Learning a dance is more than moving, enjoying music and company. A dance is also a kind of passport. Whether you are in Barcelona, Tokyo or Antwerp, if you do a well-known dance style you can always join a dance event. And that gives you a perfect entry into the local scene. This does not only apply to the largest and most well known Swing dance Lindy Hop, but just as well as with Salsa or Tango. But what about Slow Bal, one of the somewhat ‘smaller’ Swing dances?
Let’s be clear: you won’t find Slow Bal in every town on this globe. On the other hand: if there is a Swing dance scene somewhere where Balboa is also danced, then you have a good chance that people are also familiar with Slow Bal. Fortunately, there are also places where people focus specifically on Slow Bal – just like at Slowfeet Studio in Rotterdam.
Slow Bal classes are held at the Roseland Swingdance Club in Visby, Sweden, and there are regular socials as well. This club is only represented on social media, for example on Facebook.
Anna-Maria & Ralf Bernhard from Swing Dance Leipzig give lessons in various swing dances in their own city, but especially as guests at events, they often also provide workshops in Slow Bal. For example, on September 2 and 3, 2023 in Frankfurt. Read more about Anna-Maria and Ralf on their website.
Lynn Maslen teaches weekly Balboa lessons in Reading and other places in the UK. Sometimes there are events dedicated to Slow Bal. Check it out.
Jon Bendtsen started teaching weekly dance lessons in Copenhagen together with his dance partner Zhan Li. Jon also manages the Facebook page “Slow Balboa Dancing” where he promotes Slow Bal events. Jon and Zhan Li teach at the Hepcats in Copenhagen.
Mickey Fortanasce & Kelly Arsenault have developed an online Slow Ball course. They are also regularly invited to festivals to give Slow Bal workshops. Mickey can often be found in Europe at a Swing dance event. Click here to view the online course.
Of course you can also travel specifically for a dance event. Which festivals in the world are there especially for Slow Bal?
And then of course there are many organizations that organize broader Swing dance events, where Slow Bal regularly is part of the program, but is not the main dance of the event. These are, for example:
Unfortunately, some names have also disappeared from the map. The European Swing Dance Championships have disappeared in the UK since Brexit. The ‘Slow Dance Soiree’ in the US and ‘Balboa Castle Camp’ in Germany are still not resurrected after covid.
Conclusion? Slow Bal isn’t a huge scene, but if you do a search, you’ll find plenty of events in Europe and beyond. Will we see each other at one of the upcoming festivals?
Do you know a Slow Ball event that is not on our list? Let us know and we’ll add it!