Clinton YMCA to Offer Shag Dance Classes  

February 12, 2023

The Clinton Family YMCA is offering a Shag dance class during the month of March.

The shag evolved from a 1920’s dance, the jitterbug. In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s a southern version, known as the shag, was born. In 1984 the shag became the official state dance of South Carolina. Shag dancing originated in the Carolinas but more specifically its birthplace is credited to Ocean Drive Beach in the North Myrtle Beach section of South Carolina.

The class will be held on Thursdays – March 2, 9, 23 and 30 from 6-7:30 pm.  Class size is limited to allow for more individual instruction.  The cost is $25 for the entire month and pre-registration is suggested.

Speaking of instruction, the class will be taught by local well-known shaggers, Larry and Donna Brehmer. The Brehmers have been shag dancing together for over 50 years. Over the years, they have taken several lessons and given lessons. They also have made up a few steps and moves of their own, as many shaggers do.

“We are excited about teaching others the basics of shagging,” said Larry Brehmer. “Donna and I have enjoyed it for so many years and look forward to introducing others to the dance.”

So, what will participants learn?

Those attending the classes should learn shagger etiquette (yes, that is a real thing), the basic step, the female turn and the male turn. As the class progresses, they will learn a few more involved steps, called mirror pattern steps. These would include the sweetheart turn, the sugarfoot, the pause walk up, etc. Participants will decide what they want to learn. If the class advances fast enough, they may even be able to learn the pivot and belly roll. But the basics are the foundation of everything to come so that will be mastered first.

Additional classes may be offered in the future if there is enough interest.