As I move further into my study of shag, I find myself being more and more attracted to the earlier forms of of the dance, before the Arthur Murray clip, before the judges, before the competitions. Times were very different back then. There were tommy guns, gangs, depression, blacks forced into the back room, massive wars, major industrial revolutions going on all over the place, post Victorian era mindsets.. I can't even begin to imagine what it was like.
But there were groups who bonded together, and dancers were definitely one of them.
I like to think dance at that time, and specifically shag, was about sharing time with your partner, not swapping between everybody wearing track pants at a club. I like to think it was just a time when people were doing anything they could to do to experience a strong connection with another human.
I find myself influenced heavily by this concept, and my shag is heading in that direction with me. My exercises, directions seem to be more and more about connecting with my partner fully, down to the smallest millimeter of weight shift either laterally or forward to back. To me, if you aren't connected, then it just doesn't feel right. Sure, I love throwing tricks, but that's my personality, and it's really not a part of shag. It's just my thing, what I bring to the style.
Some say that this concept of 'inward' dancing was at the core of LA style in the late 30's. One thing I can say for certain is this looks almost nothing like the shag we know today.
Let me close this post by showing a video of what I believe may be the most connected set of dancers I've ever seen in any TV clip. They aren't actors. They aren't dancing to a metronome. They're just a bunch of warmed up partnerships tearing it up to a live band. Style doesn't matter, their form is very specific to each couple, and it's all just different. To me, it seems like it's all about just bei