Bal-Swing

Bal-Swing (Balboa-Swing) is the modern name (as of 1984 when Dwight Lupardus coined the term) for a style of swing dance done in the 30’s in Los Angeles County, California. This style of dance originally went by the following names: Swing, LA Swing, Randy Swing (though the latter, after the Ray Rand Swingers, was inclusive of other styles of dance as well).Early innovators/influential dancers of this style include Maxie Dorf, Willie Desatoff, Hal Takier, and Lawrence Wise.

Balboa-Swing has the appearance of a mash-up between pure Balboa and open position swing moves. It tends to be flashier and more fun to watch than pure Balboa, and thus has become the more popular dance of the two “Balboas”.

Kara Britt, Ph.D.: “When I was taking lessons from Maxie Dorf in 1984 he would use the term “swing dancing” in two different ways. One was for the dance he was teaching me and that he and other dancers such as Willie Desatoff did in the 30s. This was a distinct dance, different than the Lindy. But he would also use it as it was commonly used in the early 80s, to refer to what is known as West Coast Swing (it’s changed a lot since then). This was the dance that was done at the LA Swing Dance Club. I started using the term Bal Swing with Maxie when I was referring to the 30s dance (that Willie Desatoff sometimes called LA Swing Dancing), not West Coast Swing.

The term Bal Swing was never used in the 30s. It was just called swing dancing. However, swing dancing can be used (and is and was) in a broader, catch-all sense to include the Lindy, shag, Camel Hop, New Yorker, etc., as well as what Willie Desatoff referred to as LA Swing Dancing.”

Willie Desatoff said; “Pure Balboa was done strictly in Orange County” (includes Newport Beach) whereas Bal Swing was done mainly in Los Angeles County. Very few people travelled and therefore did both dances”.

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