During the Balboa Rendezvous this past April, I absorbed a lot of new information during the workshops. However the time that I learned the most important lesson of the weekend was not during the actual workshops, but after the Q & A session watching many of the original Balboa dancers during their jam in the Balboa Pavilion.

The one thing that stuck out to me (besides watching a 97 year old man tear up the dance floor) was the fact that none of them used the usual up-holds or down-holds in repetition the way most people are taught during most Balboa workshops, each of them had their own unique steps.

Take a look at this clip provided by onlybalboa.com of Bobby Mcgees, a venue for Balboa dancing a few years back in Southern California to see my point:

One thing I have been doing in result is trying to dance without relying on a certain “basic pattern” for Balboa, constantly switching between different variations of holds.

Sadly though, this had lead to me being annoyed when people claim there is a basic for Balboa or ask me what the “basic step” is.

4 thoughts on “What Basic?

  1. There was no basic because the dance was not “taught” in a formal way.
    A “Basic” means that you are teaching someone a basic step.

    The two “original Bal teachers” Maxie Dorf and Willie Desatoff both had their own opinion on teaching a “down-hold” or “up-hold” as the basic movement.
    I teach my students both right off the bat and consider it the Coke-vs-Pepsi of Balboa.

    I highly recommend you watch this interview series on Youtube between Dwight Lupardis and Peter Loggins – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EEcpptXlCo
    As well as this history lecture by Peter – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTB0GuAGd_s&feature=channel

  2. Rich, thanks for the great links.

    I used to post on Peter’s forum dancehistory.org when it still existed so I have seen both of those. I should have probably fleshed out my blog post to incorporate that information.

    The interesting thing I see among most beginner to intermediate leads is even when they are taught both they pick one type of hold (up or down) and stick with it.

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