I am NOT a dancer. Not to say I don’t dance.  After a couple of drinks, I have the Mom dance down for occasions.  I can even throw a couple of moves in here or there. But I’m not comfortable. I feel like I’m being watched. And judged. So it was totally out of character for me to say yes to an opportunity to go learn a new dance. A visit to Myrtle Beach last weekend caught me off guard.

Having a glass of wine with a friend last week, I told her of my upcoming visit to South Carolina to visit an old friend who had relocated there. She asked “Are you gonna go Shaggin?” I had NO CLUE what she was talking about. Apparently the Shag, is the state dance of South Carolina. And there are Shag clubs and Shag competitions; an entire Shag subculture that I was totally unaware of.

Having a glass of wine (I’m sensing a theme) with my friend Vicki in SC, I told her about my conversation with Sarah. She said “Oh my God, will you go Shaggin’ with me?? I’ve been wanting to go, but haven’t found anyone who will go with me!” Against my better judgement, a resounding “YES” came out of my mouth. A chance to do something that my friend had been wanting to do,  combined with my curiosity, was all it took.  We did a little research and found out that one of the Shag clubs had a beginners lesson while I was there. And we decided to go.

I was thinking we were going to have to pregame for this, but we headed out for some local soul food instead. We arrived at the club, signed up for the lesson, and headed to the back, where they hide the beginners! The class was taught by a couple who met Shagging (get your mind out of the gutter!).  Their children are competitive Shag dancers. They are considered “keepers of the dance”. They taught us about the history of the dance, and that there is a movie about it, named Shag of course!

The lesson, in and of itself, was amazing. The bigger picture for me though, was the subculture. In our lesson, there were people aged pre-teen to seniors. We rotated partners so we all had the opportunity to dance with the everyone.  We stayed to watch the advanced class, same thing! I don’t think I have EVER been in a social situation where there was close, personal interaction between people from so many age groups who shared a common like, even families. Me, the non-dancer, can’t wait to go back and do it again!

I’m a firm believer in destiny, that there are no coincidences.  But we always have the choice to take advantage of an opportunity, or not. That is our free will at work. If we let them, our heads can get in the way of our hearts.  Given the chance for you to sit it out or dance, I hope you Shag!

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