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The Northwest Balboa Festival is back for its third year in a row! The party keeps on coming, and we need you to come to make 2017 better than ever! With more dancing, more music, more guided practices, and more afternoon socials, this year's Northwest Balboa Festival will be the hallmark of the Pacific Northwest's amazing dance community.

Full Pass

  • Regular - $95 ( Until March 15 )
  • Late Registration - $105

Absolute Beginners Pass

  • Regular - $75 ( Until March 15 )
  • Late Registration - $85

Student Pass

  • Must provide Student ID at check-in
  • Regular - $75 ( Until March 15 )
  • Late Registration - $85


  • Absolute Beginners
  • If you're someone who wants to be introduced into the wonderful world of Balboa for the first time, this is the track for you! We'll teach you the absolute basics, starting with your first step-step-hold-step.
  • The Absolute Beginner track is priced to encourage new dancers to discover Balboa as their first dance. To create the best learning environment, this track is limited to 8 leaders and 8 followers. Class venue will be emailed directly to students.
  • Learner
  • For those somewhat new to Balboa, and would like to review and refine their technique. This track is appriopriate for those with other dance experience, especially Lindy Hop.
  • Improver
  • This track is geared for dancers who are comfortable with Balboa and Bal-Swing. Classes will emphasize on refining technique, adding moves, playing with rhythm, and exploring musicality.
  • Perfecter
  • Dancers in this track should be extremely comfortable with Balboa and Bal-Swing, with a strong interest in perfecting technique, musicality, and aesthetics. In the spirit of community, dancers in this track are elected to serve as Pros in the Pro-Am Competition unless otherwise requested.
  • Dancers interested in the Perfecters track should inquire during registration.


  • Pro-Am Competition - $15 (Sign up as a Lead or a Follow!)
  • Open to amateur competitors who have never previously competed
  • Competitors sign up individually as a lead or a follow, and will be paired with a dancer from the Perfecter Track. Competitors will dance in heats, changing partners a minimum of 3 times. Only Amateur dancers will be judged.
  • Fast Feet Strictly - Free
  • Open to anybody!
  • This competition is for those who think they have the fastest feet in the Northwest. Grab a partner, and a drink of water, because there's no stopping until it's over! Competitiors will dance in successively faster heats; those who fail to keep up will be tapped out!



Evening Dance: Velocity Dance Center

  • 9pm-12am
  • Live Music with How Short!
  • Check in and Registration opens at 830pm
  • Invitational Competition at 11pm
  • $15 Cover for non-pass holders



  • Absolute Beginners
  • 12pm-2pm
  • Angie Weddell and Matt Lam
  • Lowdown Ballroom
  • Learners
  • 12pm-2pm
  • Desiree Roffers and Yoshi Uemura
  • Side Room at Russian Community Center
  • Improvers
  • 12pm-2pm
  • Jennifer Lee and Augie Freeman
  • Main Hall at Russian Community Center
  • Perfecters
  • 3pm-4pm
  • Jennifer Lee and Augie Freeman
  • Side Room at Russian Community Center

Guided Practice: Russian Community Center

  • 2pm-4pm
  • $2 Cover for non-pass holders

Evening Dance: Russian Community Center

  • 830pm-1230am
  • Live Music with Slipped Disc!
  • Pro-Am Competition at 1030pm
  • $20 Cover for non-pass holders



Classes: Russian Community Center

  • 12pm-3pm
  • Absolute Beginners
  • 12pm-2pm
  • Angie Weddell and Matt Lam
  • Lowdown Ballroom
  • Learners
  • 12pm-2pm
  • Jennifer Lee and Augie Freeman
  • Side Room at Russian Community Center
  • Improvers
  • 12pm-2pm
  • Desiree Roffers and Yoshi Uemura
  • Main Hall at Russian Community Center
  • Perfecters
  • 2pm-3pm
  • Jennifer Lee and Augie Freeman
  • Main Hall at Russian Community Center
  • Perfecter B
  • 2pm-3pm
  • Desiree Roffers and Yoshi Uemura
  • Side Room at Russian Community Center

Afternoon Dance: China Harbor

  • 4pm-7pm
  • $5 Suggested Donation
  • Fast Feet Strictly at 530pm (Free!)

Evening Dance: Century Ballroom

  • 930pm-1230am
  • Not Included with Weekend Pass
  • $9 Cover


1621 12th Avenue
704 19th Avenue East
628 11th Avenue East


Jennifer Lee and Augie Freeman

Seattle, WA and Los Angeles, CA


Hailing from the West Coast these two combine traditional Balboa aesthetics with a contemporary approach to partnering. Jennifer Lee has been making a lot of noise in the Global Balboa scene by taking first place at such events as Lindy Focus, The Snowball, California Balboa Classic, and All Balboa Weekend to name a few.

Augie Freeman has been traveling and dancing since 2003 and is in 2012 was inducted into the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame. Together they bring a light-hearted atmosphere to the classroom as well as a focus on partner dynamics & connection, great movement, and playful ideas.

