by Chris Toenes
Beach music and the Carolina Shag dance phenom still carry a lot of weight in North Carolina. It was evidenced when Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, an avid shag dancer, established Beach Music Day in 2004, coinciding with a concert celebration in Downtown Raleigh.
Now, UNC Women's Basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell has invited shaggers to perform their footwork in front of the halftime crowd in Friday's game against Clemson.
Hatchell is a member of the Eno Shag Club, and an old friend of beach & oldies DJ Charlie Brown, one of the primary voices for the scene from the mid-60s in Raleigh, now on WPCM 920 AM in Burlington, and in syndication “On the Beach with Charlie Brown.”
So, this Friday at halftime in the newly-renovated Carmichael arena, dancers from Burlington, Eno, Bass Lake, and Chatham shag clubs will perform an exhibition. Look for some junior shaggers, too, some vying for national level competition.
Local omnipresent shag supporter Steve Rogers was my guide in 2006, when I was working on my story about beach music and the shag in 2006, and he is in the mix here, too. Rogers and other members of local shag clubs will perform and demonstrate the tricky footwork to beach music's bounce. Never tried it? If nothing else, you will learn a lot about rhythm; R&B music's and your own body's.
The game starts at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 general admission, or UNC faculty and staff get in free with their UNC One Card.