Balboa is a swing dance which is mostly danced in closed position and usually to faster music at tempos of about 180 to 250 beats per minute. Balboa can also be danced to really fast music over 300 beats per minute. The dance can also be drawn out and danced to slower tempos, when it is known as slow Balboa.
Balboa was and is danced by more mature dancers who wanted to avoid the Jitterbugs’ energetic and eccentric floor work.

The basic steps of Balboa are very simple and allow for a variety of footwork variations. When you are more experienced and confident with your basics you can start learning new moves.
Balboa is usually separated in two forms: pure-bal, danced in closed position,
and bal-swing, where the dancers are separated and lot of turns are performed.


Balboa came from Southern California during the 1920s and enjoyed huge popularity during the 1930s and 1940s. Balboa is named after the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, California, where the dance was invented.

The term Balboa originally referred to a dance characterised by its close embrace and full body connection. It emphasises rhythmic weight shifts and lead-follow partnership.

Different dancers in the same region at the same time also danced “swing”, a dance characterised by twists, turns, and open-position movement. Over time, these two dances merged and became collectively known as Balboa.

Where to learn:

 HomePage Some Like It Hot

 HomePage Balboa Baby!

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