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HC Impressions: My First Shag on the Mag

As a freshman this was my first Shag on the Mag experience and I was definitely more than impressed. I entered the tent and felt as though I was walking into a movie scene where chucks, short skirts and lax penney’s had been transformed into Lily Pulitzer, bow ties and button-downs. The hundreds of college students around me were dressed to the nines and the strangest part was that there was no grinding to be seen.
The live band was playing beach music with an overtone of Southern soul and there were more than a few couples dancing who really knew what they were doing. My friends from the Carolina’s were astounded that we Northerners had never shagged before and we all received lessons on the dance floor.
Shag dancing originated in the late 1930’s in the nightclubs of Myrtle Beach. According to The Dance Store Online, the Carolina Shag is the official state dance of South Carolina and is very popular all over the southeast region of the United States. It is only natural that Carolinians know how to shag dance. 
Shag dancing is a social dance with a bit more class than grinding and bumping on the dance floor. It’s graceful and quick foot movement are easy to grasp but complicated to master and dance with ease. Some even say that true Southerners can identify where you are from based on how you move while shag dancing.
“If you live in the South you absolutely should know how to shag,” said freshman Matt Bonner. He went on to explain that shag dancing occurs at weddings, birthday parties, beach parties, and just about every formal event in the South.
Before I knew it I was shag dancing with my friends and enjoying every moment of the surreal atmosphere. I enjoyed watching all the advanced dancing couples whose elegant foot movement and turns made it appear as easy as walking.
“I saw a lot of great shag dancers at Shag on the Mag – I wish I could dance as well as a lot of them,” said Bonner. Bonner has known how to shag for as long as he can remember and knows all of the more complicated moves.
“I realized how much I love living in the South at Shag on the Mag,” says freshman Kristen Young. “Everyone was laughing and just enjoying dancing with their friends.”
As I walked around the tent with my friends I found an over-flowing chocolate fountain, white tablecloth tables and even more Lilly and J.Crew. The guys donned pastel colored pants, vineyard vines button downs, and I even spotted a couple pairs of madras slacks in the mix. The crowd was a sea of colors due to all of the adorable dresses. This atmosphere offered a much-needed break from the repetitive frat scene.
While house parties and late night at DKEs are always a good time, Shag on the Mag was a real Southern experience and well worth the money. Twenty dollars is what you would pay for a dinner or a movie out and shag dancing was definitely more memorable than a movie.
“Shag on the mag was such a great time I was impressed with the band and I had a couple of friends from Chapel Hill who both had a great time,” said Bonner.
Classy is an understatement for this event; I finally came to the conclusion that a summer wedding is the closest comparison that can be made. What could be better than an excuse to dress up for a night spent with your friends, attempting to shag dance to a live band with more food than you could imagine.
I would encourage every Wake student to experience this event at least once before graduating; it definitely makes a spot on the Wake bucket list. As for me, I am already excited for next year’s event!
“Shag on the Mag is one of my favorite Wake Forest traditions and was a great change of scenery,” said freshman Josh Paz.
Shag on the Mag 2011 was a huge success and offered a classy alternative to the frat scene.

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