From the newsletter archives......Jan - Feb 2011
Dance etiquette is nothing more than polite consideration of your dance partner and others around you as well as a concern for the safety of everyone involved. Good dance etiquette helps to avoid accidentally offending or harming other dancers or people around you. When in doubt about a specific point of etiquette, just remember the Golden Rule and treat others as you would like to be treated and be kind, generous, courteous, and considerate of others. The following is information that has been found on other shag club sites and I would like to share it with you. It covers everything you ever wanted to know about dance floor etiquette but didn‘t know to ask!! You don‘t know what you don‘t know but after reading this, go forth and be ladies and gentlemen that the Richmond Shag Club can be proud of.
Everything here applies to both males and females whether you think it does or not! And remember – they are just suggestions, not the gospel; however, it is good etiquette. Although some of this stuff may sound negative, most of the time it is never an issue when dancing – but there are always the ―clueless and the ―special people‖ that think that the rules and graces don‘t apply to them. Try not to be one of them and . . . Good luck on the dance floor!
1. Show your appreciation. If dancing to a live band, applaud the band. If dancing to music played by a DJ, tell the DJ how much you appreciate him/her and they don‘t mind applause when it‘s appropriate either. They don‘t just play for the money! The more you show your appreciation, the better they will play and feel. Also, don‘t forget your waitresses and bartenders! They work hard to accommodate you so show your appreciation and be kind!
2. The dance floor is for dancing. If you‘re having a conversation or learning something new, move off the dance floor. Dance space is a premium, so, if you‘re not dancing, stay off the dance floor.
3. The dance floor should be treated with care. Beverages, food, lighted cigarettes, and chewing gum should never be brought on the dance floor.
4. Asking for a dance. It is equally permissible for a woman to ask a man to dance as it is for a man to ask a woman. Take your partner‘s hand onto the dance floor and at the end of the dance, thank your dance partner. Typically, it‘s good etiquette to accept an invitation to dance, but if you don‘t want to dance, say so politely by saying, ―No thank you.‖ If someone turns you down, accept it graciously and ask someone else to dance. Don‘t be persistent, take them at their word. It‘s considered bad social etiquette to refuse a dance on the basis of preferring to dance with someone else. In addition, declining a dance means sitting out the whole song. It is inconsiderate to dance a song with anyone after you have declined to dance it with someone else. The choices are to dance with whoever asked first, or to sit out the dance.
5. Keep your opinions to yourself. It is not polite to correct your partner on the dance floor. Remember, this is social dancing! If someone does ask for help or instruction, kindly take them off to the side away from the other dancers.
6. Dance class instructors should do the teaching. If you are in a dance class, let the instructor teach. The instructor will ask for your help if needed.
7. Use Selective Floor Placement. Establish your slot and continue to dance in it. Usually the first couple on the dance floor will establish the slot.
8. Dance small. Don‘t dance all over the floor as nobody likes to be pushed around the floor. Also, save the arm waving, long and wide footsteps, and wild leg movements for elsewhere. Aerials, drops, and slides are best left for jam sessions, competitions, and performances. These type patterns are not appropriate for the social dance floor. You are not the only one on the dance floor and you could hurt someone!
9. Leaders are responsible for looking out for the safety of their partners since they are directing their movements. Keep them out of danger and be aware of the dancers around you.
10. Leaders, make your partner comfortable. If you are dancing with a less experienced dancer, dance to their skill level. Work as a team, don‘t showboat.
11. Leaders, keep it quiet. If you must count and give verbal leads, keep it low enough that just you and your partner can hear. It can confuse those around you.
12. Pay attention to the beat of the music. Just because you can count doesn‘t mean you‘re on beat.
13. Be aware of the dancers around you. Bumping into other dancers is inevitable. If you bump into someone, kick someone, step on someone‘s foot, or if they bump into you, always apologize whether it was your fault or theirs. (Even a short non-verbal gesture will do in some situations. Show concern that no serious injury occurred.
14. Take care of your personal hygiene. For your partner‘s sake, avoid eating garlic, onions, or spicy foods, and always brush your teeth and shower before going out dancing. If you perspire a lot, pace your dancing, or bring extra shirts, T-shirts, blouses, etc., and change sweaty clothing. Sometimes mints or deodorants will be the right choice!
Please remember the instructors cannot teach properly if there is ―other instruction going on by the desk. It is very distracting. If someone asks for your help or wants to learn a new step, please take them out into the hallway or to the lobby (if not occupied by hotel guests) to show them privately so as not to take the focus off of what people are trying to learn. Finally, if you are an experienced dancer and you are helping to partner because of a shortage of men or women in the class, we ask that you please do not jump ahead of the instructor and show them higher level steps during class. Please help to instruct only what the students are learning – keep it simple so as not to confuse. Let‘s have another great year of dancing and fun!
