September NewsNotes

Please take the time to respond to our survey. The club board is always interested in suggestions and comments that improve your dancing experience. To that end we are conducting an electronic survey, please use the following link and help us be a better club:
Balboa Park Survey Page.
If you have not responded to the survey please take the time to share your opinions, even if you have filled it out before we have made some changes and need your updated answers. The survey results affect decisions on issues such as the class calendar and music so take a moment and share your thoughts.

New membership applications and renewals are no longer being accepted for 2018. Current member renewals for 2019 will begin in October.

Check Your Shoes
Every few months somebody comes to class with synthetic soles that are on the verge of disintegrating and in the course of the lesson fall apart. Other dancers then step on the debris and create black streaks on the floor. In addition on people who dance in street shoes enter the ballroom with mud on their shoes creating other problems. Everyone please check the soles of your shoes for mud, integrity, gum, and other foreign matter that will impair the dance experience for you and your fellow dancers.

In September our smooth/standard dance is Waltz and the latin/rhythm dance is East Coast Swing. These are two of the easiest dances to learn and are great dances for the beginner to quickly gain skills. The Waltz is a staple of weddings and as a smooth dance at a swing dance party. The East Coast Swing is very popular and suitable for many rhythms, many of which are found in contemporary rock music.


Waltz is a smooth progressive dance characterized by long, flowing movements, continuous turns, and rise & fall. Graceful and elegant, Waltz dancers glide around the floor almost effortlessly. The American style is punctuated with lavish open movements, underarm turns, and solo spins. At 28-30 measures per minute, the tempo is slow at best, but the expressive quality of the music often invites very powerful and dynamic movement from dancers.

When first introduced into the English ballrooms in the early 1800's, the Waltz was denounced by both church and state for its vulgarity and immorality... this was, after all, the first time society had seen this outrageous dance position, with the man holding the lady so close to his body. But the very thing that brought it such criticism also made it appealing, and the Waltz was here to stay.
The Waltz was introduced into the United States in the mid-1800's. The standard Waltz tempo at this time was still very fast and quite demanding to the average dancer, and before long, composers were writing music which was much slower. From this music evolved a style of Waltz called the Boston, with slower turns, and more longer, gliding movements. While the Boston eventually faded away, it did stimulate the development of what we now know as Slow Waltz.

The twentieth century saw two distinct styles of the Slow Waltz evolve. The English refined the movements and codified the technique into the competitive International style, while the Americans developed a Waltz with a more theatrical flavor.

East Coast Swing

The dance was created by dance studios including the Arthur Murray dance studios in the 1940s, based on the Lindy Hop. Lindy Hop was felt by dance studios to be both too difficult and too unstructured to teach to beginning dancers, but there was market demand for training in Swing Dance. The dance studios had initially dismissed Lindy Hop in particular as a fad. East Coast Swing can be referred to by many different names in different regions of the United States and the World. It has alternatively been called Eastern Swing, Jitterbug, American Swing, East Coast Lindy, Lindy (not to be confused with Lindy Hop), and Triple Swing. Other variants of East Coast Swing that use altered footwork forms are known as Single Swing or "Single-step Swing" (where the triple step is replaced by a single step forming a slow, slow, quick, quick rhythm common to Foxtrot), and Double Swing (using a tap-step footwork pattern).

In practice on the social dance floor, the six count steps of the East Coast Swing are often mixed with the eight count steps of Lindy Hop, Charleston, and less frequently, Balboa.


The calendar is full in September with no canceled classes. The activities surrounding Food Truck Friday impacts the main parking lot but most attendees report that they quickly get a space as people leave, check our hints page for additional parking if you just want to get a space right away. The party is on the 10th.

Remember to check the calendar in case there are last minute cancellations. Click the calendar image above to view the online calendar.

Club Dance Party - September 14th

Our September party will be hosted by Mary Manzella.

After graduating college Mary started work as a teacher in New York. After moving to San Diego she started training at Arthur Murray's. For 12 years she taught both grades K-5 and ballroom dancing while competing professionally in American Smooth and Latin. She is nationally recognized in every aspect of dance, not only as a competitor, but also as a performer, choreographer, instructor, judge and studio owner. She has received special awards in many dance categories. She is a former Western Regional and National West

Mary now focuses on her 15 year Wednesday Dance Party at Dance for 2 Studio, Pro-Am competitions/exhibitions, wedding first dance lessons, specialty workshops, and private lessons. Whether Mary is dancing, teaching, choreographing, judging, or entertaining, Mary "Inspires the Dancer Within". For more information visit her on the web here.

We play music for a variety of dance styles, from classic ballroom (Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango) to Rhythm and Latin Dances (Salsa, Rumba, Cha-Cha, swing). We also take requests for your favorite song. There will be snacks and cool drinks in the foyer. During the course of the evening we will have a mixer or two and Stephen will teach a short lesson that will be really fun to get everybody on the floor.

Our parties are a potluck affair, we ask attendees to bring finger foods - sweet and savory - in disposable containers ready to serve. Too many people bring sweet items such as cookies and cakes, unless you have an overwhelming sweet tooth think about bringing chips, pretzels, crackers, or vegetables instead.

Costumes and Vintage Gowns

In 2016 the San Diego Costume Guild held a sale where many of our members found entire costumes or costume elements at great prices. There were also many dresses equal to the most glamorous ball gown. Most of the sellers made the clothing and the items show an astounding level of attention to detail. They love their craft and many also have materials to make costume and vintage clothing. In the lead up to the Viennese Ball I get many women asking about resources for creating vintage dance clothing - there is no better resource than these folks who love their hobby.

Another sale is coming up on October 13th with sellers who are part of the guild, more details are here.

The club now has a Facebook group page. We invite you to join the page to allow the cub to better communicate and allow you to engage with your fellow dancers. Our instructors will be posting tips and special events to improve your dancing and the board will post last minute calendar changes and parking warnings.

Tim Waldowski
President, Balboa Park Dancers
Phone (outgoing message only) 858-859-1926.