EDINBURGH

18th/19th/20th October 2019


Bal & Shag Festival

For the first time, right in the heart of Edinburgh, the legendary clans of Shag and Balboa will come together for an epic weekend of dancing!

With classes from international instructors, competitions to test your mettle, and social dancing late into the night, this will be one event not to miss! Whether you’re looking for some elegant shag, some extravagant balboa, or just a jaunt around the beautiful city of Edinburgh, this event is for you.

All aboard the BALedonian SHAGspress hype train!

Email us: Join the event:

Teachers

Photo: Jason Swihart

We are delighted to be able to announce our first teaching couple, the incredible Sasha and Yulia! We’re so excited to have them joining us to teach our Balboa tracks this October.

Currently based in London, UK, Yulia and Sasha fell in love with balboa in 2010 while still being a part of a very enthusiastic and competitive Russian swing dance scene. They have ever since been in constant search of the authenticity of the dance and exploration of partners' dynamics both in pure balboa and balswing. In class they are happy to share every piece of knowledge they’ve gained throughout this ongoing adventure, with years of patient work and moments of fascinating insights.

Easily recognised by their zippy yet smooth style, the couple is often spotted in international contest finals. Two times California Balboa Classic winners, they also proudly hold the title of 6-time Pure Balboa Classic champions! Yet it isn't all about trophies; both Yulia and Sasha see competing as the perfect way to showcase what they treasure in Balboa the most: its joyful energy, subtle humour and the precious opportunity to be in the moment with the music and one another.


Photo: Tamara Pinco

Teaching both Balboa and Shag, we are excited to be joined by the ever-elegant Larissa and Heiko from Basel!

Larissa and Heiko have been dancing together for more than a decade and have been teaching as a couple for many years.They love to spread their joy and passion for swing dancing and they are very happy to be teaching Lindy Hop, Balboa and Collegiate Shag in weekly classes and workshops in their dance school “Basel Jitterbugs” in Switzerland, and abroad.

Rather than focusing on one dance style, Larissa and Heiko dance all of the swing dances and mix them based on the tempo and energy of the music. In class, they deliver a learning experience characterised by a well-balanced mix of fun and challenge, and they strive to constantly grow as dancers and teachers themselves. While the topics might vary, they always provide clear instruction and adjust to the actual level and atmosphere of the class. Their goal is to help you grow as a swing dancer and develop your own voice on the dance floor.

Check out some of their beautiful dancing in the clip below!




Photo: Antanas Minkevicius

Our next teaching couple barely needs any introduction - a fixture in Vilnius and across Europe, we are joined by the inimitable Arnas and Egle!

One of the most prominent couples of the Lithuanian Swing Dance scene, partnered up from the very first dance, Arnas & Egle are dancing, performing, teaching and inspiring the community in Vilnius everyday!

Their passion and joy for Lindy Hop & Collegiate Shag gained them a name as international instructors in regular small workshops around Europe, especially in Poland, where along with the swingout.pl community they inspired the Collegiate Shag scene in Warsaw and all over the country. Rich experience in teaching every day classes infuses quality and fun with clear explanation of their material, enabling you to express swing music and yourself within it.

Arnas & Egle are co-founders of What a Jazz Dance Studio in Vilnius and co-organisers of the one and only Balboa & Shag festival in Lithuania – Swing Paradise.

Photo: Brenda Ahearn

And now for our fourth teaching couple, the international sensations, Peter and Lauren! These two are going to be spending most of their time with the Balboa tracks but they’ve got a few extra tricks up their respective sleeves to delight you in our taster classes too!

Peter & Lauren are two dynamic instructors with over thirty years of teaching experience between them. Based in Southern California, they are highly in-demand, sharing their passion for the great classic dances of the Swing Era. Their classes and workshops are noted for their clarity, humor and high spirits!

Peter and Lauren have a worldwide reputation as highly sought-after social dancers and instructors. Today, Peter counts some of the world’s top dancers and instructors as his own former students. Lauren’s degree in vocal music education allows her to bring a unique approach to classes, incorporating Alexander techniques, natural musicality, body efficiency, and other dance skills.

