Every Friday for thirty weeks, I will write about a topic from the list of the
“30 Week Lindy Hop Challenge“.
Well, I’m too late this week, it’s Saturday. Never mind! Here is
Week #5: Your favorite Lindy Hop variation dance
(Charleston, Balboa, Shag)
If you are a regular visitor on this website then you already know the answer. My absolute favorite is:
Meanwhile, I would even say Lindy Hop is my favorite Balboa variation dance, I have become that addicted to that dance .
My first contact with Balboa was in 2000 (or 2001, I’m not sure anymore) at Herräng Dance Camp where I booked a Lindy Hop week.
Peter Loggins & Lisa Ferguson, one of our instructor couples, were teaching Balboa in their classes. At that time, you couldn’t sign up for Balboa classes.
I was still pretty new to Lindy Hop and therefore I had a hard time to memorize this “new” dance. At nights, we were dancing Lindy Hop so I couldn’t practice the Balboa outside of the classes.
When I got back home, nobody did the dance and I forgot the steps as fast as I learned them.
After these classes, I took one or two taster classes, but the steps I learned there were kind of different to the ones I had learned before.
By 2006/2007, Balboa had become very popular in Europe and I had the feeling that one have to know to dance Balboa beside Lindy Hop.
Back in Herräng in 2007, tired of taking Lindy Hop classes, I took up Balboa again. It was much easier now to learn the steps but unfortunately, the music in the library, which has become the Balboa room in Herräng, was too fast for me and my partner. Again, we danced mostly Lindy Hop at nights.
I liked the dance from the beginning and I really wanted to learn it but as you can see, it needed me a lot of effort, to really get into it. I couldn’t see any possibilities to improvise in this dance.
One year later, my girlfriend and I decided to attend the Balboa week at Studio Hop Summer Camp. The concept of dancing Balboa all day and all night seemed to be the only way to avoid dancing Lindy Hop at nights.
But it was also scary. I hardly could imagine how it would be possible to dance Balboa all night and this for a whole week. Remember, I thought there is no space of improvisation in this dance.
I’m so glad I did this. On the third evening I had this dance epiphany and everything changed. I started to understand the dance, the movements made sense and suddenly, I discovered lots of improvisation opportunities within my dances.
Since that night in the summer of 2008, I’m hooked on Balboa!
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