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Learn SC’s state dance as ‘Shag for Beginners’ continues with the male turn and shag start

It’s time for lessons three and four in our Shag for Beginners series. This week we’ll learn the Male Turn and the Shag Start from Upstate Shagging pros Jeff and Dede Ward.

With in-person Shag lessons on hold because of the coronavirus outbreak, the Wards are bringing their lessons on air and online.

Each Thursday for the past three weeks, we’ve aired the lessons on Your Carolina with Jack and Megan, then posted them here at Livin’ Upstate so you can continue to view the videos as you learn and practice at home. Once social distancing is done, you’ll be ready for Shagging on Augusta, SOS and a host of other events celebrating South Carolina’s state dance.

If you missed the first two lessons, view them here:

The Shag Lesson One:  Basic Step

The Shag Lesson Two:  Female Turn

South Carolina designated the Carolina Shag as the official state dance in 1984. The dance combines nimble footwork with upbeat rhythm and blues, also known in these parts as beach music.

Jeff describes the Shag as a dance akin to West Coast Swing. Dede characterizes it as a slower Jitterbug. But both are quick to call it a “waist down” dance.

“You want the attention drawn to your feet, with very little movement of your head and shoulders,” Dede says. “You want to be smooth, laid back and able to carry on a conversation while you dance.”

The Shag is as much about socializing as it is busting a move, Dede adds, so use these online lessons to get ready for the dance floor once social distancing is done.

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