Getting Started

Welcome to Challenge of the Month! We are excited to offer Balboa for the first time! If you haven’t yet watched the preview above, check out what you will be learning.

Our Challenge of the Month lessons start with a basic combination and then build through two progressive rounds of embellishments. Our goal is to help you make it through all 3 rounds so you can understand the gradual transformation that basic dancing goes through to become something more advanced and sophisticated.

In Round 1, we are going to utilizing 4 fundamental Balboa moves that you should be familiar with since we don’t break them down in detail. These are the Up Hold Basic, Down Hold Basic, Transition and Come Around. While we don’t recommend this COTM for learning Balboa from scratch, we do think that you will adapt quickly if you have a lot of experience dancing Swing, Lindy Hop and Charleson.

Help Improve the Lesson Tips
We have created a set of tips we think are pretty helpful for us to do the pattern well, but if you have questions, please use the Feedback tab on the right side of the screen to ask questions and we can add more video tips to the lessons! 


We are going to be using Focus Pocus by Glenn Crytzer. Please consider purchasing this song to show your support. Seriously, don’t just press play and call it day. Let’s show Glenn how much we appreciate all the hard work.

Round 1 – Basic Combo

Let’s get started with Round 1. This combination is composed of purely fundamental moves to kick things off. We highly recommend getting very good at this pattern before moving on to Round 2. Let’s get started!

Round 1 Combo – Breakdown
Watch this video for a basic breakdown of the combo. If you need to dive deeper into each individual moves check out the Q&A Tab.

No questions have been asked yet about this video!

If you have a question or need help, please use the “Feedback” tab on the right side of the page.

Round 2 – Intermediate Combo

In this round, we are going to be adding embellishments to the Round 1 pattern by adding variation.

No questions have been asked yet about this video!

If you have a question or need help, please use the “Feedback” tab on the right side of the page.


Round 3 – Advanced Combo

In this round, we are going to be adding a more advanced set of embellishments to Round 2 to create our final round of the combo.

No questions have been asked yet about this video!

If you have a question or need help, please use the “Feedback” tab on the right side of the page.

Putting it all Together

It is time to put it all together. Watch us dance the combination back to back without stopping. We hope you can see each round advanced with all the subtle details more clearly now. If you are ready, try to create a similar video where you dance all three combos back to back without stopping to Focus Pocus.

Wrap Up

If you made it through all 3 rounds you can now see how there is so much variation and opportunity in Balboa.

Before you finish up, go through this checklist to make sure you got everything out of this lesson.

  1. You can dance each of the 3 patterns to our song Focus Pocus
  2. You can deconstruct each pattern into the individual moves and improvise mixing them together.
  3. You can dance all 3 patterns in a row consecutively
  4. You can improvise using all 12 moves from each of the 3 patterns.

Teachers Thoughts

Oh, boy, have we learned a lot by working on this challenge! Balboa is a beautiful dance, with lots of subtleties, making it quite challenging to get right if you don’t know what to focus on. As a result of this work, we got to think a lot about how we want to dance Balboa and discover a sliver of where our ideas could take us. We still have so much to work on and learn, but we are excited to reach a tipping point where the dance is holding our interest.

With Lindy Hop or Charleston, we naturally dance something sophisticated and need to figure out how to break it down into digestible pieces. However, Sarah and I don’t dance Balboa as often, so we actually did the opposite. We started with a common flow and created something more interesting. This is where the real fun (learning) began!

Following the COTM concepts of making slight alterations to the complexity of everything really expanded our knowledge of Balboa. This is the work that I enjoy most. It leads to a deeper level of fulfillment and changes the way you approach a dance.

Going even deeper, I decided to do a thorough deconstruction of all the techniques, moves, footwork, rhythms and rudiments that would progressively lead up to what we did in this challenge. It is amazing what you will discover when continually ask the question, “In order to do this well, what fundamental pieces would someone actually need to already know?” It is also crazy how 12 moves can turn into over 70 lines in a spreadsheet.

I think we could really put together an awesome Balboa Fundamentals Course if there was enough interest. Let us know via the feedback tab if it sounds like something you want us to add to RhythmJuice. Until then, enjoy this Challenge of the Month and let us know if you have any questions!

Lesson Outline