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York County Dance Studio Readies Locals for Beachside Fun - abc27 WHTM

York County Dance Studio Readies Locals for Beachside Fun

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"It's fun music," said Frederick Shipley. "It's sort of a joyful music that you're hearing. It always has a good bass rhythm that you can dance to."

He's talking about the Carolina Shag, a must- know dance for anyone heading to southern beach towns this summer.

Frederick and wife Deborah Davis have been offering Shag lessons for seven years at their dance studio, Ballroom Break, in Lewisberry.

"It's amazing when you go down to the beaches," said Davis, "particularly anywhere from Virginia south. Everybody does the dance."

The Carolina Shag traces back to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in the 1940's, where oppressive summer heat inspired a less aerobic version of swing dance. Frederick and Debora have offered Shag lessons for twelve of their 26 years in business. They are regulars at Myrtle Beach and noticed the popularity of the dance at local clubs. Then locals with travel plans to the beaches, or property owners, requested the lessons.

"Shag just seemed like something that would be interesting to do and it's been a good edition to the other dances that we teach," said Shipley.

But, regardless of the style of dance being taught, Frederick and Deborah believe that dancing is about enjoying yourself, meeting new people and trying new things.

"Just keeping it light and fun," said Davis. "Nobody's here to compete with anybody else. They're just here to have a good time."

"It's interesting that Shag focuses on the footwork, more than the rest of the body," she added. " And it's a man's dance. So, the men shine in Shag."

Even first time "shaggers" can enjoy the challenge.

It's kind of, almost like swing. And it's very fun and energetic," said 15-year-old Elizabeth McCarver. "It just seems like something I could do more."

And for the more experienced students, there's always something about this dance to smile about.

"What I like about the Shag is that it doesn't take itself very seriously," said Ian Stalker, a 3-year veteran of the dance. "It's almost whimsical. It's got it's own charm, personality and sense of humor."

Looking over the crowded dance floor, flooded with music and laughter, Shipley added:

"There seems to be something special about the Shag."

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