Back in the 1940s, the Carolina coast gave rise to a new brand of dance that triple-stepped its way onto dance floors all over the nation and, decades later, even onto the silver screen. Since then, the Carolina Shag — a descendant of the Carolina Jitterbug with a six-count, eight-step pattern that keeps partners energetically moving to the beat of (typically) Carolina beach music — has become the official state dance of both North and South Carolina, and it is recognized as a dance category in competitions all over the world.
This year, for three days in March, competitors from far and wide will come back to where it all started — converging on the Grand Strand to dance the (days and) nights away. The 35th edition of the National Shag Dance Championships, set for March 8-10, 2018, will attract the best of the best to Shag away on the dance floors of North Myrtle Beach.
Started in Myrtle Beach in 1984, the National Shag Dance Championships represent the United States’ longest continually running Shag championships. Past winners of the championships have been featured on national TV shows such as Good Morning America and CBS This Morning, as well as at events such as PGA annual banquets, NBA games and the Beach Music Awards.
Divisions in the competition cover all age groups and include professional and non-professional categories, and competing couples are judged on qualities including smoothness, degree of difficulty, togetherness, execution, repertoire, style and showmanship. The list of songs competitors can choose from for their routines includes more than 250 classic tunes, including favorites like Nat King Cole’s “Blue Moon,” the Temptations’ “I Want a Love I Can See,” Fats Domino’s “La La,” Chuck Berry’s “Little Queenie” and Jackie Wilson’s “Lonely Teardrops.”
The competitions will be held at the Spanish Galleon nightclub on North Ocean Boulevard in North Myrtle Beach. Spectators are more than welcome, and the contests start at 8 p.m. on Thursday the 8th ($15 general admission), 7:30 p.m. on Friday the 9th ($20 general admission) and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday the 10th ($25 general admission).
For more information on the National Shag Dance Championships, visit the competition’s website at http://www.shagnationals.com And i.f you’re looking for a great place to stay and catch all the excitement, Ocean Reef Resort offers comfortable accommodations and fun amenities right on the oceanfront on the north end of Myrtle Beach. It’s the perfect location for those looking to be within easy reach of all the dance action in North Myrtle Beach and all the wide-ranging entertainment and dining choices found in downtown Myrtle Beach. Book your stay today!