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Carolina Shag

The shag basic step is performed in closed position, the Lead's left hand at shoulder height, right hand on the follow's left shoulder blade. The steps are verbalized as "slow, slow, quick quick quick", where each 'slow' is some kind of smooth or spastic gesture with one foot. The first 'slow' is with weight on the left foot and gesturing with the right, the second with weight on the right and gesturing with the left.

The 'quicks' are hops on the L,R.L foot. This SSQQQ description does not seem to fit into 6 counts till you realize that the first 'quick' is the last half of the second 'slow', as described below.

Here's an expanded description of the Shag basic.

count weight syllable description

1 left kick/tap/hold gesture with right foot

2 right step put right foot down

3 right kick/tap/hold gesture with left foot

4 left step put left foot down

5 right step hop on right foot

6 left step hop on left foot

There's also an open position like charleston, Lead's right hand around Follow's waist, outside hands waving around like flags, or joined at waist height when closing, both partners facing the same direction, the direction of travel. In the open position, you can do the same basic, but now that you're in the open position you have the option of traveling!

There are two traveling varieties, depending on traffic avoidance considerations: slow and fast. Fast traveling is a step forward on 1,3,5,6 and slow traveling is stepping forward only on 1,3. This is hard to describe correctly with text.

Here's a comparison between shag and 6-count swing

        shag                    6 count

count weight action weight action

1 left kick left step

2 right step left hold

3 right kick right step

4 left step right hold

5 right step left rock back

6 left step right rock forward



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