“Friday Night Shag and Line Dance” events at the Moose Lodge on Crow Run in Rockingham (across from Perdue) are quickly becoming a big hit, attracting dancers from outside the county to hit the floor and shake a leg.
This Friday night will be special, as the lodge will play host to the Junior Shag Team of the Carolinas — made up of junior dancers from North and South Carolina.
“We’ll have the usual Friday night dance at the lodge, from 8 p.m. until 12 p.m.,” said John McDonald, event organizer. “The dancers will take the stage around 9 p.m. for a very special performance.”
This year, the group has performed in competitions in Charlotte, N.C., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and walked away with first place in the Grand Nationals Dance Competition in Atlanta, Ga.
“Performing at community centers, like the lodge, is how they raise money to travel and compete,” said McDonald. “They hit the stage and people throw dollar bills at them. I think they raised $1,000 at their last performance, but I believe we can beat that and help these kids make it to their next competition in California.”
“They love performing their team routine and dancing for dollars,” said group co-founder Ashley Stewart. “We are always looking for events to perform at that will help us raise the money needed for lodging, entry fees, wardrobes and meals for the juniors. All the money they raise goes directly to fund the expenses of their competitions all over the country. Each one of them loves the shag dance and they are working hard to spread the Carolina Shag as far and wide as possible.”
Shag dancing, also known as Carolina Shag, can be dated back to southern dancers in the 1930s and 40s. This distinct version of the swing-type dance remains popular in southern states, and attracts young and old alike to the dance floor.
— Staff Writer Kelli Easterling can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.