Shag Dancers on the Beach

Society of Stranders

What does a shag dancer need to stay healthy?  Beach fever, the infection that cures the disease of loneliness.

At the SOS Fall Migration in September, everybody got what they came for, as long as you were looking for music, laughter, and a dance partner with a casual attitude.

At SOS a different reality comes into play, like it did at the beach when we were kids, and the rules were different. In the summertime, the usual definitions of good and bad could swap places overnight. At SOS, embracing a partner you haven’t danced with thirty years can transform the night into a blooming possibility. The music sweeps away cobwebs in the joints of your knees. Memory binds you to a sensation of youth. An electrical charge emanates from the music. Your head swims with the rhythm.

The older you get, the better it feels. At SOS, among others of your kind, you’re quick to embrace the very moment in which the music releases you from the passage of time. You’re free to parade; to indulge an attitude of fearlessness. It might not last, but what in the world does?

You feel too young to worry. There is nothing large enough to be sad about. You’re at home in wrinkled skin.  It’s all right to stand crookedly, in a body you don’t recognize, with your hands shaking, and ask a pretty person to dance. In the Land of Shag, age and infirmity do not isolate the sufferer. Everybody is glad to be alive.

The party always ends before it gets old.  And you never want it to be over, to go back where the rules stay the same all year. At SOS we are each invited to slay the dragon of ordinary life. To laugh and dance where the night is young forever.