Collegiate Shag is a partnered swing dance that originated in the 1930s.
It has a history similar to other vernacular jazz and swing era dances, such as the Charleston, Lindy Hop, and Balboa.
There are virtually as many “shag” dances as there were locations to dance – back in the day most regions had their own shag variant and the history is obscure, with very little documentation and to make things worse the term “Shag” has come to mean many unrelated dances just like the term Jitterbug.
What is widely referred to as Collegiate Shag today is a dance that probably originated with college kids during the jazz and swing era. It’s usually associated with a 6-count basic, quick and flashy footwork and a chugging rhythm. It may be danced in closed position, open position or side by side.
The true origins are sketchy and much argued, but the fun is undeniable!
Does it have to be fast? No. Collegiate Shag suits a variety of tempos.
Is it all about bouncing up and down? No, social shag dancing can be done in a relaxed and comfortable way so you can dance all night!
Interested in learning Collegiate Shag? Cotswold Shag holds Weekly Shag class’s and social dancing Bi-monthly at the Stroud Brewery on Fridays or Saturdays, check the events tab for dates and information. You do not need a partner to attend the class's or dance. We recommend that you wear supportive footwear or trainers (no flip-flops please).