20170407 ST James Elementary School

St James Elementary School


Lou Martino

Click Here To see Photos of this event 

In the wee hours of a brisk morning the members of the OD Shag Club Dance Team arose at 5 AM to prepare for one of our long awaited events of the year.

April 7, 2017 nine early risers of the OD Shag Club Dance Team arrived at the Saint James Elementary School in Myrtle Beach, SC.

At 7 AM Ms. Kayleigh Vanlandingham and Ms. Jenna Jones the music teacher where our points of contact and met us in the lobby of the school and explained the Fine Arts Day schedule.

We were supposed to dance outside the school, however, the morning chill of 50° with a wind-chill factor did not warrant the location.

After a few minutes, they decided that we would dance in one of the outside classrooms.  It was a perfect location to perform and teach the shag dance.

We set up our equipment and waited for the first wave of children or students to arrive. We were to demonstrate and teach grades kindergarten through first grade ages 5 to 7 years old.

Our schedule was to see 40 students every 25 minutes with a five-minute break between sessions, which totaled 340 students. After 15 minutes of a dedicated March of the whole school for the March of Dimes and after the Pledge of Allegiance the students began to arrive.

The children were very disciplined and were  instructed to set on the floor directed by their teachers and their assistants ready to observe and more importantly learn to dance.

 Linda Campbell began her introductions and asked if any students wanted to learn how to dance. They were all very enthusiastic to learn. Each group of 40 students had their own personalities which was a welcomed environment to teach.

Prior to each session the OD shag club dance team demonstrated the Shag dance. Ms Campbell explained the rules to the students: first you had to learn to smile; you had to learn to count to six; know you’re right from your left and learn march.

The class began one and two; three and 4; 5 – 6 the students were naturals.

Linda divided the boys on the left and the girls to the right. Then the children were asked to find a partner. At first there were groans and moans because the boys and the girls had to touch each other. (Ooos and Awws).

However, after they were instructed that in order for them to learn how to shag, they would need a  partner. They all complied although, there were several comments such as “Do I have to touch his hand?” and one of the young man stated “If I hand?” and one of the young man stated “If I have to hold her hand can I kiss her?”

Over all, these children were ready to learn the dance and even some of the teachers participated.

To see the results of each class’s enthusiasm check out the photos of this event.

The last thoughts that we left them with: was to keep smiling; keep dancing; keep music in their hearts and always have fun.

Thanks go out to the members arising before dawn: Connie Livingston, James Thorndyke, Susan Male, Barbara Hopper, Linda Campbell, Lori Setzer, John Setzer and Lou Martino