A whole lotta shagging going on in North Myrtle Beach

The National Shag Dance Competition finals started Thursday night with a record number of junior contestants and a wide variety of participants.

The Spanish Galleon at the OD Beach & Golf Resort in North Myrtle Beach hosts the shag preliminaries, which were in January, and finals competitions each year, and the public is invited to watch. Tickets at the door (no more pre-sale tickets are available) are $20 on Friday and $25 on Saturday.

Forty-six couples, ranging in age from 8 to 85, will take the floor each evening; doors open at 7 p.m. and the event starts at 8 p.m. Barry Thigpen with the NSDC says there is “good competition” this year and one gentleman in the master’s division served in the Korean War.

Saturday night will open with a salute to veterans, Thigpen said, and Junior ROTC will be on hand for the opening introduction.

The NSDC began in 1984 and is the past winner of two Feather Awards for being the best swing dance event in the U.S., according to www.shagnationals.com, and also has established a scholarship program. Recipients of the annual scholarship are announced at the finals.

The shag became the official dance of South Carolina in 1984 and shaggers flock to North Myrtle Beach annually for events like the NSDC preliminaries and finals and the Society of Stranders Spring Safari.

For more information, visit the website or call 222-6706.

Caroline Evans, cevans@thesunnews.com