Ocean Islanders Shag Club promotes the Carolina shag, the official dance of the Carolinas, with monthly dances in Calabash.
By Frederick Walton
Longtime local residents know that the Carolina shag has a deep-rooted history in North Carolina. In fact, it was proclaimed the official N.C. state popular dance in 2005. With many people from out of state visiting or relocating here, the Ocean Islanders Shag Cub has made it a priority to introduce this fun and easy-to-learn dance to newcomers and share the fun with experienced shaggers.
If you visited these beaches during the swinging ’60s, you saw lots of youngsters shag dancing to popular beach music.
Many of those youngsters are still shagging, but they are now in their 60s! (or 70s or 80s!) Age is not a defining factor. The Ocean Islanders Shag Club welcomes members and guests of all ages, including younger people, to join in the fun and dance to some great beach music — both classics and new releases.
Forty-five members and guests gathered at the Calabash VFW on June 18 for just such an evening of fun, socializing and dancing to the music played by D.J. Darrell Gaither.
One of the guests commented to President Gary Matthews, “You guys really know how to have fun!”
The night included great music, a spacious dance floor, delicious food supplied by the members, a cash bar, tables for socializing and, most importantly, welcoming members who are there to have fun. Even though some of the members have been dancing for years and years (and it shows), there were plenty of beginners.
“There are no shag police here,” quipped Vice President Rick Walton. “If you are a good dancer, people admire you; but if you are a new dancer, like me, people are happy to help you, if you want help. There is no pressure and with the great beat of the music, it’s hard not to dance!”
The club held beginner and intermediate classes last spring, introducing dozens of new dancers to shag dancing.
They are planning classes again in the fall as part of their mission to introduce new shag dancers to the dance of the Carolinas.
Want to dance?
Ocean Islanders Shag Club
All future dances will be held on the second Saturday of every month at the Calabash VFW, 900 Carter Drive SW in Calabash, from 6:30 to 10 pm. Come and join the fun!
Photos from June Dance