top of page

Favorite Clips - Sam West and Leslie Melton Jennings Carolina Shag

Some of you, especially our international patrons may not have heard of Carolina Shag. "You mean collegiate shag?" No, Carolina Shag is one of the many American regional partner dances that grew out of lindy hop after the swing era. After talking to a few modern shaggers I heard they cited their dance as coming from "fast dancing" (not "lindy hop") which is what the white dancers in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina called what the black dancers were doing in the late 50's/early 60's. Unlike WCS which can trace it's roots directly to lindy hopper Dean Collins (who danced at the Savoy Ballroom), Carolina Shag, due to oppressive segregation in the south, was created without a physical connection between the black dancers that inspired it and the white dancers who tried to recreate what they saw. Today it has a relatively small scene that still centers in South Carolina. Here are 2 of it's best dancers Sam West and Leslie Melton Jennings competing in 2013.

It's my understanding (I'm not an expert) that most Shag contests are like a strictly, a chosen partner but not a chosen song, and an interesting aspect of their dance is their social dancing is interspersed with short sequences of choreography that are often verbally called by the follower. As you'll see their dance is characterised by smoothness and intricate footwork, and like swing music is an essential element of lindy hop so is "beach music" to Carolina Shag.

I just think these guys can dance their butts off and there are so many musical moments in here that I love. The 2nd to last chorus of the song is the shit. They are just rockin.


101 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page