Myrtle Beach, North Carolina, South Carolina, Southern Tidbits

More About the “Shag” Dance

The Shag–The Official Dance of  South Carolina

Carolina Shag is the state dance of South Carolina. The state bill was introduced in 1984 by representative “Bubber” Snow, and signed by governor Dick Riley. The General Assembly by Act No. 329, 1984, designated the Shag as the official dance of the State.  ( – The official homepage for the Association of Carolina Shag Clubs.)

The original Carolina Shag is said to have originated in Atlantic Beach area, But most agree on the modern form of the dance being danced in the Myrtle Beach area (The Pavilion?) in the mid 1940s (WWII) when the R&B bands were playing the beaches and the clubs, the music slowed down considerably and the dancers, the music and the times changed the dance up to its current look and feel.

The roots of shag can be found in the cross-pollination of black music and club dancers in Myrtle Beach with the natural openness of a fun-loving and carefree group of ’40s white teenagers. The racially myopic mainstream radio stations of the ’40s South did not play black music. The kids had flock to the beaches to hear it on jukeboxes. Dancing on the beach (sand) helped change this dance as well, where it gets its nickname “Beach Dancing” and/or “Beach Music.”

The Shag, one of the great developments of terpsichorean culture and native to South Carolina, is performed to music known as rhythm and blues. Both the music and dance are structured on time signature and can be performed to almost any tempo, as long as the basic step is maintained and kept in time to the music.  (Source:

 Check out readers’ comments pm previous post “Where Did the Shag Originate.”

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