Balhalla 2017

Welcome to balboa heaven in Seattle! Join us for some amazing live music, great local venues, and world class teaching! Wondering what you get at Balhalla Weekend 2017??

Live music every night with bands tailoring their charts for balboa!

Competitions – Balboa Shuffle, Strictly, and Invitational!

Beginner, intermediate, advanced, and master level classes!

All venues located conveniently in the heart of Seattle

Questions? balhallaweekend@gmail.com

www.facebook.com/balhallaweekend

Music

The Greg Ruby Quartet plays in the spirit of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli’s Quintet du Hot Club de France. Formed in 2010 to record an album of all original compositions by Greg Ruby, the ensemble has performed at venues including the DjangoFest NW, the Western North Carolina Jazz Society, and the Icicle Creek Center for the Arts.

Slipped Disc plays the dynamic, swinging music of 1940s-era small group jazz. Influenced by the Benny Goodman Sextet and Artie Shaw’s Gramercy Five, this ensemble features a front-line trio of clarinet, vibraphone and guitar over tight and swinging rhythm. Since 2008, the Vancouver-based group has been delighting listeners and dancers alike with their unique blend of simple, catchy swing riffs, driving rhythms, and tight ensemble arrangements.

Competitions

Your Balhalla Competitions

Balboa Shuffle!

We invite dancers of all levels to join us for the Balboa Shuffle! No partner necessary! Competitors* will select to compete as one role, either lead or follow, and maintain this role throughout the  duration of the competition. Dancers will be paired, at random, with several different dancers of the opposite role and have an opportunity to show off their skills to several songs of different tempos as described below.  Bring your best pure bal and bal-swing moves and show us what you got!

please see level descriptions and use your judgement to chose your level placement. choose wisely!
cost: $15 per competitor

 

Novice Balboa Shuffle

This competition is designed for dancers new to balboa competition, and those competitors who have not yet placed in a novice level competition. Music for this division will range from 170-200 bpm.

Advanced Balboa Shuffle

This competition is designed for dancers who have previously placed in novice level competitions, or those who have been dancing for some time and consider themselves to be advanced level competitors. Music for this division will range from 180-230 bpm.

Invitational Balboa Shuffle

This level of competition is for our cream of the crop dancers and is available by invitation only. Top dancers, pros, teachers, performers, and those who regularly place in advanced level competition will be invited to judge one another, as well as themselves, as they show their skill set! If you have not received an invitation but would like to be considered for the invitational division, please contact us by email at balhallaweekend@gmail.com with a short bio giving insight to your dance background and at least one video that you feel best demonstrates your skill level.

Balboa Strictly!

We invite competitors of all skill levels to join us for the Balboa Strictly! Find a partner with whom you would like to compete and sign up for the level that best suits your dance/competition experience! Competitors will dance to three songs for approximately 90 seconds each, during which couples will show off their best improvised social dancing to their adoring fans!

PLEASE SEE LEVEL DESCRIPTIONS AND USE YOUR JUDGEMENT TO CHOSE YOUR LEVEL PLACEMENT. CHOOSE WISELY!
COST: $30 per couple

Novice Balboa Strictly

This competition is designed for dancers new to balboa competition, and those competitors who have not yet placed in a novice level competition. Music for this division will range from 170-200 bpm.

Advanced Balboa Strictly

This competition is designed for dancers who have previously placed in novice level competitions, or those who have been dancing for some time and consider themselves to be advanced level competitors. Music for this division will range from 180-230 bpm.

*All competitors must be weekend pass or dance pass holders for Balhalla Weekend 2017. Dancers not registered for the event  may not participate in competitions. Thank you!*

Classes

Classes

Balhalla Weekend will feature 8 hours of classes for each of our track levels! Unsure of which level is right for you? See below!

**interested in participating in our master level track? awesome! please see instructions below. failure to follow instructions may result in being denied admission to the class**

Beginner Crash Course

Join us in learning the basics of Balboa!

Beginner/Intermediate:

Got the basic steps down and want to brush up on or truly master the fundamentals of bal and bal-swing? This is the track for you!! We’ll get you solid in the basics as well as a few fun moves to get you feeling confident and have you shuffling on that social floor in no time!

Intermediate-Plus:

You’ve got a solid foundation, have taken many classes, and have been working on balboa for some time. You’re primary dance goal now is acquiring some new moves to add to your dance vocabulary, being exposed to some styling ideas and concepts, and maybe playing with rhythm and musicality. In this track, we’ll give you the tools you need to bring your Bal to the next level!

Advanced:

You’re very comfortable with your Balboa, and have probably been at it a while. Maybe you’re teaching locally and competing. You feel free and comfortable to improvise and explore new movement on your own, you regularly explore rhythm, personal styling, and musicality on the social dance floor. Your primary dance goal is to explore advanced concepts in movement and connection, rhythm and musicality, and finding your personal voice as a dancer.

Masters:

You are one of the most advanced dancers in your scene. You have been dancing for many years, know your personal style well, and feel you are a true master of the dance. You compete regularly at an advanced level, travel to events on a regular basis, and are looking for new concepts and inspiration, as well as a chance to learn from other master dancers from scenes other than your own. Does this sound like you? Please indicate on the registration form that you would like to be considered for this track and send an email to balhallaweekend@gmail.com with a description of your dance experience and a short video that shows off your balboa skills! (Please note, admission to the master level track will be determined at the discretion of the instructors. Instructors reserve the right to adjust a dancers track level to best accommodate their skills)

Instructors

Jacob Wigger

No automatic alt text available.

