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Briefly Balboa

Balboa is one of the original types of swing dance that evolved into the Jive. Balboa is described as sociable, fun and well worth learning. It has also been described as a stylish type of partner dance as well as elegant.

Balboa was initially danced in the era of the 1920’s in California, the dance evolved from a dance known as the Charleston as well as the Shag. This was a time when many dance floors were incredibly crowded. This meant that “break-away” were not allowed and dancers were required to stay in what was then known as a “close hold.” Today this “close hold” goes by the name of Pure Bal.

These types of dances would have faded out if it was not for dancers such as Willie Desatoff and Maxie Dorf who kept the dance alive. The Balboa was re-discovered around the middle of the 80’s when a group of keen enthusiasts that included Sylvia Sykes spent much time learning how the dance was originally performed from the original dancers.

Today the Balboa is extremely popular worldwide, especially in the UK. This dance is often taught using a combination of Bal Swing and Pure Bal, the dancers generally split up into “a hold” very similar to the Lindy Hop or Jive. With intricate and small footwork, this particular technique of dancing is best danced to extremely fast songs, which makes the dance more exhilarating and challenging. However, the Balboa can also be danced in a relaxing and stylish way to Bluesy music.

When first learning about Balboa it may seem like a lot to learn. However, once mastered many dancers will admit that this particular style of dancing is an absolute joy to perform as well as watch.


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