Waking the muscle-memory

So after almost a year with hardly a single dance step, it feels like a long way back.  Sometimes, we didn’t even listen to the music ’cause it’s like looking through the window of a closed sweet shop.

So we decided we’ll start with some real basics and something to build up our rhythm and agility. On top of the basic balboa we can do together, what better than The Dean Collins’ Shim Sham for practicing alone?

If you’ve never seen it, Dean’s style was described by Nick Williams as ‘smooth, elegant and sophisticated’ and you can see that in Dean’s version of the Shim Sham. This clip features Nick, David Rehm, Bobby White and Kate Hedin.

We learned half of this from Nick at Jumping at The Woodside a few years back and the rest from Joel Plys’s Swing Brain series. So for the next few weeks at the infamous Kitchen Venue, we’ll be trying to master the style taught by Nick which is about the closest we’ve seen to the original.
What’s that expression?
Sounds like a plan

Back to Balboa

In the winter of 1957-58, Stan Kenton took his band back to Balboa’s Rendevous backfrontBallroom. He leased the ballroom, lavished money on renovating its run-down furnishing and installed a brand-new, high-tech sound system. With a weekly local TV programme, regular coast-to-coast broadcasts on NBC, and the backing of Capitol Records, the band had high hopes. The return became known as ‘Kenton’s Folly’, not enough people came to see them and all that came out of it was a refurbished ballroom and this album. (Ironically, this is not a great album for balboa)

In the winter of 2012-2013, we had to take an enforced break from teaching Uzand dancing Balboa and Balswing.  This is the record of our return after the hiatus. It started today with a major set-back when we found we’re not quite ready to return in the way we hoped, by joining The Balboa Gathering in Newcastle, UK from 26-29 September 2013. We were there last year, bought the tickets for this year and we already got the T shirt. Now we can’t go and are trying to find a buyer.  For us, for the time being, it’s watch DVD’s and a few gentle steps in the kitchen.

But we’re very definitely on the way back so save us a dance and see you soon.

Harry & Svetlana

Balboa and Balswing

Ain’t nothin’ here but Balboa and Balswing. You’ll find quotes and transcripts of interviews with original dancers so their teachings and opinions can never disappear; there’ll be video clips and random nuggets of wisdom with odds and ends of all things balboa like the rescued thread from the long lost and much missed Balboanation.

This is what we’re interested in, this is what shapes our life. If you’re the same, feel free to follow, to contribute, advise, and criticise.

You’re really very, very welcome.