A number of Boulder and Denver dancers went to the California Balboa Classic Weekend in Pasadena, January 18-21, 2016. Here’s what YaPing Su, Ron Jacobson, Ryan Romanowski, and Megan Straley had to say about their experiences.
What was the most fun time of the weekend?
YaPing: Just being there at CalBal with my dance friends - from my home scene, other states, or countries, whether we were dancing, eating, or just hanging out. The dancing definitely was the best!
Megan: I really enjoyed getting to know the Denver dancers, going to dinner and such. I don't remember the last time I laughed so much.
Ron: Dinner at Café Santorini with all of the Colorado and adopted Colorado folks. It was just so much fun.
Ryan: Dinner with all of the Denver people and the late night dances. I enjoyed the more laid-back feeling (except when Kyle was playing the fastest music he's got). I liked dancing literally the whole of Sunday night until I had to go the airport Monday morning!
What was the best class and what did you learn?
YaPing: I signed up as a lead in the Crash Course series with six classes between Saturday and Sunday. The best class was our first class taught by Jennifer Barnett and Peter Flahiff. They taught down-hold and up-hold basics and they were impressive.
Megan: My favorite class was with Shani Brown. We did a lot of foot technique, playing with the different ways you can have your foot interact with the floor and how this can be used to change the feel of your dancing or add to musicality.
Ron: My favorite class was with Mickey and Kelly. We learned a really cool move that included a Texas Tommy and unexpected redirection. It was very cool.
Ryan: I had two favorite classes - Jacob/Shani's elective on Friday evening that was about how you articulate your steps and how your feet can interact with the floor differently for different reasons and Heather/Bobby's musicality class. We practiced musicality (micro and macro) and worked on different ways to get inspiration other than just trying to run through a collection of moves. Everyone seemed to have a lot more fun when they paid attention to their partner and the music.
Did you have a best dance?
YaPing: I had so many. I really didn’t have a bad one!
Megan: My best dance was with my friend Mel from London. It was a great song with a super fast tempo which was fun and challenging, but it was so great because we were telling each other jokes and laughing so hard the entire time.
Ron: There was a women from France who was just an awesome dancer both lead and follow. She went out of her way to dance with everyone at all levels, including yours truly. She stood out as the ultimate Balboa ambassador and she inspired me to not only be a better Balboa dancer but also to be a better Balboa ambassador as well!!!
Ryan: I think the late night ones were the best. I danced 3 songs in a row with a gal named Morgan from Austin -- it was like butter (that's a good thing). My last dance on both Saturday and Sunday nights before leaving the late night was with Celine, from France, and that was wonderful! I also had another cool late night dance with YaPing where we were both just trying crazy stuff and kind of reacting to what the other person was doing and we came up with some really cool stuff.
Will you go again? And why?
YaPing: Yes I will attend again with no doubt. I think Laura truly tries to put the best event for us.
Megan: Overall, one of the best workshops I've been to and I will for sure try and go again.
Ron: Yes. In my opinion this event along with All Balboa are the two premier events and if you love Balboa you just have to go.
Ryan: Absolutely. It was a great time all around. I absolutely love the people that were there, and loved the group that came from Denver. But I think it also gave me a lot to work on and think about in my dancing as well.