A friend asked me tonight, after reading something I wrote on Facebook, what shag dancing was. I started trying to write an explanation and then did a Google Search.
I found some amazing videos. They are all short, only two to three minutes, but delightful. Watch those feet! You'll be amazed. A picture is indeed worth a thousand words
Bob and I started taking ballroom dance lessons in 2001 and have continued to take weekly lessons since then. A couple of years ago, we also started taking Shag lessons. It is such a fun and happy dance and is one of the few things in life that always makes me feel young.
The Carolina Shag site gives a better description than I could write:
The Character of Shag:
proper character, shag is a smooth, graceful dance with an emphasis on
footwork rather than on turns. Unlike the jitterbug, shag does not have
bounce. Instead, it’s smooth and grounded. The old saying is that shag
is danced from the waist down. Shag emphasizes footwork patterns and in
particular, patterns that are matched between the two partners. These
matched steps are called mirror steps. The partners are typically
connected with one hand only, rarely with two hands as is common in
jitterbug. Historically, shag tended to spotlight the male dancer, but
this is starting to change.
The Carolina shag may be danced to classic “beach music” tunes such as “Carolina Girls,” “Under the Boardwalk,” and “I Love Beach Music,” or the Carolina shag may be danced to Motown and blues. Most shag music is interchangeable with west coast swing music. The music is normally blues style, written in 4/4 time.