Lake Norman Magazine

Shag the night away

David and Donna Kelly met at the Twisters Shag Club, and eventually married.
David and Donna Kelly met at the Twisters Shag Club, and eventually married.

The Days Inn in Cornelius is a great meeting place for businesses, organizations and clubs—specifically the shagging kind. What began in 1991 as a small group of people who enjoyed to shag, a partner dance similar to swing, has evolved into a thriving social outlet for Lake Norman residents. Twister’s Shag Club now has about 135 members, and many of them gather every Friday at Smokin’ Guns Bar and Grill in the Cornelius Days Inn for a night of good music, great conversation and of course shagging. Shagging is a dance that’s as connected to the Carolinas’ beaches as the sand is to the surf. Most shag historians consider Myrtle Beach to be the birthplace of shag and the beach music scene. Club president Mike Rink attributes the group’s growth and popularity to a welcoming environment and a dance that’s fun and easy to learn. “If you can count to six you can learn to shag,” says Rink, describing the dance as a slower, smoother and silkier version of swing dancing. “Plus, we’re a very social group. Our club membership spans all ages and backgrounds.” Despite the fact that shagging is traditionally a partner dance, about half of the club’s members are single. And Rink says all skill levels are welcome. If you need a little help with your dance moves, the club also offers shag lessons every Tuesday evening at Fat Boys restaurant in Mooresville. Lessons cost $30 for a seven-week session. What you’ll find when you check out the Twister’s Shag Club is more than a group of people who like to boogie. “Shagging isn’t just a dance, it’s a way of life,” says Rink. “Shaggers become like a second family.” Members from shag clubs across the country travel near and far to join other shag dancers for weekend parties and get-togethers. Twister’s Shag Club hosts an annual event called the Fall Cyclone, which has been considered one of the most recognized events in the shag community since the club’s inception. Twister’s is also an active part of the Lake Norman community, helping businesses and people in need. When the Davidson-Cornelius Day Care found itself having to make facility repairs on a fixed budget, Twister’s Club members volunteered to assist with everything from raking leaves to painting furniture. Giving back to the community is another example of how the club is about more than just dancing. While open to people of all ages, Rink said most members are between 40 and 60. “Their kids are grown so they don’t have as many outside commitments,” he says. So if you’re looking for an excuse to shake your groove thing, make new friends and travel to fun events and help your community, check out Twister’s next event.

Want to go?

Twister’s Shag Club (

Membership: $20/year. Friday night parties at the Days Inn in Cornelius (19901 Holiday Lane). Music and dancing starts at 8 p.m. Tuesday evening lessons at Fat Boys in Mooresville (516 River Highway). $30/seven-week plan.