The ‘Mad Men’ look

If you’ve not seen it yet, you’re probably wondering what our upcoming ‘Mad Men Party’ is all about. Well, we know a lot of Hot Ginger swingers are big fans of the TV show that follows the fortunes of the Madison Avenue ad agency in the late 50s/early 60s.

But it’s the fashions that have caught the imagination and started to influence the catwalk. So here’s a selection of Mad Men looks to give you some ideas for how to dress up for our Mad Men Party (as always, though, you can just come as you are).

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Balboa, the swing dance that rocks

IMG_0082You may have heard our  Hot Ginger Radio Show Balboa dance special.  Listening to the tunes makes you want to move, right?  Here’s how.

You might have seen lots of couples dancing ‘Bal’ at Hot Ginger, usually to the faster numbers, and it’s definitely growing in popularity. We’ve been teaching Balboa dance classes in Birmingham for the last couple of years, so we’re trying to grow the scene as much as can.

Balboa is a street swing dance that developed in Southern California in the 1930s.  Characterised by its close hold, Pure Balboa is a dance designed for small spaces on busy dance floors and is particularly suitable for faster rhythms where a nuanced lead and follow connection through the body is essential.  Bal Swing is noticeably different as the partners break apart and dance in a more open style, which has similarities to Lindy Hop.  For more information on Balboa see Bobby White’s excellent blog ‘Swungover’. (That’s Bobby in the photo on the right, with Mette Herlitz at BalBreak 2013)

To get you in the mood, here are a few Bal-Swing videos we really love…

Bobby White and Kate Hedin’s fantastic routine as seen around the world!

Nick Williams and Nelle Cherry winning the Invitational Jack & Jill Final at Lindy Focus in 2011.

Laura Keat and Jeremy Otth winning All Balboa Weekend’s American Classic Balboa Championship in 2013: 

You can read more about Balboa on Dan Guest’s site and on Wikipedia.

Once you’ve mastered the basic steps at our classes, you can use our Non-Stop Balboa Dance Special to practice your moves.

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