The Richmond Shag Club Board of Directors
wishes to congratulate the following members who
will be inducted into the
Virginia Shaggers Hall of Fame
I’m sorry but I just have to say something. Am I the only one disturbed about losing Vision’s on Thursday nights? To my way of thinking, this is a big deal and it certainly does not bode well for our club. I know we now have Wednesday instead, but for how long? If we don’t support Wednesday nights, we will lose that also. Personally, this warrants concern because I have always felt, since being introduced to the shag in 2003, that the beginner lessons are a tremendous asset to the club. The lessons bring in new people, and some, certainly not all, choose to join. Some of those become active club members, some become friends, and what’s most important, they become SHAGGERS. After all, the mission of the RSC is to “promote the dance”, it says it right there on your membership card. What’s more, I find our lack of support for Thursday night to be a paradox, because we thrive on Tuesdays, it’s great fun. And we support our other functions very well, such as the golf tournament, the Boogie on the James, the Jingle Bell Ball, the Silent Auction, and other events. We are an active bunch, except when it comes to Thursday (now Wednesday) nights and our beginner classes. And hey, I don’t buy the argument that the lessons take too long, that they eat into our dance time. They’re over by 8 at the latest, more often than not before that time. That leaves at least two hours of dance time, of steady, uninterrupted music, with no breaks. Let me ask you this; can you dance for two hours? Well, I dance a lot and I’ll
answer that question for you; no you physically cannot. There’s more time for dancing following the lesson than you will use. Here’s the thing some of you may not realize. There are about 100 shag clubs in existence and I doubt if many of the others have as sweet a deal as we do when it comes to having a place to dance two nights a week, at no charge and at no expense. Lots of clubs have a cover charge (not allowed at Visions), charge for their lessons (ours are free and unlimited), and probably have the expense of a DJ (Visions foots this bill). All we have to do is show up, socialize and dance. Of course it helps if we support Visions, our business partner, by buying a beverage or two and maybe some food (also free if you are there before Happy Hour ends at 7). So, here’s my plea. If you’re a member of the RSC, or not, why don’t you come to Visions some Wednesday evening? Beverly and I taught the beginner classes in May, and one night I counted 15 “regulars” there. Come on, we can do better than that. I’m not suggesting every Wednesday mind you, I know there’s competition, especially during the summer months. But a few, or several, coming by even sporadically, can make a big difference. It’s a night we have visitors, it’s an opportunity to make that all-important first impression. Why not put the RSC back on your radar screen? Introduce yourself to, talk to, and dance with a beginner or two. It’s fun, and you never know, you may be dancing with a future RSC president. -Parker
There were only a few hundred thousand jukeboxes scattered around the United States prior to World War II. In North and South Carolina they were few and far between. They waited to be played in the well-lighted basements of country clubs, in drug stores near soda fountains and on the decks of public swimming pools. In hot southern farm towns, jukeboxes were the star attractions at teenage “canteens.” Along the coast, where the early Shaggers vacationed, these magical boxes stood on the patios of isolated beach pavilions. The ocean front jukes glowed in the dark, soft yellow and rosy red, as wondrous and compelling as the flames of an open fire.
The were primarily Wurlitzer, Seeburg and Rock-ola designs, delicate, almost fragile things, near miracles of twentieth century engineering. You dropped your nickel in, punched a selection, and watched
the old 78 rpm platters rotate. The sound was activated by a toned arm needle of steel. Before the music started, you heard the static sound of “Shhhhhhhhhhh,” like a young school teacher with great dancer’s legs, calling the class to be quiet.
The recordings made available on jukeboxes, to a large extent, determined the styles of dance the kids adopted. Tunes that played on Victrolas in the home were often chosen by conservative, even pious mothers and fathers. Outside the home, jukeboxes exemplified democracy and gave young people the musical vote.
The Shag got its start while music was still a sleepy chaperon of youth in the South. The desires and impatience of youth eloped with the jukebox.
Thanks to Bo Bryan of Myrtle Beach, S.C. For this essay.
The 2019 Camp Fantastic Charity Golf Tournament will be
June 3rd, 2019...Rain or Shine!
The 29th annual Richmond Shag Club charity golf tournament to support Camp Fantastic will be held at Stonehenge Golf & Country Club on June 3rd, 2019. Up to 28 teams will be enrolled in a fun outing to raise money to send kids with cancer to summer camp (Camp Fantastic). So get your team together, encourage your golfing friends to sign up and complete the entry form with $400 team or $100 player entry fee!
Lunch & dinner will be served as arrangements are now being worked out. Adult beverages, water, soft and sports drinks will be provided also.
Tax-deductible corporate sponsorships and gift certificates are also welcome to support this worthwhile cause. Use the links below to sign up to play, to commit sponsorship support and/or donate gift items and gift certificates!
CLUB MEMBERS: We need hole sponsors and donated gift cards to make this event another financial and promotional success! Please ask your favorite merchant to donate!
The Richmond Shag Club is a 501(c)7 Social Club, P.O.Box 35771, Richmond, VA 23235