Dance Troupe Stuns Audience with Fun Collegiate Shag Routine

If you’re someone who would love to do some time travel back to the “good old days,” you’re not alone.  There are some great things about the old days in spite of some of the less-than-great things that went on back then. One of the things that would be fun to revisit is some of the old dance halls where young people would congregate to try out some of the popular dances of the day. Recently, a dance troupe named LA Shag took to the floor in the Camp Hollywood National Jitterbug Championships to perform their version of the Collegiate Shag. But what exactly is the Collegiate Shag and why was it so popular? Typically, the Collegiate Shag (also called just “Shag”) is a partner dance that’s primarily done to pre-swing jazz mus or uptempo swing. The music specifically has between 185-250+ beats per minute. The Shag belongs to the swing family of vernacular dances in the United States that arose in the 1920s and 1930s. Dance experts believe that the dance first originated within the African American community in North Carolina and South Carolina in the 1920s. Later, the trend spread out across the U.S. during the 1930s. The basic dance steps of the Shag take up a small space, so the dance can be danced to very fast music. For the Camp Hollywood National Jitterbug Championships, LA Shag took to the floor wearing vintage clothing and they were ready to compete. However, instead of the four couples who were dancing jumping in with a lot of energy, their routine started out in a surprising way. Basically, they looked like they were falling asleep on the dance floor. They pretended to be asleep but that didn’t last long and this was no snooze-fest. One couple at a time, they began to “wake up” and the routine transformed into an incredible dance with lots of energy. With eight people on the floor, the feet were moving fast and it was mesmerizing to watch. In the background, the song “San” was playing, a jazzy tune that’s a rendition by the California Feetwarmers. The Califo0rnia Feetwarmers is a musical group that’s passionate about ragtime, hot jazz, and “stompy” blues. All of these dancers are highly skilled and they manage to stay synchronized during the performance. There’s never a dull moment in this awesome performance of the Shag. The Camp Hollywood website notes that LA Shag won first prize in the 2014 competition in the “team” category. Watch the video.