Sorry for posting this on my own website, it was too long to add to the FB text area.
It's cool to know these debates happen over in the UK too. We chat about it here all the time. There are several things that come up when we debate it over here. Maybe I'll throw in some opinions into your debate and see what you guys think of them.
One of the reasons shag is so difficult is because there are so few people interested in moving beyond the limits of the few self help DVD's and maybe the 40 shag clips out there from the old days. This "base content" takes quite a while to master and nobody would argue with you if you said 'base content is plenty enough to be bad ass.' It IS bad ass -- no question! Still, some do go further, and some go even further than that. Perhaps it's insanity or obsession, but some of us really want to keep things moving as fast as our bodies and minds will let us.
If you combine all the "base content" moves in all the videos into one library, it's probably a total of 40 things leveraging maybe 15 techniques and half a dozen style variations. This obviously is not enough to create a living and breathing style. Those that truly dig in have one of three choices once they naturally reach the point where they've gone through all that base content. They must either break into an innovation state, they must accept they they have gone as far as they want to go, or they must move on to something else.
Johnny created a style he calls shag-boa and if you're into smoothing out your shag then he's definitely got some style you could try. If you're a double shagger and you're trying to be more technical, then Ryan has some poly techniques that can blow your mind. As for me, I spend countless hours each week at the studio attempting to hone connections with my partners.
The point is, everybody who really digs into this style for more than a few years is a significant asset to our scene.
On the other side of of the thought above, by the time somebody invests years worth of study into shag, I have no doubt they recreate something like the "Lady Be Good" clip right down to the posture and mistakes in about a week if they had to. I would guess many of us would consider that content fairly easy now days, which is why you probably won't see it redone unless somebody asks.
Another opinion that comes up when we're debating shag styles is the "youtube syndrome." Advanced shag is SUPER hard I think. Still, I think many now days learn shag by breaking down what we see on youtube. I do sometimes too. We all do, but learning that way is learning at an intermediate level at best because we're missing the details. Recently I posted something on my personal website called the 'flip basic.' As a move, it's conceptually easy to understand. If executed as a pattern, I supposed it's easy to do. But, practically I think it's insanely difficult to master. There are dozens of micro-connections that have to fire in sequence to make work. When all that training and connection flows together and muscle memory takes over, when the rhythms change, when everything is second nature.. That's when it's really bad ass. I don't think you can get that from youtube.