Here's a great blog on the history of Balboa by the ever-entertaining Bobby White.
“What’s Balboa?” you say. Ok, according to Bobby:
“we classify Bal-Swing as a swing dance that mainly uses the ‘out and in’ [and] rotational torque... to accomplish its moves and figures” (edited to prevent confusion. The original reference is funny.)
It’s a social (partnered) swing dance danced chest-to-chest. Enough of my inadequate explanations! Watch these clips.
I’m extremely intimidated by Balboa. Really, I am. As “small” as the dance looks to my eyes (maybe “concentrated” would be a better word), there’s so much room for flashiness and creativity; creativity that’s only possible through solid, subtle connection. It’s overwhelming!
I know the basic and I have enough of a vocabulary to get by, but I’m far from fluent enough to get creative and really have fun with the dance. Basically, I know enough to be dangerous. The prospect of attending a Balboa focused event like All Balboa Weekend or the Eastern Balboa Championships scares the pants off of me.
When I get asked to Bal, I usually give this excuse: “Yeah, I can Bal, but I warn you that I’ve only taken a couple basic classes.” *weak, awkward smile* This is clearly a defense mechanism designed to protect my fragile ego from judgment.
I’m finally in a place where I’m slightly comfortable with my Lindy. Dancing Lindy is a joy and I often feel free enough to play around and express myself. It doesn’t always look good, but it usually feels good. My Bal, though, is a couple years behind.
I have several friends who love the dance *cough Annabel&John cough* and I’m always slack-jawed after watching great dancers & videos, so I really do want to learn. It looks like so much fun and I know that it will make me a better dancer overall. Well, I don’t just want to learn; I want to be good!
I’m intimidated by the journey it will take to get there. Well, that’s not quite accurate.
OK, truth time: I’m intimidated about being a beginner again. Being a beginner/intermediate dancer is a lot like being an awkward pre-teen/teenager. You look awkward, you feel awkward, and it takes a few years (and private therapy) to get past it. Worse, sometimes you think you’re past it, but that’s when you’re just too immature to notice.
I’m just glad I’ve gone through the process before. (Ha! almost caught me. I’m still in the midst of it). I know that time and dedication pay off; I just have to take baby steps and celebrate the little accomplishments.
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