The Lowcountry lifestyle is undoubtedly one that is laid back and fun. Sunshine, sandy beaches and steamy nights under a moonlit sky are images that become part of the memory bank of all visitors to the South Carolina Coast. For those who are fortunate enough to be permanent residents the fabric of those memories represent daily living. With that in mind, is it any wonder that the state of South Carolina has an official state dance called the Carolina Shag. The 105th Session of the South Carolina General Assembly saw to that back in 1984 when the Shag, a version of swing dancing that originated on the boardwalks and beach side pavillions of Coastal South Carolina back in the 1930's, was established as the official state dance. The Shag, with it's nimble footwork danced to an upbeat style of rythym and blues known as beach music, is enjoyed by people of all ages which accounts for it's popularity and longevity, I mean doesn't it make sense, after all, who doesn't enjoy building sandcastles on the beach?
This past weekend my wife and I decided to head out to the Summerville Country Club Candlelight Pavillion and dance the night away with Mark Roberts and The Breeze. Charleston has several organized groups or "shag clubs" that sponsor dances that are open to the public. The Summerville Shaggers Shag Club uses the Candlelight Pavillion at the golf club in Summerville as a venue not only for their large dance events but they also provide free Shag lessons weekly every Monday, beginning at 6pm for Juniors, basic instruction at 7pm and advanced instruction at 730pm. Did you get that? I said FREE Lessons.
What a great way to get together with friends and neighbors for a fun and energetic evening. The nice thing about the Shag, even if you aren't a great dancer the basic steps are really pretty simple to master and hanging out around the dance floor sipping a cool beverage and enjoying some great beach music provides you the perfect opportunity to be inspired by the master shaggers who seem to dance every dance.
The Charleston Parks and Recreations sponsors a weekly Moonlight Mixer, Shaggin on the Pier at the Folly Beach Pier every Friday night during the summer months. So, get out there and start improving your steps and then hit the dance floor for The Official Dance of South Carolina, The Shag.