Balboa in the book Social Dancing in America ~ Swing, jazz and blues - Dance to the music

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Balboa in the book Social Dancing in America

This is the fourth part of an interview with Ralph G. Giordano who recently published his book Social Dancing in America: A History and Reference Volume 2 Lindy Hop to Hip Hop, 1901-2000.

[Part 1: How come you wrote a book about social dancing in America?]
[Part 2: Which dances do you write about in the book? ]
[Part 3: Can you share some interesting facts about Lindy hop?]

Part 4: Do you include Balboa in the book?

Yes, the Balboa is included on pp 103-104 in a chapter section titled: "The Golden Age of Dance Pavilions and the "Queen of Swing". In preparing the general list some dances were omitted, but are included in the book and easily found through the index.


"The Rendezvous Ballroom opened in 1928 with a 12,000 square foot dance floor with a capacity of 1,500 dancing couples. It, like so many ballrooms, suffered through a devastating fire in January 1935. It was quickly rebuilt as the swing and dance craze was spreading nationwide. The Rendezvous was known for developing a unique dance known as the Balboa.

The Balboa was a versatile dance that could be done to very slow or fast music. It could be done on a crowded dance floor since it required little space. Located near a beach, the Rendezvous was a popular destination for teenagers and college students during the spring break. They could combine a day at the beach and dancing to top name swing bands until 1:00 a.m.

On June 18, 1938, a local radio personality Al Poska organized a seven-day non-stop Big Band dance marathon that attracted nationwide media attention. The promotional event to celebrate the end of the school year was covered by LOOK magazine, a widely read mass-media magazine. Within the article they nicknamed the Rendezvous Ballroom the "Queen of Swing."

Have you read this book? What do you think? Tell me.

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