Bay Balboa is a non-profit organisation aimed at furthering the love for Balboa, a swing dance that arose in Southern California in the 1920s and 1930s. Our fleet-footed members can be found dancing themselves silly in the greater Lancashire area, and even further afield when the fancy takes them.
Bay Balboa is run entirely by volunteers and is led by Suzi Byrne and Chris Arridge, who have been dancing together since 2012.
Our Teaching and Learning Experience
Suzi and Chris having been dancing together since 2012 starting with Rock and Roll Jive and then jumping headlong into the world of Lindy Hop.
Chris and Suzi discovered Balboa in 2013 by chance, taking a taster class with world champion instructors Kate Hedin and Bobby White. They were smitten from the start and have made it their mission to learn this beautiful dance. Ever since they’ve been travelling to workshops and festivals, from the UK to the USA, learning from the world's best Balboa teachers. They get teased a lot by their friends for being Balboa nerds, but they don’t mind. They’d just really like more people to know how beautiful and fun Balboa is.
They’ve been teaching together since 2014 and have been regularly teaching swing dancing since 2015. Between them they have amassed over 200 hours of dance instruction.
We understand that coming to a first dance class can be quite a daunting experience and empathise with students who worry that they won’t be able to dance because they have two left feet and no rhythm. We try to ease these concerns by emphasising the everyday skills that people have which are all readily applicable to learning to dance. In our teaching we strive to simply explain mechanical ideas of dance through shared everyday analogies and experiences. We believe in remaining true to the improvised nature of the dance and its connection to the music. We work to reflect this by teaching students to move with the music, rather than executing moves. Above all we believe in inclusive, friendly and fun learning environments.
In his day job Chris is a university Physics lecturer. He holds a PG Certificate in Academic Practice for his teaching and brings this teaching practice to his swing dance teaching. He is also has more than 10 years experience as a science communicator at public events, on TV and radio and is very experienced at communicating complex concepts and ideas.
Chris and Suzi are also experienced swing DJ’s and have DJ’d at national events such as Birmingham Swing Festival, Thames Valley Balboa Festival, Hullzapoppin’, DJAM, Brighton Lindy Hop Festival, and many smaller events. They have also performed with the Brighton Lindy Hoppers and Lancaster Lindy Circle.