The Northwest Balboa Festival is back for its third year in a row! The party keeps on coming, and we need you to come to make 2017 better than ever! With more dancing, more music, more guided practices, and more afternoon socials, this year's Northwest Balboa Festival will be the hallmark of the Pacific Northwest's amazing dance community.
Hailing from the West Coast these two combine traditional Balboa aesthetics with a contemporary approach to partnering. Jennifer Lee has been making a lot of noise in the Global Balboa scene by taking first place at such events as Lindy Focus, The Snowball, California Balboa Classic, and All Balboa Weekend to name a few.
Augie Freeman has been traveling and dancing since 2003 and is in 2012 was inducted into the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame. Together they bring a light-hearted atmosphere to the classroom as well as a focus on partner dynamics & connection, great movement, and playful ideas.
Desiree has loved dancing her whole life. At the age of four, she began Irish Dance. Soon after, she was competing around the country and started teaching dance in early middle school. Around 2002, Desiree switched her focus to swing dancing and began studying Lindy Hop, Blues, and Balboa. Desiree continues to travel to swing dance events around the country to learn and compete. She has studied extensively with the top balboa dancers in the world including a few of the original balboa dancers. She has received awards from Emerald City Shuffle, Eastern Balboa Championship, California Balboa Classic, Southern Swing Challenge, Hot Rhythm Holiday, Music City Shuffle, and All Balboa Weekend.
Desiree especially loves balboa because of its circular momentum, close connection, and intricate footwork. In 2011, Desiree started Chicago Balboa Underground, an organization dedicated to the promotion of balboa in Chicago. Desiree has a Masters Degree in Education and can be found teaching balboa throughout Chicago and at balboa events across the country. She runs a monthly balboa dance in Chicago and a weekly practice group dedicated to self directed learning, peer teaching, experimentation, and community building. When she is not shuffling across the dance floor, she enjoys scavenger hunts, murder mystery parties, trapeze, and aerial yoga.
Yoshi Uemura originally hails from Japan and currently lives in Seattle. He moved to US as a grad student and found swing dancing around 2000 when he lived in NYC. He walked by Midsummer Night Swing Festival at Lincoln Center and was so inspired by the energy of the people dancing outdoor at 90F in summer in Manhattan. Two weeks later, he started taking lessons.
Shortly after he moved to Seattle in 2001, where he continued to dance with several performance teams, Yoshi took his first Balboa lesson (2003). Ever since, he has continued to learn from the original dancers and many great Balboa dancers all over the world, and developed his own, unique style. Even after many years, his focus is still on connection and flow with a partner, and precise and rhythmical footwork. He regularly teaches in Seattle, other cities in US, and internationally to share his passion for swing dances, helping to grow the communities.
Angie and Matt both live in the Rain City of America's Hat. While originally from the USA, Angie went on vacation to Canada and for some reason never left. Matt hails from Surrey, for which there is no excuse. However, he does bring the Northwest Balboa Festival's doctor-count up to 3.
By day, they both work as engineers. By night, they sit on the board of the Vancouver Swing Society, a non-profit organization that also hosts the Balboa Mini-Fest — one of the original inspirations for this event. Showcasing fun, musical, and technical dancing, Angie and Matt are sure to bring a good time.
Slipped Disc plays the dynamic, swinging music of 1940s-era small group jazz. Influenced by the Benny Goodman Sextet and Artie Shaw’s Gramercy Five, this ensemble features a front-line trio of clarinet, vibraphone and guitar over tight and swinging rhythm. Since 2008, the Vancouver-based group has been delighting listeners and dancers alike with their unique blend of simple, catchy swing riffs, driving rhythms, and tight ensemble arrangements.
While Taylor's love for jazz predates her dance obsession, she found her passion when the two came together. Hailing (or should we say "raining") from Seattle, Taylor has been DJing regionally and locally since 2013. She takes joy in creating the best possible dance environment through song selection and loves to keep shoes a shuffling with up-tempo tunes. When Taylor is behind the table you will be sure to hear songs from her favorite artists: Jimmie Lunceford, Count Basie, and Sidney Bechet. She enjoys interacting with dancers while she DJs; so if you like what you hear come talk music, if you don't like what you hear you can always talk about shoes.
Travis fell in love with swing music early in his dancing life and has been collecting it ever since. A regular Seattle DJ since 2003, Travis focuses on swing music from the 1930s and 1940s and is comfortable playing songs for many styles of dance including the Charleston, Lindy Hop, Balboa, and Blues. Away from Seattle Travis has been a featured DJ at events like Lindy Focus, All Balboa Weekend, Herrang Dance Camp, Rocky Mountain Balboa Blowout, and Camp Hollywood.
The only airport in the area is Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. From SeaTac, there is a Sound Transit Light Rail which runs approximately every 10 minutes, with a fare of $3. Don't forget to buy your ticket before you get on the platform! With a new station on Capitol Hill, you can get within 5 blocks of our classes venue with just one ride!
Once you have arrived in Seattle, there are many options for getting around town. If you choose to take public transit, King County Metro has excellent bus service around town. Their website also has a trip planner. One Bus Away is a must-have app, giving real-time and scheduled arrival information for busses in the Puget Sound Area. Alternatively, Lyft and Uber have strong ride-share presences in Seattle.
While there's free street parking on Sunday, on Saturday definitely consider the Harvard Garage at Seattle Central Community College. Just a couple blocks away from the Century Ballroom, parking is only $5 until 4pm!
Many amazing Seattle dancers have agreed to open their homes for those traveling from out of town. We welcome you to request housing when registering for the event, and will reach out to you at least two weeks before the event starts with details of your arrangements. In the case that we are unable to accomodate everyone who has requested housing, we will notify those affected with ample time to make other arrangements.
Alternatively, airbnb has a strong presence in Seattle, with many different options throughout town. You could even stay on a houseboat!
(Not Dr.) Andrew Hou once grew a garden on his head. His skills include vacuuming, washing dishes, doing laundry, and raking leaves. He is bad at computers and his car frequently breaks down.
Dr. Jennifer Lee once worked in a Federally-funded potato laboratory. Her skills include skiing, trampolining, and ophthalmology. Her favorite foods are boiled cabbage and 7-Up Salad. She and her dog Stalah live a happy life in Kirkland.
Brenda Parsons is an aficionado of cocktails, cookies, cupcakes, and cockatoos. Her skills include making good conversation, picking Christmas presents, and sewing on buttons. She used to be a yooper.