Level Descriptions

We have made some changes to the Levels since last year and expanded the requirements for Levels A & B, so please double check the descriptions before registering, even if you have attended in the past. 

As you choose your level, please bear in mind that "experience" and "skill" are two distinct words. Experience refers to the amount of exposure you have had to a thing. Skill refers to your ability to do that thing well. Please choose your level based on your skill, not merely your amount of experience.

When you register, you will indicate the level which you feel is most appropriate for you.  This does not necessarily guarantee placement in that level.

Based on available classroom space, Levels A and C will be smaller than Level B.  If you are interested in either of those levels, please consider registering early.

If the level you want is already full, please feel free to register for the next level down and send us a message. We will let you know if a spot opens up in your desired level. Do not sign up for a higher level than is appropriate for your skill set. This will negatively affect the learning experience of other students in that level.

There will be a brief level test/audition for track C on Saturday morning.  This will be mandatory for participation in track C (ie: You don't show up? You are now in track B).  Again, this should just be a quick reality check, so please make sure to still choose your level mindfully, rather than counting on the level check to move you.

Levels A, B, & C will get a chance to work with every pair of instructors throughout the day.
Beginners will work with Jennifer Barnett for all 4 hours of the Crash Course


Beginner Crash Course
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New (or new-ish) to Balboa? Purrfect!

The beginner crash course is for students with no previous Balboa experience, students who have taken some Balboa but don't yet meet all the criteria for Level A, experienced Balboa dancers who would like to explore their opposite role for the first time, or for students who simply want a thorough review of basic concepts and figures from a nationally renowned instructor.



Level A: Intermediate
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Students in this level have already learned the basic building blocks of this dance and are hungry for more.

Students taking Level A must be able to:

- execute a Balboa basic with both downholds and upholds
- demonstrate basic familiarity & comfort with close embrace connection
- demonstrate some of the more common pure Balboa steps (progressives, side scoots, paddles, come-arounds, etc)
- demonstrate common Bal-Swing figures like lolliesout & ins and toss-outs
comfortably dance these moves at a tempo of 165bpm


New for 2019! See all of the Level A requirements demonstrated in our handy video.
If you cannot demonstrate everything in this video at the tempo used, get your local teacher to help you prepare or consider the Beginner Crash Course instead.








Level B: Intermediate/Advanced 
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Students in Level B are solidly intermediate or up & coming advanced dancers looking to add flow, style, and musicality to their dancing.

Students taking Level B must be able to:

- demonstrate everything from Level A (above) with good rhythm & timing
- execute additional Bal-Swing figures such as swivels and cross-overs
- execute additional pure-Bal steps such as crabwalks & serpentines
- demonstrate familiarity with multiple turns & continuous toss-outs
comfortably dance all of this material at tempos of at least 180bpm

Additional skills for Level B:

- you probably also know a couple different types of toss-outs (side-arm, behind the back, etc)
- you are probably already adding stylings to common movements & exploring rhythm variations

New for 2019! See all of the Level B move requirements demonstrated in our handy video.
If you cannot demonstrate everything in this video at the tempo indicated, seek advice from your local teacher, or consider Level A instead.









Level C: Advanced Plus
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Students in level C are highly skilled at their craft and are eager to get super nerdy about Balboa with a small group of their peers. Space in this track is extremely limited.

Students in Level C must be able to:

- demonstrate all of the required figures from Levels A & B with impeccable timing
- execute lots of different toss out variations such as off-armbehind-the-backpop turncross-body & Texas Tommy
insert triples and personal stylings into their basic without disrupting the flow of the dance

At this level, the instructors will be looking specifically for dancers who consistently:

- display good balance & precise turn technique if following
initiate movements from the body and not just the arms if leading
- display an excellent quality of movement at all times
- maintain the flow & momentum of the dance
- demonstrate excellent partnership skills 
structure their dancing to fit the music
- watch a move and break it down without much explanation
- react to (and compensate for) mishaps/mistakes/surprises without disrupting the dance
- comfortably dance all of the required material at tempos of 220bpm


Students in Level C may also:

- teach in their home scene or are among the top dancers in their home scene*
- compete and make finals in Amateur or Open divisions at events*
- regularly participate in the top track at small events like ours, or in the top 2 - 3 tracks at larger events (ABW, Cal Bal, Balast Off)

*(while this is common, you do NOT need to be a teacher or competitor to take this track)


Basically, what it boils down to is consider this level if you identify with this statement:

- I anticipate being in the top 15% of all dancers attending classes at this event.

Boom. There it is, y'all.


New for 2019! See all of the Level C move requirements demonstrated in our handy video.
These should be an absolute piece of cake for our Level C folks, whose Balboa knowledge likely goes much deeper than ours. If you cannot demonstrate everything in this video at the tempo used, please consider Level B instead.






Level Info for Sunday Add-Ons

Balboa Small Groups

These small class groups (less than 10 couples) will be sorted by the level & role you chose for Saturday, unless you indicate a different preference (ie if you'd like to participate as a Level C lead on Saturday and as a Level A Follow on Sunday). To maintain role balance, some level blending (high As with Bs, high Bs with Cs) may occur.

Collegiate Shag Elective

This 4 hour group class will be open to all levels and will start with an introduction to Collegiate Shag before moving on to more complex material.


Sunday Add-Ons will run concurrently, so you'll need to choose between Balboa Small Groups or the Collegiate Shag Elective at the time of registration.