Basketballs, Golf balls, and Charlie’s Angels

Boulder Swing is teaching a combined Balboa and Lindy class series. We sat down with Heather Ballew to learn more.

WHY A BALBOA/LINDY COMBINATION CLASS?

Well, Krister and I really want to grow the Balboa community and get more people interested in learning the dance. We’ve found that new dancers can be hesitant to learn Balboa because they feel like it takes a while before they can really dance socially, plus, when they go to dances, everyone is doing Lindy and there’s little opportunity to practice Balboa.

We thought that if folks felt comfortable adding some Balboa to their Lindy Hop, they might be more likely add it to their social dancing repertoire. They wouldn’t feel pressure to dance an entire song in either Balboa or Lindy, but they would feel comfortable switching between the two.

DO YOU FEEL LIKE DANCERS SHOULD HAVE BOTH A LINDY HOP AND BALBOA VOCABULARY?

Yes, exactly. We already teach Balboa Basics as part of our Level 2 curriculum. That way, all of o

We’re also trying to make it easier to learn both styles and switch back and forth. For example, we don’t count steps. Instead, Krister has come up with phrases and move names that are silly and fun. We count people in with a, “Hey, Ho, Here We Go.” We’re also teaching moves that can cross styles – come find out what a “Charlie’s Angel” is.

Now we need to find ways to encourage people to use both Lindy and Balboa at our dances. We’re considering developing a dance routine that would include both Balboa and Lindy choreography. We’re also looking at opportunities to hold more Balboa dances in Boulder – please get in touch if you know a good venue.

ARE YOU AT ALL CONCERNED ABOUT FOLKS WHO MIGHT SAY THAT YOU’RE NOT TEACHING “REAL” BALBOA?

Not really. Our goal at Boulder Swing is for people to enjoy the process of learning to dance. We don’t want them worrying too much about which style goes where. We really want them to have fun and to be free to be silly. Krister explains one of the key differences between Lindy Hop and Balboa by saying that in Lindy you’re carrying a basketball around your waist and in Balboa you’ve got a golf ball under your chin – or something like that. We want them to learn good technique as well, but why not have fun in the process?

SO WHAT DOES COMBINING LINDY HOP AND BALBOA LOOK LIKE?

Our dancers have some knowledge of Balboa in the first 3 or 4 months of their classes.

Here’s one example of Lindy, Shag and Balboa:

And here’s another great routine that combines Lindy and Balboa:

Finally, Krister and Heather demonstrate quicks and slows: