Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009
More than 260 shag club members danced Saturday night away at the Salisbury Elks Lodge.
The Salisbury Shag Club brought its annual competition to the Elks Lodge and drew dancers from 12 shag clubs across the Piedmont. And at least two Richmond, Va. club members showed up to enjoy the event.
The Salisbury club, headed by President Jeff Mills, began the competition four years ago. Cash prizes are awarded based not on dancing, but on which clubs have the highest percentage of members attending.While the Winston-Salem club had 48 members on the floor, Piedmont Shag Club of Harrisburg ó a much smaller club ó won top honors with 47 members participating. The top three clubs get cash prizes, which organizers say are used for charities.
Rae and Connie French serve as coordinators of the competition. Over the past year, the club held a social at the Elks Lodge on the fourth Saturday night of each month.
“The Elks Lodge and the club are both looking for new members,” said Rae French. “We can help each other out.”
French said the Elks Lodge offered to host the club’s big event and it went very well.
Dance areas were set up downstairs and upstairs with local DJs Butch Mattox, of Mount Pleasant, and Dana Grubb, of Spencer, virtually donating their time.
For the past three years, the annual competition has been held at Cripple Creek (formerly John’s Tavern) on Stokes Ferry Road.
The club also holds a dance each Friday night at the Boat and Ski Club and is working to attract new and younger members.
“We need to get younger folks involved. We’re trying to preserve the music and the dance. We don’t want to see the Carolina shag dance go by the wayside,” said Rae French, who met his wife, Connie, at a dance at Myrtle Beach.
For more information on the Salisbury Shag Club, call French at 704-213-6058 or log on to the club’s Web site at www.keeponshagging.com.