Registration

Registrations are now open! To register, visit our DanceCloud page here: ebsf.dancecloud.com

Pass prices

Class Pass Social Pass Plus Social Pass
£80 £40 £30
Includes the core Balboa or Shag classes, taster classes, and all the socials Access to our Friday, Saturday and Sunday night socials and the taster classes Access to our Friday, Saturday and Sunday night socials

Student Group Discounts

We want to make it easier for students to attend our event so we are offering a 12.5% discount to student-only groups of 3 or more. If you are interested in bringing a group, nominate a group leader and get them to send us a list of names and university email addresses of group members to edinburghbalandshagfestival@gmail.com. We’ll send your leader a group discount code that each of the members can use in the dancecloud checkout.

Levels

We want this weekend to be really enjoyable for everyone, and we hope that you all come away from it feeling like you learned a heck of a lot and danced your socks off! With people travelling in from all over, it’s going to be nearly impossible to predict how your dance skills will compare to the other attendees. That’s why we are going to hold a level check class on Saturday Morning. Once our instructors have taken you through a short lesson and seen you dance, they will be able to put you into groups who can work on similar aspects of your dancing so you get the most out of your classes this weekend.

That being said we don't want anyone to feel stressed about these auditions, so if you’d prefer not to do the level check class, that’s absolutely fine. You can register for an Intermediate level class pass and you’ll be put straight into that group, so won't have to attend the level check. If you are happy to audition, then you should choose the "Audition Me" pass on Dancecloud when you register.

The core classes we’ll be offering this weekend are for intermediate level dancers and above. If you’re just getting started in your Balboa/Shag adventures then we’d love to have you join us at the socials and in the taster classes this year, and we hope to be able to offer more for beginners next year.

Venues

Details coming soon… whisper, whisper… did somebody say sprung floor??

Bands

The Tenement Jazz Band

Playing at our Friday social, the Tenement Jazz band are a traditional jazz band formed in early 2018 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Brought together by their shared love of New Orleans music, and comprising musicians from various corners of Edinburgh’s vibrant jazz scene, they are on a journey of exploration back to the roots of the music that they play.

Their aims are to capture the raw energy and excitement of the early jazz recordings, to find and revive lesser-heard songs and cultivate their own interpretations of these, all in order to captivate experienced jazzers, dancing persons, and uninitiated ears alike.

In their brief existence so far they have performed at Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Dundee and Glasgow Jazz Festivals, collaborated with various musicians via their own Cellar Session residency, and performed their own hit show at the Edinburgh Fringe telling the story of the ‘Red Hot Roots of Jazz’ from turn of the century New Orleans and beyond.

Check out a sample of their fantastic playing in the clip linked, and grab a copy of their album from Bandcamp!

Schedule

Wondering when you'll need to arrive in Edinburgh? Wondering how late you'll be able to stay? Although we don't have full timings for the weekend yet, the schedule below should give you an accurate outline of when our various classes and socials will be happening across the weekend!

Friday 7:30pm
-
11:00pm
Friday Night Social with Live Music
Saturday 10:00am
-
11:00am
Level check
11:00am
-
5:00pm
Classes and Tasters
8:00pm
-
1:00am
Saturday Night Social with Live Music
Sunday 10:30am
-
5:00pm
Classes and Tasters
7:00pm
-
11:00pm
Sunday Night Social with Live Music

Accommodation

Edinburgh isn’t that big, but we know every kilometer counts when you’re running to class in the morning. All of our evening venues are south of the Royal Mile, around Newington and the Meadows, and our classes will be in the university’s Pleasance complex. This is our first year organising this event and we’ve got a lot work to do getting this off the ground, so we’re not going to coordinate hosting this year. But there are loads of really lovely dancers in Edinburgh who happily host guests, so we will be soon setting up a Facebook group where you can request and offer hosting.

Code of Conduct

We expect everyone attending our festival to be respectful of all other attendees, teachers, organisers and volunteers. We will have safe spaces volunteers available throughout the festival to help out with any issue you may have. You can view our code of conduct here.