‘A cold beer on a warm night with a hot date and no plans for tomorrow.’
- Dr. Phil Sawyer, Shag historian
This is the soul of the Carolina Shag. Here you will find updates on my thesis film -- a documentary short film about the Shag! The "Shag?!" you exclaim? No, not the "Shag" of Austin Powers fame, although similar in that its moves are smooth and sexy! The Carolina Shag, however, is a dance -- born out of bars and clubs on the beaches of North Myrtle Beach, S.C., and danced by lifeguards, ‘stranders’, and beach bums alike on those lazy summer nights in the 1930’s, ‘40’s, and ‘50’s. The Shag is similar to the patterned, mirrored steps between two partners of the Jitterbug and West Coast Swing, but dissimilar in that it is danced from the waist down, and the moves are smooth, graceful, and sensual. Over time, its popularity has expanded up and down the southeast coast as well as sporadically across the country. Deep in the heart of North Myrtle Beach, S.C., however, you’ll find those die-hards that eat, sleep, live, and breathe the Shag. Shaggers of all ages come from all walks of life and dance for many different reasons, but one thing is certain: once you’re a shagger, you’re a shagger for life, and that bond with your comrades is eternal. I have seen how the Shag breathes new life into a person — giving them a second chance at youth. Through the voices and the moves of those beach bums, stranders, and shaggers, I want to delve into the subculture of Shagging as well as explore the preservation and future of the dance.
A little about me -- My name is Brittany Brothers and I am currently a senior film student at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Originally, however, I proudly hail from Mt. Pleasant, SC! The idea came to do a documentary about Shagging after my dear mother took me to a Shag event and I could not tear my eyes away from those wild and crazy feet! Never did I know that human beings could just gliiiide on air! The more I learned about through research and my own experiences with the Shag community, the more I knew that these people's stories need to be heard. In a world riddled with cynicism and gloom, it's important to know that there are corners of the world where spirits are high and positivity and camaraderie manifest in the Dance!
With all that said, I hope your interests are piqued, and I hope that the more you learn here about the Shag that you become as equally pumped about the film as I am! The official release date for Shag Nation will be April/May of 2011. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me!
Stay tuned for pics, footage, etc....