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Park officials worry line dancing could sway Folly Pier too much

Park officials worry line dancing could sway Folly Pier too much. (WCIV)

FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCIV) - Charleston County Parks and Recreation is renewing its warning against line dancing on Folly Pier.

Park officials and pier managers said the ban on the specific kind of dancing is nothing new.

Charlie Vance, the pier’s assistant manager, said the first ban went into effect about five years ago when engineers first told them it would be wise to prohibit large crowds from dancing in one direction.

“When you have something like the Electric Slide where it moves everybody and shifts everybody from one side to the other, that's kind of what we are trying to prohibit,” said Vance.

He said it boils down to safety and keeping the structural integrity of the aging wooden pier, which is 20 years old.

“If you are out there when it’s a really heavy day with big surf and that kind of stuff, you can feel it just out there by yourself,” Vance said. “You don’t need a lot of people. When there is 400 or 500 people out there going one direction, you are really going to feel it.”

He said crews are working to repair about a dozen wood pilings underneath the pier that either were damaged over the years by storms like Hurricane Matthew or worms rotting out the wood.

“We had a couple of the cross braces that actually snapped, and those pilings now being worked out on the right side of the pier,” Vance said of the damage sustained during Hurricane Matthew. “A couple of them stem from, there is wood-boring worms that come in and really eat away at the pilings.”

County officials hope to have them restored by mid-September.

Vance said he foresees the ban on line dancing to continue until the pier is replaced with a concrete one, which he said is likely several years away.

Solo dancing or even partner dances like the shag, however, are still allowed and encouraged.

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