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Balboa: The Shuffle Effect
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Balboa: The Shuffle Effect

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Nick Williams, Sylvia Sykes
Doug Silton Productions
Intermediate, Advanced
Running Time:
45 minutes
Release Date:
Not available


Nick Williams and Sylvia Sykes take you through weight changes, shuffles and more to really amp up your Balboa style.

On this DVD:
3 Types of Weight Changes
Foot Release
Partial Weight Change (Shuffle Basic)
Quick Shuffle
Ed and Inez Thompson Basic

Nick and Sylvia are some of the most respected and sought after Balboa instructors in the world. Between them they hold first place titles at practically every Balboa and swing dance championship across the globe, and if not competing they can usually be found judging those very competitions.

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Member Reviews

LJH - March 8, 2017

The Shuffle Effect, or, the Shuffle Affect…? Hm.

Does shuffling cause Balboa, or, does Balboa cause shuffling?

It’s not explained on the disc - although it’s promised in the introduction - but shuffling is moving the feet, and, perhaps moving the body, without lifting the feet - much. So, you can shuffle in place, or, shuffle-along, or, back-and-forth, side-to-side, in circles, etc. And, you can do it with rhythmic footwork, or, rhythmic footworks, or, not-so-much shuffling (to the eye) while “hanging on” and shifting your weight and feet... barely.

As for why Balboa is a shuffle dance – also promised in the introduction but not explained on the disc – it’s a shuffle dance because the dance floors were so crowded you couldn’t walk-dance, or, hop-dance; you could only shuffle-dance – and you still had to be “proper” with your partner. But, the music didn’t change so you had to make-do with the same (dance) beat and shuffle quickly – together in happy cooperation. And, not very far from one spot... Try moving much and you run into somebody… And, vice versa. And, vice vice versa…

After some conversation and examples of weight changes and how to “slip” a foot here and there, the rest of the disc covers “classic basics” done by well-known Balboa couples. Not said is that it was common, “Back then,” for different people, and couples, to strive for different looks when dancing – including their “own” basics. Nor is much said about why they might have liked one basic over another – beyond being different – and how “a” basic might work better with some songs than others. Oh, well, learn – and then learn some more. We learn a “new” basic and eventually find it fits something “out in the wild” better than our standard stuff… Learn – and go with it.

This disc, this idea of different basics, is like one of those “required” classes in school. Everybody knows it’s “good for you,” but nobody wants to take much time with it – maybe not even the teachers. That may be because “it looks easy,” or, “it’s obvious,” or, “nobody listens” but for something that you’ll do several million times (while you only do three hundred and twenty-eight thousand outside turns, two hundred and thirty-nine thousand “Lollies,” and, four hundred Johnny’s Drops, etc.) it pays, richly, to really put some time and attention into what “Balboa” shuffling is and how to do it well.

This disc is a good idea, perhaps edited a bit too severely. It is short. But, if you do study it… It will be harder than you think - and, take longer than you expect. And, you’ll be a much better dancer for giving it a couple of hours ☺ of your time.

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