I have such immense respect for those who to effortlessly do things that you know take a lot of effort. People like figure skaters and dancers.
People like this young couple, Caleb Brown and Myers Varn Floyd. Watching these two dancers do the Carolina shag dance is like watching figure skaters glide across the ice with incredible grace and poise.
What is the Carolina shag dance?
That was my first question when I saw this dance. Watchers were commenting on how nice it was to see young people shag dancing, and I have to admit to thinking, um, what? That sounds like something you need to shield your kid’s eyes from seeing.
But no, according to Wikipedia:
“The basic step in Carolina Shag is a six-count, eight-step pattern danced in a slot. The rhythm is similar to six-count Swing in that it is triple step, triple step, rock step or counted as “one-and-two, three-and-four, five-six”. Eight shag dance steps are in the basic pattern. The “one-and-two” and “three-and-four” steps should take about as much time to complete as the “five-six.””
For those of you who are dancers, all that might mean something, so I added it. But I have to admit to being as clueless as I was before reading it.
I have heard of the Jitterbug though, and Wikipedia does go on to say,
“The Carolina shag is a descendant of Carolina Jitterbug…”
Some interesting facts about the shag dance.
Obviously, this dance is a partner dance. The type of music that it is danced to is called Beach music, and if you are from the South you probably know what this is. For the rest of us, this is a regional genre of music specific to communities in the areas of Myrtle Beach, Carolina Beach, and the Golden Isles Georgia.
The origins of Beach music can be found in the rock, R&B, and pop music that was common in the 50s and 60s. In fact, Beach music played a large part in pushing a wider acceptance of R&B music to the white population across the states.
Into the 2000s the Carolina shag saw something of a revival.
Southern Living Magazine had this to say,
At the height of its popularity, the Shag wasn’t known particularly as a classy, traditional dance; but its recent revival has an air of tradition, while not succumbing to seeming stuffy. It’s a quick, fun, and very social dance, which is what makes it the perfect dance to know for a party.”
The dance has become so popular, it is now a recognized dance in both national and international dance competitions across the United States. The video linked below is from the 2017 Grand Nationals competition in Atlanta, Georgia. And their performance is stunning.
Both Brown and Floyd are from the coastal regions of the Carolinas, so it’s likely they grew up to both Beach music and the shag.
Brown is also known for spending several years as a cheerleader with the Carolina panthers cheer squad.
The video linked below has been viewed more than 2,200,000 times, and there may be a few reasons for this. One, because of the renewed interest in shag dancing or two, the fact that the performance these to put on is nothing short of miraculous.
As you watch the video, you’ll perhaps get a glimpse into why this dance has seen such a return to popularity.
Interestingly, in the Pro-Am division, one dancer is typically an amateur, and in this case, that would mean that Brown likely is. However, as he leads the couple in the dance, you would never guess it.
If you love watching them, there are many videos available of Floyd dancing, but now of this couple specifically. And we don’t know if either of them is still dancing competitively.
But with moves like this, you can bet they’re still dancing for the sheer love of it!
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