Special Event - Beginner Workshop

What: one day beginner swing dance workshop, plus a night of dancing

When: Saturday August 31st, 2019 12pm until 5pm
Where: RVA Swing dance studio, 6114C Lakeside Ave Henrico VA 23228

Instructors: special guest Jennifer Barnett with Ryan Lemar assisting

Cost: $65 per person if registered by August 29th
          $75 per person if registering at the door (space permitting, online registration encouraged)

Includes:  - 4 hours of beginner-friendly dance workshops
                  - admission to the Sat night dance featuring live music from the Mint Julep Jazz Band

IMPORTANT: Class size is limited and we encourage you to register ahead of time to guarantee your spot

About the workshop:

New to swing dancing in general? This workshop is for you!

Done some Lindy Hop or East Coast Swing and want to try a new style? This workshop is for you!

Taken a few beginner Balboa classes but still lack confidence on the social floor or would like a review? This workshop is for you, too!

No partner or previous experience required.

Over the course of this one day beginner workshop, special guest instructor Jennifer Barnett will get students acquainted with basics of a swing dance style known as Balboa.

Your registration also includes a night of dancing for a truly immersive dance weekend.


At the RVA Swing Dance Studio:

11:30am: Doors open, check-in begins

12pm: Beginner Crash Course Part 1

2pm: one hour break

3pm: Beginner Crash Course Part 2

5pm: workshops end

At Dogtown Dance Theater

8pm: DJ'd music

9pm: Live music with the Mint Julep Jazz Band from Durham NC.

12am: dance ends

Because Part 2 will build on the material learned in Part 1, all new students must attend Part 1 on  in order to participate in Part 2. Registration is available for the entire workshop only.

What is Balboa?

"Balboa" is commonly used as a general term for swing dances that originated in Southern California during the 1920s and 1930s. Balboa is named for the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, California, where the dance was invented. Balboa is danced to big band swing music in a wide variety of tempos, typical of the music played at any swing dance. Because the basic step takes up such a small space, Balboa can be easily danced to music that is too fast for Lindy Hop.

Often danced in a close embrace, the art of Balboa is in the subtle communication between the lead and follow, including weight shifts, which most viewers cannot see. As a result, Balboa was often considered more of a “dancer’s dance” than a “spectator’s dance.” Today, Balboa also encompasses many larger swing movements like kicks, turns and spins and is a versatile dance perfect for new and experienced dancers alike!

About Jen
Known for bringing a little math and science into the ballroom (don’t worry, just a little), Jen began tap dancing in pre-school and continued dancing and later teaching through high school. After putting aside dance to focus on chemistry in college, Jen was happy to return to dance through the vintage swing dance of Balboa during graduate school. During that time, Jen began teaching and promoting, co-running beloved Philly events such as the Saturday Night Fish Fry, Philly Bal Night, and Bal Jam ’08. She now calls New York City home and enjoys teaching locally at You Should Be Dancing! and dancing at White Heat among other favorites.

Jen teaches and competes in Balboa on the international stage, having won the All Balboa Weekend J&J five times, more than any other follow. She has also won or placed in strictly competitions at the All Balboa Weekend, California Balboa Classic, Camp Hollywood, and the Eastern Balboa Championships (R.I.P.) and teaches around the world. In addition to competing and teaching, Jen also enjoys performing. (What can you say? She’s an only child.) She can be seen dancing real fast in NYC’s own AmazeBals as well as at private events. Jen’s favorites have been smack dab in the middle of the Museum of Natural History right under the giant blue whale and, of course, Lincoln Center!

As a teacher, Jen tries to balance her straight-forward manner and high expectations with lots of love, humor, and support for her students. She’s known for being able to teach truly multi-level classes where everyone is challenged to push their best a little farther. Never forgetting to address both follows and leads, Jen blends a clear, technical presentation with the creativity and improvisational spirit that make swing dancing so enjoyable.

About I Heart Balboa

This special beginner package is offered as part of the I Heart Balboa dance festival.

I Heart Balboa is a yearly workshop weekend with internationally acclaimed instructors and world class live music, all dedicated to a wonderful vintage swing dance known as Balboa.  This event draws dancers to Richmond from all over the US, Canada, and occasionally from Europe.

If you are new to swing dancing, you could not ask for a better introduction into this lively, inspiring & supportive community!

Register Online:

Online Registration is now closed

Spaces Remaining for Walk-In  Registrations:

Follows: 4 spaces available
Leads: 3 spaces available

Don't understand what "lead" and "follow" mean? Read about dance roles, as well as what to 
expect in a beginner dance class here.

Walk-in spaces are first come, first served. At-door pricing is $75 per person

This special workshop is part of the I Heart Balboa weekend workshop event and is a non-refundable reservation.