About Balboa

An original swing dance, which later evolved into Jive, Balboa is an elegant, stylish partner dance. It is fun, sociable and easy to learn.    

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.     

Tony and Anna also run the www.AreYouDancing.com website, listing dance events for all styles across the UK as well as international events.