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Arthur Murray Shag  Dance Pictures
Arthur Murray Shag!

       The "Shag" Arthur Murray taught was actually a newer version of the "Collegiate Shag" that was done in the 1920's by the College kids but was slightly different than the "Collegiate" or "8 count Swing Baboa" as done

today.

   The Shag was originally called the "Flea-Hop" in New Jersey and in North Carolina as the "Sugar Foot " and only in the deep south as the Shag in 1931 (Look Mag-1938 this IS mis-referencing, more towards the Carolina Shag I'm presuming). It uses a six count basic rather than four or eight.

   It is basically a Slow-Slow-Quick-Quick, or six count rhythm, similar to the "belly roll" of the Carolina Shag but allot faster. The lead holds the follower very closely with very fast feet (hopping/stomping) movements, and a few body moves and many variations. The Murray Shag eventually gave way to a much more modified version called "Balboa" in popularity.

   A good film clip of this is "Arthur Murray and his Shag Dancers" (see clip) - this short film is not available commercially, but many swing dancers have copies of this tapeing. It is basically a quick instructional video on how to do the shag with demo's and a few performances by his students at the end ... They aso do a team type routine for the audience at the end.

    The Arthur Murray Shag dance is its own dance like the Charleston, Black Bottom, Balboa etc. It is however a part of the swing dance family of dances, however it is not a swing dance, but rather a companion dance to swing like the Charleston, Fox-Trot, Suzy-Q, Balboa, Big Apple, Little Apple, Truckin, Black Bottom etc. The 1937 and 1938 Harvest moon ball featured a Collegiate Shag division.

Note: A interesting thing in Arthur Murray's 1937 Let's Dance book, he breaks it down as a Hop-Hop-123 (kicking on 3) but breaks it down differently in his video. The Movie Swing, Swing, Swing has a good musical short of this dance.

 

Birth Place

Creation Date

Creator

Dance Type

North Carolina 1930s Arthur Murray Swing
 

Posters, Lobby Cards etc.

Sheet Music Covers

Music preview clip

Various Shag Music Titles

n/a The Shag Video Clip not available at this time New Orleans Shag
            Video Clip not available at this time Shag (Betchet)
           
Video Clip Pop-Up Window
Shag (Shep Fields) 1937
            Video Clip not available at this time New Orleans Shag (1925 see collegiate)
            Video Clip not available at this time The Shag (Ager) 1937
           
Video Clip Pop-Up Window
The Shag - Steel Pier the musical
               
 

Night Clubs

Theaters

Locations

Savoy Ballroom Chanin's 46th Street Theatre USA
Palladium        
N.Y. Pennsylvania Hotel            
             
 
Video Clips (pop-up)

related Films / Movies

Television

Ballets / Stage

Video Clip not available at this time 1930 - Good News (1930) n/a Good News (1927)
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1936 - Follow The Fleet (Let Yourself Go) [DVD]   Steel Pier the musical - The Shag
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1937 - Big Apple, the [Paramount]   Who's Who (1937)
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window. 1938 - I Am The Law    
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1939 - I'm Just a Jitterbug [Animated]        
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1939 - Blondie Meets The Boss (Sorta Shag lol)      

Publications

Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1939 - Naughty But Nice (Wild & Nutty Shag)       ?- Down Beat Magazine
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1940 - Mad Youth (Ray Hirsch - Swing)       3/1/1938 - Look Magazine
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1941 - Belles on Their Toes       3/7/1938 - Life Mag. (Shag Contest)
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1946 - Georgie Porgie        
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
Arthur Murray How To Dance The Shag (Short)        
Video Clip not available at this time Collegiate, the        
Video Clip not available at this time Swing, Swing, Swing [DVD]        
           

 

Other Related Dances of the time...

Arthur Murray Shag Carolina Shag Flying Lindy (see WCS) St. Louis Shag
Balboa Champion Strut Jitterbug Steppin'
Ballin' The Jack Charleston Jive Sugar Foot
Baltimore Buzz Collegiate Shag Lindy (Hop) Suzy Q'
Big Apple Creep, the New Orleans Shag Tango
Black Bottom D.C. Hand Dancing New Yorker, the (ecs) Tap Dance
Boogie Woogie Eagle Rock Peabody, the Texas Tommy
Bop East Coast Swing Peelin The Peach Truckin'
Breakaway Foxtrot Rock and Roll Waltz
Bugg Funky Butt Shim Sham West Coast Swing
Camel Walk Flea Hop Snake Hips  
 

Dancers, Choreographers etc.

Political

Arthur Murray John Englert (1937) n/a
Arthur Murray Shag Dancers Ruth Scheim (1937)  
Peggy Keating and Leonard Rowan    
Tom Gallagher    
 

Books, Magazine Articles on the dance...

Title Author Date Publisher
Let's Dance Murray, Arthur 1937 Standard Brands Co.
"How To Dance The Shag" Murray, Arthur 1/4/1938 Look Magazine
How To Become A good Dancer Murray, Arthur 1938 Simon & Schuster
Ballroom Dance Course - Home Study Grant, Lawrence 1938 n/a
Teach Yourself the Latest Dance Steps Hostetler, Lawrence 1938 Home Institute
The Shag of Bulgaria Staff Writer 4/1939 the Dance Magazine
How to do the Newest Dance Steps... Grant, Lawrence 1940 Home Service
'Arthur Murray Dance Book' Murray, Arthur 1941 n/a
 

Musicians

Singers

Poets / Writers

Milton Ager n/a n/a
New Orleans Feetwarmers (1932)      
Richard M. Jones        
Sidney Betchet        
 

Misc. Research Words that may be related ... to help your searches

Collegiate Raccoon Coat Stomping -
Flappers Ragtime Straw Hat    
Chugs Stompers      
 
[ More Photo's | Old AM Shag Cheat Sheet ]  
 

Basic Step ...

Movement Count Speed
Back-Point (LT) 1 - 2 Slow
Step (LT) and change weight
Back-Point (RT) 3 - 4 Slow
Step (RT) and change weight
Step / Step (LT-RT) 5 - 6 Qk-Qk
* Count: 1-2(&)3-4(&)5/6 repeat
* Leader starts left, Follower Right
* Couples faces each other.
* Stiff/ upright Ballroom Hold, Follower leans fwd., slightly into Leader.
* Fast Music (about 180bpm) 4/4.
* On 'Change Weight' (the "and" count) its a stomping step
April 11, 2013
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