Some dancers like to keep the classic styles alive – and this includes a group of youngsters from the east coast who specialize in the Carolina Shag.
The Junior Shag Dance Team (JSDT) showed just how talented they are at the US Open Swing Dance Championships. If you haven’t seen these teens boogie down before, you’re in for a real treat!
A dance from the past that still exists in the present.
When one thinks of the Carolina Shag, perhaps a mixture of dancing and beach towns come to mind. In fact, it’s been one of South Carolina’s official state dances since 1984!
Although the style became popular many decades ago, there are currently national and international Shag competitions where enthusiasts can perform.
Members of the JSDT are between the ages of 12 and 17. According to the group’s website, they travel around the world performing and competing. It’s all to…
“…spread the dance they love while keeping its deep-rooted traditions and rich history alive.”
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These are some dedicated teens.
One might guess that all the members of JSDT live in the same area. But really, the team is made up of dancers from North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, and Virginia! Despite practices sometimes being a “logistics nightmare” according to their site, JSDT considers themselves to be a “close-knit” family.
The non-profit organization was founded by champion dancer, Brennar Goree, in 2008. Since their beginning, the group has racked up numerous championship titles themselves.
Congratulations to the Junior Shag Dance Team for winning the Team Division at the 2018 USA Grand National Championships! We are so proud of all of them!
One memorable performance occurred at the US Open Swing Dance Championships.
In the video, seven male dancers walk onto the stage in green, while the females are wearing yellow. At first, the routine is slow and soulful, with Otis Redding’s “Try a Little Tenderness” playing in the background. The teens, of course, pair up for the partner dance.
A short time later it takes a funky turn.
Suddenly, Wilson Pickett’s “Land of 1,000 Dances” fills the room, and the JSDT dancers crank up their speed too! The people in the audience go wild watching their Carolina Shag performance, which contains lots of fancy footwork.
There isn’t a dull moment during their fun and energetic routine.
The dancers shift positions on the stage throughout the performance. But while it keeps it interesting – one thing’s for sure, they consistently keep the dance floor on fire the entire time!
With how spectacular the dancers are, it’s obvious a lot of hard work and dedication must have been put in to hone their skills. A viewer wrote the following compliment:
“I love these kids! Well done! You have a fan in me!! Hat’s off to the choreographer. The steps with the music was spot on!!”
The Open is a prestigious swing competition that hosts dancers from all over. They’re currently going into their 38th year, making it the world’s “oldest swing competition.”
On their website, it says:
“More competitors come to The Open to perform their swing routines than any other event in the world. Dancers consider The US Open to be the most challenging and exciting swing competition on the planet. Spectators get to witness the most amazing dance performances that will be seen in one place, at one time.”
It’s a dazzling performance that had them bringing home the first-place prize.
The Junior Shag Dance Team ended up being named the champions in the team division that year. Bravo to them all!
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You can watch this amazing Carolina Shag group performance for yourself below!
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