Shag Etiquette

  1. Asking a partner. It is equally permissible for a woman to ask a man 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 partner.
  2. If you don’t want to dance, say “No thank you.” Don’t dance with someone if you just turned down a request to dance. Please, if someone says “no thanks” do not be persistent, take them at their word.
  3. It is not polite to correct your partner on the dance floor. Remember this is a social club (have fun).
  4. It is not polite to offer instruction to someone in a social dance setting (or in a dance class if you are not the instructor). Let’s face it, you may be the one doing the step wrong. Unless they ask for help or are hurting you, don’t teach. If your partner requests help, kindly take them off to the side away from the other social dancers.
  5. DANCERS BUMP INTO THE NICEST PEOPLE and it isn’t even a contact sport. Be aware of the dancers around you! if you bump into someone, kick someone or step on someone’s foot, or if they bump into you, apologize whether it was your fault or theirs. Show concern that no serious injury has occurred. It’s a fairly accepted practice that when a collision occurs, apologize, EVEN if it wasn’t your fault.
  6. DANCERS, USE SELECTIVE FLOOR PLACEMENT – Find your Spot and keep your Slot! The first person on the floor usually has the right to set the slot of the dance. Dance Small! If you require 1/2 of the floor in order to do your thing, you need to change your thing! Nobody likes to be pushed around the floor. Also save the arm waving, clapping and hand dancing for Flag Day as they may end up in another person’s face. Sorry, but unless you’re on a stage, you’re not the only one on the floor.
  7. Please step off the dance floor if you’re not dancing. If you are drinking a beverage of any kind, keep off the dance floor because of damage to the floor.
  8. Leaders: if dancing with a less experienced partner, keep the steps simple at first and build to the level that your partner can handle. Leading should be defined as “the art of making your partner comfortable.” Work as a team; don’t showboat.
  9. Leaders, protect your partner, since you are directing her movement, you need to be sure to protect her safety.
  10. Leaders, 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 and besides; just because you can count doesn’t mean “you are on the beat.”


Shag Lessons

Several members of M.A.S.S. offer shag dance lesson in various locations and include both beginner and intermediate/advanced sessions. The instructors schedule individual private lessons and group lessons. In addition, there are members at Socials who will assist you with the basic steps.


Shag LessonsNanci Donald and Bud Hunter have taught lessons in the Pinehurst area of Moore County for 10 years. Contact them directly for private lessons at (910) 690-9176.

Currently, they offer the following sessions of group lessons on Tuesday Evenings at Down Memory Lane, 161 Dawkins St., Aberdeen which is located off Hwy. 5 behind the Bowling Alley.

Cost: $40 per person per month (4 lessons)

PLEASE Pre-register. Call Nanci at 910-690-9176.

Beginner Class at 6:00 pm
Learn Basic, Ladies & Man’s Turn, Cuddle, Handshake Trail, Set Up Step, Sailor Shuffle, Bonus Steps

Intermediate/Advanced Class at 7 pm
Learn Pivot, Belly Roll, Stutter Step plus more advanced steps that change each month


Sam and Lisa West, both professional dancers individually, met and became partners on the dance floor and now are partners in marriage, sharing the love of their children and dancing. They have received numerous recognitions in shag dance competitions. Their children are also junior shaggers.

Currently living in Hamlet, North Carolina (Sam’s hometown), they offer shag lessons on Thursday nights at The Ballroom on 3 Hamlet Avenue, Hamlet, NC 28345.

Beginner Lessons start at 6:15, followed by a 30-minute Intermediate Lesson and Dancing until 9:00 p.m. The cost is $5.00 per night.

Check out Sam and Lisa West at or contact them at:

910-995-3278 (cell) or 910-582-0048 (home)