February 17, 2011

Summertime's Calling Me...

When I walked out my house this morning, I could not have been greeted by more beautiful weather for the month of February.  It only made me want summer to get here even faster.

I drove to school with the windows down and beach music playing on my iPod.  And, I am not talking about that Beach Boys stuff...I am talking real Carolina Beach Music by General Johnson and Chairman of the Board, The Embers, The Catalinas, and The Drifters.  I grew up listening to these tunes with my parents - riding around in my Dad's truck, at my parent's parties, and out on the boat.

Learning to shag is a rite of passage in the Carolinas (South and North).  I think my parents started teaching my sister and I to shag around the age of five.  For those of you, unfamiliar with South Carolina's state dance, it goes something likes this...

I, by no means, am as good as these semi-professional dancers, but I do know my way around the dance floor.  South Carolina even has a shaggers hall of fame.  One tidbit about the Shag - it was a dance designed for a gentleman to have his beer in one hand and his lady in the other.  It is also a dance that can easily be learned.  My dad taught himself when he went to college by tying a tie to his bed post and "dancing" with it.

Dad and I shagging at Carolina Cup 2007.
In the summer, shag nights are held all over the coastal regions of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia.  All ages attend and shag the night away.  The Shag is more than a dance is symbolizes a way of life only found at the beach.  Yes, people shag all over the Southeast and other parts of the country, but each shagger is taken back to the lazy, hazy days of summer when dancing it.  I am reminded of sunburnt shoulders, sand between my toes, and salt dried hair.  There is even a movie based on a "true story" about the shag and the lifestyle it invokes.  Here is a brief clip from the end of the movie...

I love the line at the end where Carson says, "We wanted to go to the beach and meet boys and go to wild parties and dance."  Because isn't that what every summer road trip is suppose to be about?!? If you have never seen this movie, you should rent/netflix/buy it!

I have a iTunes playlist dedicated to beach music that has close to 150 songs.  Here are my Top 15 Favorite Songs on that list (in no particular order):

2. Soul Days (sorry for the poor quality)
(This was my senior quote)

"Beach people love life harder than anybody else. We do! We have a tendency to be, well, slightly excessive in our behavior. You usually won't see us eat on boiled peanut, drink one beer, tell one joke, or get just a little bit of sun." ~ Dorothea Benton Frank

Do you have any memorable shagging experiences?  Have you always wanted to learn? Or, did you have no clue what I was talking about?



  1. Shama Lama is one of my faaavorite songs!!

  2. Dang that is some fancy shagging!

    And I LOVE that movie!

    We have an annual beach music festival here in Raleigh in April and I cannot wait for it. I'm not very good at shagging. I just have the 1-2-3-1-2-3-rock back thing going on...no advanced moves here. But I would love to take a class or something to improve my skillz!

  3. Growing up in Cheraw, starting in 7th grade kids are invited to join Saraband, which is almost like a debutante thing except every other saturday you learn to shag and then show it off at formal dances held in the spring and winter.

  4. I learned how to shag with my brother and his friends but I've never learned to formally do it. This summer as part of my Counselor-In-Training session, we get to take shag lessons! I'm so excited! This is such a great post! I'm a new follower and I love your blog already! xoxo

  5. I love this post! Being from California, I can't say that I've ever shagged, but it looks like such a fun tradition and I would love to learn if I am ever in South Carolina :)


  6. Such a great post, love it! My favorite beach music song is "Cool Me Out!" haha It's a great one!!

  7. Ashton, what a great post! I have been listening to beach music on Pandora non-stop too. It reminds me summer is coming soon! There is nothing like shagging on the beach with sunburnt shoulders and sand between your toes just like you said. That's so cool that your parents taught you! I have been wanting to take lessons for a really long time. Maybe one day :) In the meantime I'm definitely going to check out that movie!


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