Jacob has been dancing Balboa since 2005 and over the years has earned credibility, knowledge and an individual style.
Jacob is famous for his fast Pure Balboa footwork and his large repertoire of unique spins and turns when he’s in the spotlight. As a teacher he enjoys using a mix of humorous analogies and serious instruction to create a fun and exciting learning environment.

Shani Brown

Image may contain: 1 person, indoor

Shani is a Balboa and Swing dancer from sunny southern California. She is best known for her fast, syncopated Balboa footwork and her soft connection – which has been said to feel like a ‘warm hug’. As an instructor, she strives to make dancing simple and effortless with a strong emphasis on combining foundational basics with the soft skills of connection mechanics and partnership to develop smooth flow and personal style.

For over 15 years, Shani has dedicated herself to learning, preserving and sharing her love for Balboa and other vernacular jazz dances. She began swing dancing 1998 before moving to Orange County where she discovered a vibrant vintage swing community well connected to their local ‘old timers’. She was immediately attracted to the fast footwork of Balboa and began frequenting the dance floors of first-generation dancers.

Shani is honored to have honed her social dance skills and footwork under the guidance of legendary dancers Willie Desatoff, Hal and Marge Takier, Bart Bartolo, Jack Carey and many others. And although she has competed, placed and won several major competitions, she mainly enjoys social dancing and inspiring others to love balboa and swing.

Heather Ballew

Image may contain: 1 person, closeup

Heather Ballew hails from the lovely, landlocked city of Denver where majestic mountains tower over the skyline, sunny days are plentiful, and the name “Mile High City” has several meanings. As a participant of the 1990’s swing renaissance, Heather Ballew swears she learned everything the wrong way first and has relearned and refined every bit of her dancing over the years. Because of this, Heather has a keen eye for what works and what doesn’t. She believes that swing dancing should look good and feel great but most of all it should be fun. She loves social dancing with people of all levels and she is most known for her connection and rhythmic musicality. She can befound teaching around the United States and abroad, talking passionately about scene-building, and starting zany and sometimes thoughtful Facebook discussions.

Javier Skeets Reyes Johnson

Image may contain: 2 people

Javier is a rocket scientist by trade, and he brings a powerful analytical sense which joins the mechanics of dance and the soul of expression. He is well versed in all the swing dances, but specializes in Balboa and soul. As an international swing dance instructor, he’s traveled around the world sharing his joy of teaching and his passion for jazz dances. He was the founding member of Lindy Circle (now Hartford Underground) back in 2007. He wanted to create a space where folks could get down and have some serious fun. e world sharing his joy of teaching and his passion for jazz dances. He was the founding member of Lindy Circle (now Hartford Underground) back in 2007. He wanted to create a space where folks could get down and have some fun.

Jennifer Lee

Jenn Lee is lucky to have Seattle, Washington as her home dance scene, although you can find her traveling all over the world for Balboa events. During school one of her friends took her to a swing dance, and she has loved dancing every since. When not on the dance floor she is an Ophthalmologist by trade. She also loves hiking with her beloved dog in the Pacific Northwest and skiing on the steepest, highest mountains possible. Jennifer holds 1st place titles from Lindy Focus, The Snowball, California Balboa Classic, All Balboa Weekend, the Eastern Balboa Championships, Montreal Dance Festival, and Lindy Fest. Her film titled “One Girl and Two Boys” featuring the Mint Julip Jazz Band won the Jazz Dance Film Festival. As an instructor, her focus is on creativity and partner communication. She is also known as an avid social dancer and is often one of the last dancers to leave the dance floor.

Blake Croxdale

Displaying Blake Bio Pic.jpg

Blake started dancing in 1997 when the swing craze was at its peak.  The Gap swing commercial was the best thing to watch on television and there were too many neo-swing bands that contained the word “Daddy.”  However, it was not until later that he discovered his love for Balboa.  Blake started dancing in New Mexico, a place with a small scene.  His love for the dance grew from the videos he watched and being able to travel and learn from international instructors.  His teaching is focused on technique, musicality, and having fun with the dance (silly antics welcomed).   Blake has been competing/teaching since 2003 and has placed in competitions nationally including: All Balboa Weekend, Rocky Mountain Balboa Blowout, Northwest Bal Fest, International Lindy Hop Championship, and Eastern Balboa Championship.

Taylor Stender and Travis Whetman

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, hat and indoor

Taylor and Travis have been collaborating on the dance floor and in the class room for the past 3 years and bring a combined experience of over 20 years. They are known to be obsessed with three things: cheese, Mel Brooks movies, and Balboa. Classes with “Team T” are a fine blend of excellent dance material and cheesy jokes, which is probably why students comment on the relaxed and fun atmosphere. Taylor and Travis like to focus on good technique, connecting with your partner, and most importantly having fun! They teach moves that are a mix of old-school classics and newer variations that students can learn quickly and incorporate into their social dancing right away. Come shuffle with Foxy and The Commodore!