consists mainly of fancy footwork by the leader, with the follower matching the leader’s footwork occasionally.”
The dancers on the Junior Shag Dance Team have a modern Carolina Shag routine that was choreographed to the Sam Cooke classic “Unchained Melody.” The Junior Shag Dance Team is comprised of dancers between the ages of 12 and 17 from all over the states of North and South Carolina.
These dancers have the shag moves and are ready to show them off.
The dance starts off slow as the dance teams becomes partnered off with their dance partner. While the dance is done with a partner, each dance duo is doing the exact same steps.
The dancers are able to show off to the crowd their quick footwork even during a slow section of their routine.
It is halfway during the routine that the dancers become close as a group and as partners. The duos start to dance cheek to cheek and it seems as if the routine is going to end, but it is only half way done! The dancers switch partners and that is not all they switch, the switch up the tempo as well.
The song becomes livelier and so do the dance moves.
The footwork was quick from the very beginning but once the song picks up, so do their feet.
These dancers know how to move, and they are loving every second.
The smiles on the dancers’ face are huge as they really get to showcase how fun dancing the Carolina Shag can be.
The crowd is loving the performance as they clap and roar to the upbeat moves.
This is how the Carolina Shag became so popular as “beach dancing” because it is a fun dance to watch and perform.
Once the dancers start moving, they cannot stop!
Their performance is met with a well-deserved standing ovation.
Watch the Junior Shag Dance Team’s full performance right below!
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