Hear Me Roar
April 2020 Issue
Beaufort Shag Club
Represented by Jim & Hi Williams, Dannie & Brenda Lesesne,
Dave & Ginger Olszewski, and Kathy & Robert Bundy
What do you want newcomers to the Lowcountry to know about Shag dancing?
Of course, we want them to know that Shag is the official state dance of South Carolina. We’d also like newcomers to immerse themselves in the Lowcountry culture, and shag is a big part of that! When in Rome!
Tell us about the Beaufort Shag Club (BSC)?
Ginger: After a few years of dancing socially in various venues in and around Beaufort, the Beaufort Shag Club officially organized in 2004, and was admitted into the Association of Carolina Shag Clubs in 2005, marking 2020 as the year our 15th anniversary! We are a bunch of nearly 200 fun-loving people who love the shag dance, the shag lifestyle, and each other.
Hi: We love the Beaufort Shag Club! It’s friendly. It’s fun, and we get exercise!
Ginger: One of the best things about the BSC is that you meet wonderful people, make lasting relationships, and you look forward to seeing these people on a weekly basis, and know they’re going to become lifelong friends.
What makes shag dancing and the shag lifestyle so much fun?
Dannie: We travel together to shag events all over the Southeast. Over the years we’ve met people we always look forward to seeing at these events.
Hi: I am from Beaufort. I know so many people I wouldn’t have met if I hadn’t been involved in the BSC.
Dave: I’d like to comment on the lifestyle. Shag is the epitome of laid back Southern living and style. The dance has deep roots in the North Myrtle Beach area, and the Lifeguards of the 60s had a lot to do with that. Their well known quote goes like this… “A cold beer on a warm night with a hot date and no plans for tomorrow!” That sums it up in my opinion.
Do any of your members enter Shag competitions?
Several of our members compete regularly and have placed in major shag competitions.
What are your top 5 favorite songs to shag to? It’s literally impossible to name 5 songs that are our favorites! One of the fabulous aspects of shag is that it can be adapted to almost any dancing situation. The dance is done to basic 4/4 time at 110 to 120 beats per minute, with a hard back-beat, which opens up a world of music possibilities!
Some classics we love are:
“Brenda” by O C Smith
“Lady Soul” by the Temptations
“Black Coffee and Cigarettes” by Mo Rogers
“It Only Hurts When I Cry” by Raul Malo
“More Than a Number” by the Drifters
Currently, we’re enjoying dancing to a few newer hits:
“Sugar” by Maroon Five
“Goodbye Train” by Grayson Hugh
“Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake
“Why Don’t We Just Dance” by Josh Turner
“Lie to Me” by Darius Rucker
What are you doing to help keep Shag alive?
Jim: We include free lessons with membership to our club. We teach 4 weeks of the basic shag steps, followed by 4 more weeks of more advanced steps. By the time the classes are completed, the shag student should be able to make a decent showing on the dance floor. I will say this though, practice is key to success!
Ginger: Community involvement and volunteering. For example, last year we taught two groups of college kids who were in Beaufort volunteering on a Habitat build. They loved it!
Hi: We have taught in elementary schools. Basically, if we’re asked, we’ll go anywhere and everywhere we are asked to teach.
Brenda: Beaufort County Senior Leadership has been a big part of our outreach, and has always been a fun afternoon of teaching the dance, as well as educating on the history.
How has the BSC put a stamp on Ocean Drive, North Myrtle Beach, the birthplace of Shag?
Brenda: The club has a paver embedded in the pavement on Ocean Drive, and our logo and sign are proudly displayed in clubs, especially at the OD Pavilion, which is where we call home in NMB.
Dave: We brought home a Cammy award a few years ago.
How can people who don’t know how to shag learn?
Great question! There are a bunch of clubs who offer lessons in our vicinity:
• Beaufort Shag Club
• Hilton Head Island Carolina Shag Club
• Savannah Shag Club
• Golden Isles Shag Club
More information on clubs is available at www.shagdance.com
How has shagging and being a part of this group enriched your lives?
People need social connections, and the Beaufort Shag Club provides a platform for that interaction.
Ginger and Dave: Shag has become the centerpiece for our social life. We’ve met and grown to know people from Pittsburgh to Tampa, Tennessee to the Chesapeake. It’s a common thread we all feel so strongly about. Join us, and you’ll fall in love with this dance, its history and the promise of warm nights, cold drinks and no plans for tomorrow.
Does your group have a “claim to fame?”
In 2011, 30+ of our members participated in a huge dance event and are now listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest shag event of all time. Check it out!
What events are coming up where we can see y’all in action?
You can see us in action almost every Wednesday at AMVETS in Port Royal. We dance at the Holiday Inn on Boundary Street every third Friday of the month. And we are always available to perform at your function! We’re also dancing in the streets at First Friday in downtown Beaufort on a regular basis.
What is your group currently roaring about?
Holding true to our mission statement, We’re ROARING about the growth of our club. Apparently, everyone wants to shag!