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So you think you can shag?
Instructor says it's easy and fun

By Heather Sanders
Wednesday, October 3, 2007


John Carpenter and Robin Morley demonstrate the basic steps of shag while their students watch on and keep time at the first lesson. 
Heather Sanders (The News Herald)

Morganton - Some, including Jim Tyner, came because their wives made them.
Others, Will Sloan was one of them, just wanted to brush up on their steps.
Two, Alexa Little and John Eskridge, came to make their senior project more fun.
No matter their reason, a variety of people take shag lessons at the Elks Lodge in Morganton.
Robin Morley and John Carpenter, members of the Sandy Beach Shag Club, teach the class.
For $20, students get four lessons.
The first lessons focus on the basic steps. Morley said the whole dance, even the more advanced moves, are based on those six steps.
Traditionally, the man leads the dance, but more and more, women are taking the lead, Morley said.
If shagging makes you think of the beach, there’s a good reason. It originated in North Myrtle Beach, and, along with clogging, is the state dance.
Popular shag songs are “Shaggin’ on the Boulevard” and “This Old Heart of Mine.” At the right tempo, dancers can shag to some R&B songs.
Shag, which is a spin-off of the jitterbug and swing, isn’t hard to learn, Morley said.
Many husbands whose wives drag them to lessons are reluctant, at first.
“Once they realize it’s not difficult, they have a lot of fun,” Morley said.
Singles don’t have to worry about finding a partner and the lessons are a great opportunity to meet new people, Morley said.
More than just dancing, shag lessons offer a popular social gathering, she said.
“Since we’ve had ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ we have a lot more people wanting to dance,” she said.
Little, a Freedom High School student, has wanted to dance for a long time.
She chose shag for her senior project because it’s not a dance many teens hear about.
Eskridge, also a Freedom senior, chose the dance for his project so he can make an impression on dance floors at weddings.




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