Balboa and Lindy Hop

About Lindy Hop

Extract of an article written by Shona Smith. The full article can be found at

The Lindy Hop (or Lindy) is a partner dance that originated in 1920's and 30's Harlem, New York. The Dance itself consists of both 8 and 6 count steps and it includes footwork borrowed from the Charleston and Tap. The dance can be wild and spontaneous, with frenzied kicks and body movements, or it can be cool and sophisticated. The most important aspects of it are that it is danced with your partner, to the music, and that you enjoy it!

The Lindy Hop has enjoyed a revival since the mid 1980's, when Swing Legend Frankie "musclehead" Manning, an influential choreographer and performer of the era, was rediscovered. Now the Lindy Hop and other Swing dances and variations are part of a world wide trend to get back on the dance floor.

Lindy videos:

Competition Lindy - Ryan & Jenny - click: YouTube

Exhibition routine - Juan & Sharon - click: YouTube

What's a class like? - click: YouTube

About Balboa

Extract of an article written by Dan Guest of the Lindy Circle. The full article can be found at

Balboa is an 8 count dance which got its name from the Balboa Peninsula at Newport Beach, near Los Angeles in California. The dance was first done at the beach Pavilion and then latterly at the famous Rendezvous Ballroom. The dance developed in the 1920's. By the early 1930's it had become sufficiently well known to be given its name.

There are 2 different forms of Balboa:-
Balboa (the original pure form). Danced completely in closed position, pure Balboa evolved in conservative dance halls where space was limited. Pure Balboa is characterised by a fairly upright posture with both partners standing 'chest to chest' in close contact. If you part at the chest then you're not doing pure Balboa!

Bal Swing. After a while some of the original Balboa dancers tired of doing just pure Balboa and started to introduce fancier variations which forced the 'chest to chest' connection to be broken. In this form anything goes; spins, turns, dips, tricks, and even air steps! In explicit terms it might be said that these open patterns should be combined with recognisable Balboa footwork.

The dance's simplicity and economy of movement make it very well suited to fast tempo music. This fact has meant that Balboa is often mistakenly thought of as just a fast dance. Indeed many of the original dancers could dance at amazing speeds. However, they also liked to dance to slower music and the dance has always been done to music of all tempos including some improbably slow tunes.

Balboa videos:

Nick & Sylvia - demonstration of social Balboa - click: YouTube

Mickey & Kelly - competition routine - click: YouTube


Are you Dancing: A site dedicated to letting you know what is on & where.
The Dance Locker: For those all important shoes and dancewear.
Heyday!: Reproduction vintage clothing.
Oxford Lindy Hoppers: Lindy classes in central Oxford and organisers of regular monthly dances at Hop the Hall.
Jive+: Jive in the Oxford area.
All Jazzed Up: Classes in Reading and organisers of some of the friendliest dance weekends in the UK.
Rock Bottoms:  Lindy classes in Aylesbury. Jive & swing weekend breaks.
Lindy Circle: Classes in West London and articles on the history behind Lindy & Balboa.
Junction 18:   Monthly dance at Chorleywood, Herts - just off the M25.
Swingrave:  Monthly workshops & dance at Wingrave, Bucks.  All proceeds to charity.
Swing Plus: Jive and swing classes at Loudwater.
Gloster Jive and Swing: Lindy classes in Gloucester and surrounding area.  Catch Gary "The Duke" Boon (one of - if not THE best Swing DJ in the UK) at Duke's Place, the regular monthly gig near Cheltenham.
Jazz Jive Swing: Jive, Lindy & Balboa in the Gloucester area and organisers of Jumpin' at the Woodside.
Balboa Bunch: Balboa classes, dances & weekends in the Gloucester / Cheltenham area.
Simply Balboa:  Balboa classes near Portsmouth.
The Lindy Club:  Lindy classes & regular tea dances in Chandlers Ford, Hants.
Lindy Hop Solent: Lindy classes in Portsmouth
Mad About Swing: Lindy & Balboa classes in Plymouth.
London Swing Dance Society: Swing dancin' in London.
Jitterbugs: Lindy classes in west London.
Camp Savoy:  UK's premier dance camp - and AWESOME cabaret!
Edinburgh Swing Dance Society: Swing dancin' north of the border.
Dublindy: Classes in Dublin.

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