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Shag Dancing Grooves onto N.C. License Plates

Posted November 28, 2006

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— Randal Hight, or "Mr. Beach", prefers not to be driving. He'd rather be shagging. But recently he drew a picture of his dancing loafers and designed an emblem. And soon, the logo will be on license plates.

"(The check given to the Department of Motor Vehicles) represents the first 307 people that put their money down for the license plates," said Dwayne Baggett with the Society of Stranders.

In North Carolina, there are 100 shag-dancing clubs with 16,000 members, including Mr. Beach.

"The beat, the rhythm, it feels good," he said.

Shag dancing started in 1927, and Wrightsville Beach held the first shag contest in 1932. It's the official popular dance for the state of North Carolina, and Baggett said the license plate is an attempt to promote it.

"Instead of working or whatever, we'd rather be shagging," he said.

State officials said the license plate will be available in about four months.

North Carolina offers more than 140 special plates, from ones with university logos to military symbols to ones that support a charity. They cost anywhere from $10 to $30 each, and more than 15,000 motorists have one.
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