An original swing dance, which later evolved into Jive, Balboa is an elegant, stylish partner dance. It is fun, sociable and easy to learn.
Bobby & Kate Caberet at our Gloucester Workshop - March 2010
It was first danced in California in the 1920s, evolving from Charleston and Shag at a time when dance floors were very crowded. As “Break-aways” were not permitted, dancers remained in a close hold (now known as Pure Bal). The dance would have died out if old-timers such as Maxie Dorf & Willie Desatoff had not kept it alive. It was re-discovered in the mid 1980’s when a small group of enthusiasts, including Sylvia Sykes, spent time learning the dance from these original dancers.
Balboa is now popular throughout the UK and the world. The dance is taught as a mixture of both Pure Bal and Bal Swing, where dancers separate into a hold more akin to Jive or Lindy Hop. With small and intricate footwork, Balboa has become particularly well known for dancing to very fast tunes when it is at its most challenging and exhilarating. However Balboa is stylish and relaxing to slow Bluesy music, as well as all tempos in between.
Two of the greats - Bobby White and Anne-Helene Casava at the All Balboa Weekend Championships
For examples of how top dancers do it, search YouTube for Sylvia Sykes and Nick Williams, Bobby White and Kate Hedin, Anne-Helene and Bernard Cavasa, David Rehm, Mickey Fortanasce and Kelly Arsenault to name but a few.
Where to dance Balboa
There are regular dances in Cirencester and across Gloucestershire where you can take your new skills onto the dance floor. Mix with hundreds of other dancers who share a passion for swing dancing.
Once you are hooked, you may wish to attend workshops held in Gloucestershire. Beyond that, there are many dance camps held in other parts of the UK, as well as international festivals held in many different countries.
Tony and Anna
We first met dancing Ceroc in 1994. Having "dabbled" with other partner dance styles we were soon bitten by the Swing Dancing bug, dancing mainly Lindy Hop. In the spring of 2004 we were introduced to Balboa and have been hooked ever since.
If you are local you will see us at various swing dances held throughout Gloucestershire. We also enjoy meeting dancers and teachers from other areas at Balboa dance camps throughout the UK and overseas.
We have been teaching Balboa since 2008, with regular Balboa classes for Beginners, Improvers and Intermediate dancers at Cirencester and Gloucester. Due to family and other commitments, we are currently taking a break from teaching weekly classes. However we continue to run Practice Nights as well as workshops taught by teachers from the UK, Europe and the USA.
We also run the www.AreYouDancing.com website, listing dance events for all styles across the UK as well as international events.