Mount Pleasant Magazine July/August 2023

62 www. ReadMPM. com | www.MountPl easantMagaz i ne. com | www. ShemCreekRes taurant s . com our town Twenty-four states do their Promenades, DoSi-Dos and Allemande Lefts with pride during their official state dance, the square dance. Wisconsinites claim the polka. Out in California it’s the West Coast Swing while the bayou country of Louisiana rocks with the Cajun Jig. North Carolina and Kentucky hit the dance floor for clogging while in Hawaii, of course, the official dance is the hula. The rest of the states sit on the sidelines like the shy boys at the senior prom. But not South Carolina. We have a quick, fun official dance called the Shag. Tracing its origins to our sandy shores in general and Myrtle Beach in particular, the Shag screams “beach party” so loudly you can almost hear lifeguards whistle and smell Coppertone in the air. The Shag, or Carolina Shag as some call it, is believed to have its roots with African Americans as early as the 1920s. By the ‘30s and ‘40s, both Black and white dancers were doing the Shag to rhythm and blues music that slowed the more frantic pace of its predecessor, the Carolina Jitterbug. The ‘50s and ‘60s saw setbacks to the Shag’s popularity. Hurricane Hazel in 1954 demolished many of the old dance pavilions near the beaches and the dominance of rock and roll in the ‘60s eclipsed the music Bust a Move BY B I L L FARLEY The legisl tor whomade the Shag the official state dance John “Bubber ” J. Snow I I I and singer James Brown.