What is Balboa?

Balboa is a partner dance that originated in Southern California during the 1920s and 1930s. It emerged as a response to the crowded dance floors of the time, where space was limited. Balboa’s close embrace and intricate footwork allowed dancers to navigate tight spaces with ease, making it a popular choice for crowded ballrooms and jazz clubs. Over the years, Balboa has evolved, with different styles and variations emerging worldwide.


Balboa is characterized by its smooth and elegant movements, close connection between partners, and precise footwork. The dance is often performed to upbeat swing music, and dancers strive for seamless connection and flow on the dance floor. Balboa emphasizes subtle weight shifts, quick footwork patterns, and intricate partner communication. It provides dancers with the opportunity to showcase their creativity through variations and improvisation while maintaining a strong connection with their partner.