History of the Beaufort Shag Club         

  • Do You Really Love Me2:52

~ Beaufort Shag Club ~

About Us

In 2002, the club was known as The Beaufort Shaggers. The Beaufort Shag Club had its first organizational meeting/election on March 24, 2004, at Cowboys and Indians located on Ribaut Road in Port Royal, SC. John Reynolds was elected president, Jim Godwin was vice president, Beverly Milner was secretary, and Kathy Bundy was treasurer. Directors were: Buddy Brownlee, Jan Rhoden, and Woody Oakley. The responsibilities of the new officers were effective on April 1, 2004. Beaufort Shag Club became recognized as a nonprofit social club and received its EIN number from the IRS on June 2, 2004. SC Secretary of State issued the Beaufort Shag Club a Certificate of Existence, Non-Profit Corporation on June 13, 2005. In March of 2004, a committee of Robert Bundy, Woody Oakley, Jon Rhoden, and John Reynolds agreed to draft a set of by-laws for the club. The Beaufort Shag Club Web Site was established, and Jon Rhoden was responsible for keeping it current. Woody Oakley and Judy Smith are the current web masters.  

In April 2004, the club membership was 104. There are currently 21 of these charter members who have continued to be members today without a break in membership. These charter members are: Robert and Kathy Bundy, Judy and John Dayner, Frank Gibson, Cindy Keener, Dannie and Brenda Lesesne, Margie Melvin, Beverly Milner, Ron and Ann Nettles, Sara and Woody Oakley, Gary and Paula Peebles, John and Donna Reynolds, Jon Rhoden, and Hi and Jim Williams.
In April of 2004, a contest for the name of the club’s newsletter and logo was established, and the winners were announced in June. The winner of the newsletter’s name, Leather Souls, was Kathy Quarles who also drew a pair of Weejuns for the newsletter’s logo. The current Beaufort Shag Club logo (the palm tree and dancers ) winner was John Reynolds.
August 2004, the club submitted an application to join ACSC, and we were put on the agenda for the Fall meeting. Also during this month, the club’s first newsletter under the new name and logo was distributed to our members. Judy Smith graciously agreed to publish it and initiated the e-mailing to our club members.

For 2005 Board members were: President John Reynolds, Vice President Woody Oakley, Secretary Bev Milner, Treasurer Kathy Bundy, and Directors Jan Rhoden, Margie Melvin, and Hi Williams. In January of this year, many members attended our first meeting of the ACSC at Mid-Winter, and our club was voted in as a member of the Association. Shag lessons for members began in February with Tommy O’Brien and the assistance of Dina Chester, Donna Reynolds, and Sheri O’Brien over the following years.
The Beaufort Shag Club moved to our current location, AmVets, for our weekly and monthly dances in 2006. Members also decorated a float for the Water Festival. In December of that year, several of our members taught shag lessons to 7th and 8th grade students at Beaufort Middle School.
For 2007 Beaufort Shag Club helped the Islander Shag Club of Charleston by hosting Happy Hour for the Mid- Winter Workshop. In July we entered another float in the Water Festival Parade. In August of this same year, we held our first Junior Shag Workshop at Beaufort Middle School. Many of our members also attended our first Fun Blues Cruise with Shag Hall of Famers Don Bunn and Debbie Peterson. In November, The Rick Strickland Band performed for the election party.

2008 saw the formation of the Leather Souls Dance Team. Over the next three years, the team performed at the Water Festival Talent Show, Shagging with a Taste, Port Royal Soft Shell Crab Festival, and some events in Walterboro. Members of the Leather Souls Dance Team have been John and April Brooks, Robert and Kathy Bundy, John and Judy Dayner, John and Jenny Fletcher, Dannie and Brenda Lesesne, Ron and Greta Maddox, Woody Oakley, Tommy and Sheri O’Brien, Dave and Ginger Olszewski, John and Donna Reynolds, Jon and Jan Rhoden, John Michael Turner, and Blanche Trumps. Robert and Kathy Bundy, and John and Donna Reynolds choreographed the routines which consisted of many steps that were learned from Don Bunn and Debbie Peterson on the Fun Blues Cruises. Our second Junior Shag Day was held in August.

In 2009, several members of the club taught shag lessons at Spring Island and Beaufort Middle School. Members worked hard on decorating a float for the Water Festival Parade; and in August of this year, the club held its third annual Junior Shag Day. September 26th was our first Oldies Night at the Log Cabin. The club also held a Barbeque to raise money for AmVets.

2010 was quite a busy and eventful year for our club members. A Beaufort Shag Club paver was purchased with the club’s logo on it. The paver is located on Main Street in North Myrtle Beach west of the driveway into Fat Harolds. Bricks were purchased and placed around the paver in recognition of the following members: John Reynolds for serving as our club president for five plus years, Jon (current webmaster) and Jan Rhoden for their service to the club, and Tommy O’Brien for his services as instructor. In July of this year at the ACSC meeting, the Beaufort Shag Club won the 2012 Workshop bid which was presented by Tommy O’Brien. Also, our very own John Reynolds was elected Vice Chairman of the ACSC Board at this meeting.

