Okay, so you’ve got your five basics down (Pure Bal basics, Out & Ins, Lolly kicks, Toss-Outs, and Swivels). Now it’s time to refine those even further them, learn some new material, and get a little fancy.
Here are our recommendations for Intermediate dancers. And make sure to check back often, as we will add new lessons about once a month.
Footwork for Inter/Adv Dancers DVD
Since arms are almost always connected in Balboa and Bal-Swing, much of the dance is expressed through footwork. This DVD gives lots of footwork variations for both Leaders and Followers in all of the “Five Basics” — Pure Bal, Out & In, Lollies, Toss-out, and Swivels.
Aesthetics for Followers DVD
This DVD is for followers who are getting comfortable with their basics and want to start working on how they look and move — their aesthetics. Kate goes through different options of how followers can look, and discusses why she’s made the choices she has. There are variations and practice tips.
Counterbody is a texture one can add in a lot of Balboa, especially Pure Balboa, to spice it up a bit, add another dimension to leading/following, and in general give some “swing” to some movements. This video breaks down three ways to use Counterbody.
The behind-the-back toss-out is, simply put, one of the quintessential moves of Bal-Swing. And, it’s one of the most poorly-lead moves on the dance floor, because it’s easy for leaders to lose the lead when they go for the look rather than the feel. So, without further adieu, here is an in-depth breakdown of the Behind-The-Back Toss-Out, including some extra Maxie Dorf technique and styling.
Pop turns. A little tricky, but not when you know the trick. Learn a tried and true comfortable, dependable way to do them. Here we teach both the clockwise and counter-clockwise exit.
Roll Outs — Physics creates a satisfying experience once again! We break down this move and add a tricky advanced lead/follow and timing variation. For this tutorial, we cover the Roll-out, Roll-In, Continual rolling, and the Roll-out hand catch.
In Swivels I, we covered the basic structure. Ready for round two? In Swivels II we play with kick-step swivels, swivel timing, and give a very satisfying and cool looking turn exit.
This video takes Pure Balboa up a notch by showing three different textures you can add to your basic Pure Bal movement: The Box Step, The Lilt, and the Counterbody basic (which is not covered in the Counterbody video, cause even though it’s called a “counterbody basic,” it’s a more advanced application of counterbody.)
Maxie’s Stop Step
One of the most classic moves of all time, from the incredible Maxie Dorf. This move often shows up on level tests and is a great way to show control and musicality. It also, you know, has a fun slide.
Multiple Turns & The Helwig
We dive into multiple turns, one of the quintessential techniques of Bal-Swing. Then, we show one of the great classic Bal-Swing moves of all time, which uses both multiple turns and some basic Texas Tommy technique. In the modern era we call it “The Helwig,” named after Jack Helwig and his partner Genevieve Grazis. Multiple turn & turning technique are expected on almost all level tests. Helwig is not expected, but when done well, shows a great mastery of timing and control for both partners.
Just like in Lindy Hop, triple-steps are a way to literally express the swing rhythm while dancing. Unlike Lindy Hop, Bal Triples can be very tricky due to the shuffling nature of the dance. For this tutorial, we cover the basic triple as well as Maxie Dorf’s special triple timing and his pull-back triples.
Three Classic Moves
This is a fun one, three classic socially lead-and-follow moves, each of which looks impressive and is attention-getting. First, there’s the Three Little Words, a infamous floor-touching, jumpy move. Then, there’s the Flea Hop, a infamous kicky, jumpy move. Finally, we got the Bart’s Leg, a kicky, swingy move. (Jumpy optional.) We put specific emphasis on both high-energy and high-comfort.
The Texas Tommy
This move is probably the greatest scourge of the social-floor follower, who are all to used to having leaders throw their arms around their back and yank on them like lawn mowers. So, our aim was to create the most in-depth Texas Tommy primer we could, geared towards making sure it’s as comfortable as possible, so that everyone will enjoy the experience.
Here was salute one of the legends, Roy Damron, who did this beautiful combination of movements in some old, grainy, 1930s footage of some Swing dancers practicing for a contest. It’s got it all! Open-hand Lollies! Multiple Turns! A Texas-Tommy! So make sure to check out those lessons if you get stuck or something doesn’t feel quite right.
Once you’ve covered these bases, you’re probably ready for Advanced material.