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Collegiate Shag

Collegiate (named after college students dancing it) Shag was a widely popular dance in the Thirties in the USA. It is a quick dance with lots of energy. It was primarily danced to Ragtime, but then adopted to swing music.

Collegiate Shag 4

 

Dance historians believe that the dance originates forim the southern USA, from New Orleans. The dance was also known as a "Flea Hop" in New Yersey and "Sugar Foot" in North Carolina. There were many dance competitions taking place among college students doing the dance, these competitions were called "Shag Division". Arthur Murray, a well known dance instructor from that era has changed this dance to be danced in a slightly less energetin manner, thus being suitable for wider range of dancers. Nowadays in the short name Shag usually means Carolina Shag, quite a different dance, google it up. :)

Collegiate shag 3

 

Slowly, Collegiate Shag is fighting its way back, there are some rare Collegiate Shag events emerging around Europe today. There is a simple reason people prefere Lindy Hop or Bal. You simply need more amount of energy required to do Shag. But knowing the right dance technique and using it correctly can minimise the amount of energy needed and thus save some breath. :)

Collegiate Shag 2

 

The dance is danced in a "Slow-Slow-Quick-Quick" pattern. This is the most popular way of doing it, it is called a "double time shag". But you cal easily dance it in simple or triple time too, that is what is the best about this dance. You really can improvise, and there is typical transition step in it, no rock back. If you like simple EC six count swing, than you can quickly learn Shag too! Come join us and be wild and free. :)

 

Collegiate Shag dance videos

Collegiate Shag mix

Intheresting mix of several videos of dancers dancing Collegiate Shag. Just look at some variations you can do with your legs. And the "rebel" look with your hands up in the air is something unique in dancing.

Collegiate Shag competition

Footage from dance competitons are always fun to watch. We can see how different dancers each have thir own dance style. And yeah, doing the Shag is lot's of fun!

Older footage of swing dancing in the 30's

I like this video very much. From the golden era of swing dancing in the USA, dancers are really jitterbuggin', dancing Swing, Balboa and Shag.