Foundation Update

The ETFJS sincerely appreciates the overwhelming response we have received from donors and
interested parties. We are happy to report that the Foundation has helped over 90 children attend
events such as the Grand National Dance Competition in Atlanta and Junior SOS in North
Myrtle Beach. In addition, 10 shag clubs have received assistance to help finance junior shag
events and workshops. Please take a moment to read below what these young
dancers and others are saying about the ETFJS and its work towards helping kids experience the
joy of shag dancing.

Junior & Junior Parent Comments:

Dear Members of Ellen Taylor Foundation,

My family wanted to send you a note to let you know how much we appreciate the scholarship our children received for this past Junior SOS. Your generosity is appreciated more than you know. Finding the shag community has been so amazing and life changing for us. My husband and I have formed lasting friendships with fellow shaggers, found something we love and share with each other and most importantly a hobby and a way of life to share with our children. We know our children will grow up and look back one day and remember our summer trips to the beach to shag, reconnect with friends, select another pair of shoes (thanks to your foundation) and spend meaningful time with each other. What an amazing gift to give our children. Your foundation will always have a special place in our hearts.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!

Jill and Steve Woodard parents of Addison and TJ Woodard

Ms. Ellen,

I just wanted to write to let you know that I received a check from the Ellen Taylor foundation last week and as I planned my trip, I realized… without the assistance of your foundation, my kids would not be able to experience these amazing events! I Thank you and the foundation from the bottom of my heart for all you do to help my children and others. I hope you know how much this foundation means to so many. The Shag world is an amazing community of people that I call family. This family has lifted me in prayer, stood by me in times of trouble, & supported and loved my children. Heck most of us don’t have family that has done all that!

I have no idea how you get the money donations to help all these children, but apparently there are many people who help in the support of Junior Shaggers. I am not a wealthy person and don’t have the means to donate is such a way but……
It got me to thinking…What can I do? Well, I have finally figured it out! I decided, when I die, I want people to send money to the Ellen Taylor Foundation in lieu of flowers! It is never too soon to make decisions such as this and this is my wish and desire and the only way I can think of to be assured of giving back to you and the foundation.

Again, thank you for making this possible for our children.

A grateful parent


Event: Capitol City Shag Club – Junior Shag Day at USC

Capital City Shag Club’s Junior Shag Day at USC on August 7, 2010 was a huge success! We had juniors attending from Aiken, Augusta, Camden, Chapin, Columbia, Lexington, and Raleigh.

This event was held at the “The Dance Program in the Department of Theatre and Dance College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Carolina” which is the recipient of the Phil Sawyer Shag Dance Scholarship. Phil and Chick Sawyer were sent a special invitation to attend Junior Shag Day and we were so happy that they came! Phil’s presence and inspirational talk inspired the children to keep up the shagging as a lifestyle not just a dance. You never know if one of the juniors who attended our event will be the recipient of the Phil Sawyer Shag Scholarship in the future!

Richard Durlack,USC professor and CCSC member, talked about the Phil Sawyer Shag Scholarship and how it is implemented at USC. Dan and Ann Humphries, shag instructors at USC and CCSC members, did a wonderful job of teaching the shag to all of the juniors. DJ: Jimmy Munn did a great job with the music!

Everyone had a wonderful time learning the South Carolina State Dance…The Shag!

Marie Kiesel

Event: Junior SOS 2009

I would like to say thank you for the shoes that I won during Jr. SOS 2010. I was one of the lucky winners of the drawing for the gift certificates from Judy’s. I had to have Mrs. Judy order my shoes because my foot is so small and I recieved them in the mail this week. Mrs. Judy was so nice to me and even traced my feet to make sure my shoes were a perfect fit. My dad looked for me a pair of shoes that I could shag in for the first 2 days of Jr SOS. It has been very hard to find shoes that I can dance in but because of your foundation I now have the perfect pair of shag shoes.

Ethan Alban (age 9)
Florence, SC


Event: Junior SOS 2009

Miss Ellen,

I just ran across your organization’s website today and was thrilled to find it. This summer was my daughter’s first Junior SOS. In fact, she was just learning her basic. She showed up to Junior SOS feeling inferior due to not having shag shoes. We were pleasantly surprised to learn of your program once we got there. She was able to find a pair that not only fit but were in beautiful condition and truly made her feel like Cinderella at the ball. I feel that having that new pair of shag shoes gave her the confidence to stand up next to other children that had been dancing for years and give it her best at every workshop possible, as well as joining them for social dance.

She’s been dancing several times a week ever since and will even be competing in Nationals in a few short weeks. She’s come a long way in a short time, but it all started with your gift of her first shag shoes. Thank you so much. Without knowing it, you have made quite an impact in her life, for shagging is something that she will be able to do forever. She also went to several of your practice sessions during Junior SOS and found them to be extremely helpful and truly appreciated the one on one instruction.

When it comes time to round up volunteers to help in this year’s endeavors, please keep me in mind. I will be more than happy to help out any way I can.

“A Grateful Parent”

“Miss Ellen, Thank you very much for helping me practice. I love shagging.”
“A Junior Shagger

“…I want to say thanks to the Ellen Taylor Foundation and the people who organized 2009 Junior SOS. My favorite thing about the event was the chance to dance with a junior pro and others who have danced for years. Also, I loved learning new steps in all the workshops. I hope to use what I learned in a contest coming up soon. Dancing and even placing 3rd in the mixed doubles amateur was a lot of fun and gave me a taste of competing. I look forward to coming again next year!”
Drew O’Dell

“(Miss Ellen) … Thank you so much for remembering me. You are the most wonderful person. I think Michael Norris and company have some serious competition snipping at their heels. I thought it was great. My 9 year old daughter had a great time also. She had never seen anything like that. She made a lot of friends. She only went to one class. I didn’t make her do anything she did’t want to do. She learned the boogie walk from Julya Scoggins and the Tripple Sugar in one class. She is excited to come back. Her half sister which is my ex stepdaughter came to Myrtle Beach on Friday with her church group. She came up to see us at the pavillion and liked it so much she brought the whole church group up Friday night. She is 19 and has never seen Shag. Her and her friends loved it. My Parents were also there a few days and had a wonderful time. I could go on and on. We all look forward to coming back again next year. I think it was by far the best vacation My daughter has ever had. I hope to see you soon.”

” Dear Miss Taylor,
I went to my first Jr. SOS yesterday with my grandparents and really had a great time. I also got my first pair of shag shoes from your foundation. Thank you so much for the shoes and for all you do. Sincerely,”
Connor Marquez