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The Shag for beginners: Lesson Two, Female Turn

The Shag for beginners: Lesson Two, Female Turn
The Shag for beginners: Lesson Two, Female Turn

It’s Week Two of The Shag for Beginners, when we’ll learn the female turn from Upstate Shagging pros Jeff and Dede Ward.

With their four-week sessions at the Simpsonville Community Building on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Wards agreed to let us take their lessons on air and online for our Your Carolina and Livin’ Upstate audiences while we’re home social distancing.

You can catch the lessons each Thursday on Your Carolina with Jack and Megan, then we’ll post the segments here at Livin’ Upstate so you can continue to view the video as you learn and practice at home.

If you missed Week One: Basic Step, you’ll find it here. Here’s what you’ll learn in lessons three and four:

  • April 23 – Male Turn
  • April 30 – Shag Start

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.

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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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