Created in the 1940s, the Carolina Shag – a dance born out of the Carolina Jitterbug with an eight-step, six-count pattern typically carried out to the beat of Carolina beach music – has since become a recognized dance category in competitions worldwide. And on the Grand Strand, where the official state dance of both North and South Carolina arguably sees its wildest popularity, the Carolina Shag is cause for a pilgrimage to the coastline where the dance originated.
Held each year at the end of April – and this year set for April 20-29 in North Myrtle Beach – the Society of Stranders (SOS) Spring Safari celebrates the coming of spring with dance parties and good times. Shaggers from up and down the East Coast converge on the Grand Strand for the week-plus event, billed as the biggest adult party on the Eastern Seaboard and boasting 10 days filled with fun activities.
The epicenter of the dancers’ gathering is Main Street in North Myrtle Beach, where member chapters of the Association of Carolina Shag Clubs (ACSC) will host “tea parties” in the participating local lounges. The lounges themselves also schedule additional dance parties during the Spring Safari, and popular bands come from far and wide to take the stages and ignite the dance floors with crowd-pleasing favorites. And don’t let a limited Carolina Shag skill set keep you from attending – in another popular feature of the gathering, Shag dance instructors lead group classes to help dancers sharpen their skills and broaden their move repertoires.
While the temperatures may cool down outdoors when the sun goes down, the nighttime is when things really heat up in the participating North Myrtle Beach dance clubs, which include Duck’s and Duck’s II Beach Clubs, Fat Harold’s Beach Club, the lounges at the Ocean Drive Resort, the OD Arcade, and the Pirate’s Cove Lounge. The nightlife at the SOS Spring Safari is also well-known among Shaggers for uniting old friends and bringing new ones together.
Perhaps the peak of the festivities is seen on the Spring Safari’s final Saturday, when the SOS Parade takes over North Myrtle Beach’s Main Street. Set for 1 p.m. on April 28 this year, the parade will feature floats filled with Shag dancers, as well as friendly competitions among the ACSC clubs for Best Shagging Troop, Most Original Theme, Best Club Vehicle and Best Shag Theme.
For more information about the SOS Spring Safari, visit the SOS website. When you’re ready to dance your way into spring, there’s no better way or place to do just that than at the SOS Spring Safari in North Myrtle Beach. And the Cottages at North Beach Plantation can put you and your crew close to all the action with a range of comfortable accommodations and an amazing list of amenities. Book your Grand Strand getaway at the Cottages at North Beach Plantation today – and don’t forget to pack your dancing shoes!