Shaggin’ Shoes (The Sole of the Dance)
What kind of shoes should I wear?”
One of the best descriptions of the shag is that it’s “smooth.” We slide, shuffle, spin, and glide over the floor, seemingly effortlessly. (Yeah, right!) The point is that our shoes need smooth soles so that we can give that impression in our dancing. Early shaggers threw sand onto concrete floors in outdoor pavilions to make the surface more slippery. Our Beaufort Shag Club dance team, the Leather Souls, takes its name from the absolute best type of sole for shagging: leather soles.
So what do we look for in a good shag shoe? Several considerations are important:
A smooth sole, preferably leather or suede
A low, stable or broad heel, not much higher than an inch
A snug, secure fit to the foot, such as an ankle strap
The Bass Weejun is the best-known shag shoe, evidenced by tee shirts and jewelry depicting the iconic penny loafer. Bass continues to make this shoe readily available in their stores or online. Two popular Weejun styles are Wayfarer and Beefroll, but whatever style you prefer, make sure it has leather soles.
Ladies, I know style is important to you, so here goes. If you’re in North Myrtle Beach, the Shoe Center or Judy’s House of Oldies are great places to shop. Both have online shopping (www.shagshoes.com and www.judieshouseofoldies.com) and are exceptionally customer-oriented. I’d advise beginners to go for the TicTacToe, “Shagger” or the “Shag” because both are great, comfortable styles at affordable prices.
If you care to venture out into the world of “stylish” shoes, and by that I mean regular street shoes, look for Van Eli and Cole Haan styles with leather soles.
I have found great shag shoes on Ebay - just enter your size and shop! Most sellers will show pictures of the shoe, including the soles.
What NOT TO WEAR:
High heels…might look sexy but, NO!
Any type of rubber soles
Wedges (Did I even need to include that one?)
Lastly, use your common sense. You’ll be dancing fast and doing patterns that will require some dexterity. Buy a solid shoe that feels good!
Hope this has been helpful. Do not hesitate to contact me with questions.
~ Beaufort Shag Club ~
WHAT TYPE OF SHOES TO WEAR FOR SHAGGING
1. Asking a partner. It is equally permissible for a woman to ask a man as it is for a man to ask a woman. Take your partner's hand onto the dance floor and at the end of the dance, thank your partner.
2. If you don't want to dance, say "No thank you." Don't dance with someone if you just turned down a request to dance. Please, if someone says "no thanks" do not be persistent, take them at their word.
3. It is not polite to correct your partner on the dance floor. Remember this is a social club (have fun).
4. It is not polite to offer instruction to someone in a social dance setting (or in a dance class if you are not the instructor). Let's face it, you may be the one doing the step wrong. Unless they ask for help or are hurting you, don't teach. If your partner requests help, kindly take them off to the side away from the other social dancers.
5. DANCERS BUMP INTO THE NICEST PEOPLE and it isn't even a contact sport. Be aware of the dancers around you! if you bump into someone, kick someone or step on someone's foot, or if they bump into you, apologize whether it was your fault or theirs. Show concern that no serious injury has occurred. It's a fairly accepted practice that when a collision occurs, apologize, EVEN if it wasn't your fault.
6. DANCERS, USE SELECTIVE FLOOR PLACEMENT - Find your Spot and keep your Slot! The first person on the floor usually has the right to set the slot of the dance. Dance Small! Nobody likes to be pushed around the floor.
7. Please step off the dance floor if you're not dancing. If you are drinking a beverage of any kind or smoking, keep off the dance floor because of damage to the floor.
8. Leaders: if dancing with a less experienced partner, keep the steps simple at first and build to the level that your partner can handle. Leading should be defined as "the art of making your partner comfortable." Work as a team, don't showboat.
9. Leaders, protect your partner, since you are directing her movement, you need to be sure to protect her safety.
10. Leaders, if you must count and give verbal leads, keep it low enough that just you and your partner can hear. It can confuse those around you and besides, just because you can count doesn't mean "you are on the beat."