Balboa Workshop

Balboa Workshop


Following the success of our wedding dance, myself and Ben decided to branch out and actually learn something more about Balboa.

Photo by
Frank Wood Photography

We left Lindy Hop behind (momentarily) and travelled to the opposite coast of America (metaphorically) to learn something new at Hot Ginger Balboa Classes – September Edition.

What is Balboa?

Balboa originated in the 1920s-1930s on the crowded dance floors of the dance halls, especially the Rendez Vous Ballroom on the Balboa Peninsula, which produced a dance with close body contact and small footwork.

Balboa Rendevous

Our venue for the afternoon was Moorpool Hall in Harborne, one of Birmingham’s hidden gems.

Moorpool Hall
Dance Floor at Moorpool Hall


Balboa Basics

Our warm up was learning the basic feel of the steps – digging your feet into sand, the side step (like we were dancing around handbags).

Then we moved onto the count/rhythm of the basic Balboa up and down hold steps. We were transported back to 80’s with a comparison to the Conga, or for those of us in the room that were too young to remember the Conga, the wonderful Stephen Badham captured the spirit of Beyonce with reference to one of the moves from  ‘All the single ladies’.

The first half of the afternoon flew by, and we had gone some way to conquer the Basic footwork before moving onto doing a Charleston step and a crab walk. Tricky, tricky stuff.

Quick Break

After a quick cup of tea and a biscuit, we moved onto the come around and throw out. I apologise if the terminology I’m using is incorrect but I know what I mean! We even had a bit of practice with a turning technique of looking over your shoulder the way you want to turn – I think it was safe to say there was definite room for improvement! We were even introduced to the armpit hamsters, a novel concept in dance ready arms.


So, what 3 things are we going to take away from the session?

  • The need to commit to the weight change through your body, but to remain relaxed.
  • If you think you are dancing small, dance smaller! Especially if you get to dance at 300bpm!!!!
  • If you forget what you are doing, remember everyone on the dance floor can Conga!!!!

If you want to find out more, check  Hot Ginger for more information about upcoming classes/events.