Chatham Area Shag Association
The Chatham Area Shag Association, Inc. is a non profit social club. Our
objective is to preserve and promote the dance named the “Shag.” In
preserving and promoting the dance we also strive to promote and
preserve shag and beach music.
The shag originated in the late 1930’s in clubs in Myrtle Beach, SC. The
shag has roots in jitterbug and Lindy Hop Swing, which date to the 1920’s.
Early Shaggers called themselves “Jitterbugs.” The early swing music was
fast, big band swing. The term “Shag” came about over a decade later. By
the early ’50s, shag adopted the tempo and feel of rhythm and blues.
Certain individuals, such as Billy Jeffers and “Chicken” Hicks are credited
with developing the early aspects of the dance.
The shag may be danced to classic “beach music” tunes such as “Carolina
Girls,” “Under the Boardwalk,” and “I Love Beach Music,” or the shag may be
danced to Motown and blues. Most shag music is interchangeable with west
coast swing music. The standard tempo range is 110-135 beats per minute.
The music is normally blues style, written in 4/4 time.
Shag emphasizes grace and smoothness over
turns and athleticism. Unlike free style and hip
hop dancing, shag is “danced from the waist
down.” You need to achieve smooth, tight
footwork with the look of having rubber knees,
illustrated by our good friends Joey and
Jennifer Sogluizzo seen at left.
Go to the Competitive Shaggers Association 2006 Results page to view
some video clips of dancers. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see
Joey and Jennifer.
Below are a number of links that provide a more comprehensive discussion
of “Shaggin” and the associated music.
PO Box 1489
Pittsboro, NC 27312
S & S: closed