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Beginning Bal-Swing
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Beginning Bal-Swing

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Nick Williams, Sylvia Sykes
Doug Silton Productions
Running Time:
41 minutes
Release Date:


Learn some fantastic beginning Bal-Swing on this DVD. Nick and Sylvia take you through everything you need to know to be a great Bal-Swing dancer. Every move and technique is broken down to make you ready for the social dance floor in no time.

• Out and In
• Out and In Rotating Left
• Out and In Rotating Right
• Crossovers (Out and In, Left and Right)
• Out and In Side to Side
• Come Around in Open Position to Closed Basic
• Come Around to Lolly Kicks
• Lolly Kicks in a Line with Inside and Outside Free Turns
• Lolly Kicks to Free Turn Exit
• Lolly Kicks to Underarm Turn Exit

Nick and Sylvia are some of the most respected and sought after Balboa instructors in the world. Between them they hold first place titles at practically every Balboa and swing dance championship across the globe, and if not competing they can usually be found judging those very competitions.

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Member Reviews

LJH - Sept. 20, 2016

Beginning Balboa and Bal-Swing: Sylvia Sykes and Nick Williams

These disks about beginner Balboa and beginner Bal-Swing are done by two of the current best known Balboa teachers: Sylvia Sykes and Nick Williams. If you’ve taken a class from either of them on Balboa or Bal-Swing, these DVDs are very like those classes; they’re relaxed, long on description, and a bit short on things you can follow along with until they’re done talking. It seems they talk more than “do” – which is too bad because a beginner won’t know the difference between a digression and a really important point. The key to learning is repetition of simple things – not “extra” material.

Balboa is a simple dance with a skill set - like riding a bicycle - that takes more practice than theory. Nick and Sylvia make learning Balboa as easy as they can, but you have to do a lot more work than suggested here. Hint - get a dance buddy and do the basic a million times! And keep in mind they’ve been doing Balboa and Bal-Swing for decades – when you’ve been doing this for decades, you’ll be more relaxed too. And, you may get a little annoyed that they didn’t carefully edit out “flubs” and/or that it’s not always easy to figure out what they’re really talking about, but this is how they roll in real life.

There probably really isn’t much new to say about an 80-year old dance, nor many new ways to say it. What they do stress here is to keep the beat with your body at all times. Those wondering why Downholds can feel so weird in such a fast dance can find the answer here: they shouldn’t - keep pulsing through them. There’s also here an emphasis, on the Bal-Swing DVD, on the “Out and In” as critical to Bal-Swing. Of course it is… Understanding the “out and in” steps – and ten thousand practice steps - leads directly to a (now easy) “come around” move that’s the beating heart of most your Bal-Swing…

The moves on these DVDs aren’t the same moves in the same order that I’d have picked. For Balboa I’d have focused on closed embrace moves - moves you do in an extremely crowded spot – basic in place, paddles left and right, 1-2s and 5-6s forward and back, crab walks to the sides, and Zigzags. For Bal-Swing I’d have gone with the Come-around and a couple of guy and girl turns. Plenty for beginners - and a lot to build on...

Marcus Koch and Barbl Kaufer’s older Balboa disks, done with Steve and Denise and available at Danceflix too, have tons more “how to,” “moves,” and more history for all levels, but these DVDs are true to the style and focus of these two teachers who are currently teaching this same material for beginners around the world. Nothing wrong with checking either out and picking up what you can. It’s how the good get better.

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