During this month, a contest was held to name this workshop. The winner of the workshop name was Terri Stokes with the name of Shagging Under the Palmettos. We continue to use this name for our dances with the Holiday Band. 

A Callawassie Dance , decoration of a float for the Water Festival Parade, fourth annual Junior Shag Workshop, Oldies Party,  and Boogie for the Boys ( a fund raiser for Beaufort Marine Institute, which is now AMI ) all took place during this year.
2010 was also the year of Tommy and Sheri O’Brien’s marriage. The Board of Directors purchased one night, their wedding night, at a local Bed and Breakfast Inn as a wedding gift from the club.  All of the Beaufort Shag Club members and some members from other shag clubs to which Tommy and Sheri belong were invited to celebrate this joyous occasion with them. Tommy and Sheri requested no wedding gifts; and since they would not accept money or free club memberships for their services as instructors in the club, some of our club members and some members from other shag clubs decided to surprise them with the gift of a Fun Blues Cruise to Bermuda.  At their wedding reception, Tommy and Sheri were presented a Nancy Ricker Rhett painting, a gift certificate to Judy’s House of Oldies in North Myrtle Beach, and an all-expenses paid cruise to Bermuda in October 2011, plus some spending money. Members of the shag world were so generous in their gifts that the Beaufort Shag Club was able to upgrade their room from an ocean view to a suite.

The majority of 2011 was spent in preparation for our 2012 workshop, Shagging Under the Palmettos. Judy and Dave Smith worked diligently on carving and painting the small statues of shaggers for the table decorations and the large silhouettes of shaggers and palmettos for our workshop.   In April, members demonstrated the shag at Shaggin with a Taste; and in August, the club held its fifth annual Junior Shag workshop. On September 24, 2011, many Beaufort Shag Club members along with members from other clubs participated in the Largest Carolina Shag Dance at the North Myrtle Beach Aquatic & Fitness Center for the Guinness World Records. We qualified for the Guinness Book of World Records.

January 1,2012, many of our members participated in our first Pelican Plunge at Hunting Island for the purpose of raising money for Beaufort County school students to attend educational classes at the research center there. 

In February of 2012, the Beaufort Shag Club hosted the ACSC Winter Workshop, which was quite successful. The club continues to receive rave reviews for one of the best workshops ever held. Also during this month, several club members performed a demonstration at the Beaufort Film Festival. In September, a Thank You Party was held for club members for working so hard to provide a successful workshop. During this year, the Sunshine Committee, chaired by Sheri  O’Brien, was formed.
January 1, 2013, many of our members participated in our second Pelican Plunge at Hunting Island.
The Ambassadors Committee, co-chaired by Gary Johnson and Mary Lou Kampert, began during this year.
2013 was the scene of many unique themes for our monthly Saturday night dances decorated by the social committee members: Saturday Night at the Movies, Cupid Shuffle, Speak Easy/Great Gatsby, Funky Shag Olympics, Tailgating theme, Halloween Costume Party, and Christmas in the South. In July, the Beaufort Shag Club once again participated in the Water Festival Parade with a float in the shape of a Pontoon boat that was designed and built by President Dave Olszewski and decorated by shag club members. Over the years, Beaufort Shag Club has won awards in the parade for Best Music and Best Representation of the Water Festival Theme.

In August our first dance with the Holiday Band was held. This was a huge success, and members suggested we schedule them for 2014. In the fall, a picnic was held at the Log Cabin on the Marine Corp Air Station.

On January 1, 2014, many of our members participated in The Pelican Plunge on Hunting Island for the third time.

In February of this year, Debbie and Jim Fedyshyn, John Reynolds, Robert and Kathy Bundy, Hi and Jim Williams, and Dannie and Brenda Lesesne provided a program for the Senior Leadership Class at USCB. The history of our SC State Dance and a demonstration of the dance were presented to the thirty-five attendees. They were taught the Basic Step, told about our club, and received one of the club’s Newsletters.

In March of 2014, Callawassie was the venue for a dance which was attended by over 75 Beaufort Shag Club members.
In May, Ray and Sally Kneisel, Bill and Linda Herrnstein, and John and Donna Reynolds taught shag lessons to third graders at Beaufort Elementary School.

2014 has continued with creative themes for our monthly Saturday night dances: Mardi Gras, T-Shirt Ball, and the Wild, Wild West.
Our second Shagging Under the Palmettos with The Holiday Band is planned for August 9th.

John Fletcher, one of our Beaufort Shag Club’s DJs, has been accepted into the Association of Beach & Shag Club DJs. This is quite an honor. The Beaufort Shag Club is very proud of him, and wishes him well in all of his endeavors.

A special thank you goes to all the charter members who were instrumental in forming the Beaufort Shag Club and to all members who have worked for the success of our club.

Respectfully submitted,
Brenda Lesesne

July 2014