The City Magazine Since 1975

Dancing in the Moonlight

Dancing in the Moonlight
July 2019

Say the word "Shag" outside of the Carolina coast and you're likely to see a few raised eyebrows.  Here, however, the name is synonomous with the dance, a fast-footed twist on the jitterbug that first appeared in the 1940s. Performed to classic beach music., it remains as popular as ever.

- Author Pat Conroy’s 1995 novel Beach Music takes its name from the regional genre. In the book, one Southern character describes “Carolina beach music” as “the holiest sound on earth.” 

- The dance is a basic six-count, eight-step routine that can be performed to almost any tempo as long as the basic steps are kept in sync with the music.

- 35: Number of years that The Shag has been the state dance of South Carolina.

- The Drifters, of 1964’s beach music hit “Under the Boardwalk,” were established in part by Sumter, South Carolina native Bill Pinkney. 

- There are 24 different shagging clubs, venues, and organizations in South Carolina, including the JB Pivots Beach Club on Savannah Highway and the East Cooper Shag Club

- Wanna shag? Moonlight Mixers invites dancers to Folly Beach Pier on July 26, August 16, and September 13 from 7 to 11 p.m. Or stop by Shaggin’ on the Cooper. The Mount Pleasant Pier Shag event happens July 4 with the Uncle Sam Jam (featuring Dave Landeo & The Sol Beats) and July 13. Gates open at 7 p.m. Admission is $8.