The music is a mix of classic rhythm & blues, & everything in between. While you will see people shag to all sorts of music, the “real” shag music is classic rhythm & blues by groups like the Drifters, 5 Royales, Dominoes, Midnighters, etc. Many of these groups were actually from North & South Carolina and the artists still live & perform here today.
The “Shag” is a partner dance native to the Carolinas. It is hard to define what creates the mystique & magic that surrounds the shag. The dance itself is a simple little step that drifted inland after it was conceived along the coast of North & South Carolina. The basic, the central element of the shag, is meant to be improvised upon by the individual dancers. The Shag today is often compared to west coast swing; however, it has some very important differences. Unlike west coast swing, shag showcases male lead steps and footwork. It consists of intricate steps (i.e. fancy footwork) and is very smooth and controlled (no lifts like lindy hop).