Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dance Music : Carolina Girls

General Johnson : Carolina Girls


Performed well, there isn't a  more graceful dance than the Carolina shag. I suppose it's a variation of a "swing dance" but with a lot of fancy footwork, hand holding and spinning clockwise then counter-clockwise. I lived in the Carolinas for ten years and never got the hang of it. I'd meet a girl at a creekside bar. The jukebox would play something mid-tempo like "Brown Eyed Girl" or a Beach Music classic like "Carolina Girls" and some sunburned shrimper would dance the night away with my date.

   One girl told me I should practice with a door. Turn the knob, open it, spin in a circle and catch the knob with the other hand, step in and step out, spin around the other way. At six and a half feet tall, I must have looked like a complete idiot to anyone who might have peeked through a window. The door soon began loudly creaking its complaint. I gave up.

So that's when I took up that other great Carolina dance: clogging.

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