Of all the fusion dances, Bal/Lindy is probably the most natural. Almost everyone who knows both dances has done them together on occasion if not regularly. Pure balboa is done in a close hold that never breaks, but almost everyone does Bal-swing and calls it Balboa.
This isn’t fusion, but rather a street dance that evolved and changed. Bal-swing is not Lindy, but they both have roots in the same place, come from the same era, and are danced to similar music. Bal and Bal-swing are usually danced to very fast music. While mentally difficult to learn, they are not physically tiring to dance.
Lindy Hop is danced to a variety of speeds. While variety is everywhere, the predominant speed varies by locality. In my area (San Francisco) a lot of the music is on the slow side. In L.A. or Seattle, it tends to be mostly fast. Unlike Balboa, dancing fast Lindy takes a fair amount of physical stamina. It’s not surprising that Bal is popular in L.A.
If you know how to gracefully segue into Bal from Lindy and back again, you can use Bal as a rest when you need a break. If you only know a little Bal, it gets boring fast but you can hang out in the basics long enough to catch your breath.
If you are masters of both fast Lindy and Balboa, you can put them together into a stunning fusion dance, like this one from Jeremy Otth & Laura Keat at the All Balboa Weekend of 2012:
by LaurieAnn Lepoff
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