Desiree Roffers

Chicago, IL


Desiree has loved dancing her whole life. At the age of four, she began Irish Dance. Soon after, she was competing around the country and started teaching dance in early middle school. Around 2002, Desiree switched her focus to swing dancing and began studying Lindy Hop, Blues, and Balboa. Desiree continues to travel to swing dance events around the country to learn and compete. She has studied extensively with the top balboa dancers in the world including a few of the original balboa dancers. She has received awards from Emerald City Shuffle, Eastern Balboa Championship, California Balboa Classic, Southern Swing Challenge, Hot Rhythm Holiday, Music City Shuffle, and All Balboa Weekend.

Desiree especially loves balboa because of its circular momentum, close connection, and intricate footwork. In 2011, Desiree started Chicago Balboa Underground, an organization dedicated to the promotion of balboa in Chicago. Desiree has a Masters Degree in Education and can be found teaching balboa throughout Chicago and at balboa events across the country. She runs a monthly balboa dance in Chicago and a weekly practice group dedicated to self directed learning, peer teaching, experimentation, and community building. When she is not shuffling across the dance floor, she enjoys scavenger hunts, murder mystery parties, trapeze, and aerial yoga.

Yoshi Uemura

Seattle, WA


Yoshi Uemura originally hails from Japan and currently lives in Seattle. He moved to US as a grad student and found swing dancing around 2000 when he lived in NYC. He walked by Midsummer Night Swing Festival at Lincoln Center and was so inspired by the energy of the people dancing outdoor at 90F in summer in Manhattan. Two weeks later, he started taking lessons.

Shortly after he moved to Seattle in 2001, where he continued to dance with several performance teams, Yoshi took his first Balboa lesson (2003). Ever since, he has continued to learn from the original dancers and many great Balboa dancers all over the world, and developed his own, unique style. Even after many years, his focus is still on connection and flow with a partner, and precise and rhythmical footwork. He regularly teaches in Seattle, other cities in US, and internationally to share his passion for swing dances, helping to grow the communities.

Angie Weddell and Matthew Lam

Vancouver, B.C.


Angie and Matt both live in the Rain City of America's Hat. While originally from the USA, Angie went on vacation to Canada and for some reason never left. Matt hails from Surrey, for which there is no excuse. However, he does bring the Northwest Balboa Festival's doctor-count up to 3.

By day, they both work as engineers. By night, they sit on the board of the Vancouver Swing Society, a non-profit organization that also hosts the Balboa Mini-Fest — one of the original inspirations for this event. Showcasing fun, musical, and technical dancing, Angie and Matt are sure to bring a good time.


Slipped Disc

Slipped Disc plays the dynamic, swinging music of 1940s-era small group jazz. Influenced by the Benny Goodman Sextet and Artie Shaw’s Gramercy Five, this ensemble features a front-line trio of clarinet, vibraphone and guitar over tight and swinging rhythm. Since 2008, the Vancouver-based group has been delighting listeners and dancers alike with their unique blend of simple, catchy swing riffs, driving rhythms, and tight ensemble arrangements.

How Short

How Short

How Short plays happy jazz, the kind that gets you out of your seat and moving. Their repertoire includes old classics from the Great American Songbook and unique arrangements of more recent tunes, but it all swings hard. Backed by a rhythmic accordion, lightning fast guitar, and a dizzyingly melodious clarinet, Andy and Josh's magic blend of vocals will keep you dancing all night long.

DJ Taylor Stender


While Taylor's love for jazz predates her dance obsession, she found her passion when the two came together. Hailing (or should we say "raining") from Seattle, Taylor has been DJing regionally and locally since 2013. She takes joy in creating the best possible dance environment through song selection and loves to keep shoes a shuffling with up-tempo tunes. When Taylor is behind the table you will be sure to hear songs from her favorite artists: Jimmie Lunceford, Count Basie, and Sidney Bechet. She enjoys interacting with dancers while she DJs; so if you like what you hear come talk music, if you don't like what you hear you can always talk about shoes.

DJ Travis Whetman


Travis fell in love with swing music early in his dancing life and has been collecting it ever since. A regular Seattle DJ since 2003, Travis focuses on swing music from the 1930s and 1940s and is comfortable playing songs for many styles of dance including the Charleston, Lindy Hop, Balboa, and Blues. Away from Seattle Travis has been a featured DJ at events like Lindy Focus, All Balboa Weekend, Herrang Dance Camp, Rocky Mountain Balboa Blowout, and Camp Hollywood.


Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)

The only airport in the area is Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. From SeaTac, there is a Sound Transit Light Rail which runs approximately every 10 minutes, with a fare of $3. Don't forget to buy your ticket before you get on the platform! With a new station on Capitol Hill, you can get within 5 blocks of our classes venue with just one ride!


Once you have arrived in Seattle, there are many options for getting around town. If you choose to take public transit, King County Metro has excellent bus service around town. Their website also has a trip planner. One Bus Away is a must-have app, giving real-time and scheduled arrival information for busses in the Puget Sound Area. Alternatively, Lyft and Uber have strong ride-share presences in Seattle.

There's free street parking on Sunday; on Saturday there's a variety of paid lots nearby all of our venues. Pay attention to the posted signage, street parking is normally limited to 2 hours!


Many amazing Seattle dancers have agreed to open their homes for those traveling from out of town. We welcome you to request housing when registering for the event, and will reach out to you at least two weeks before the event starts with details of your arrangements. In the case that we are unable to accomodate everyone who has requested housing, we will notify those affected with ample time to make other arrangements.

If you'd like the privacy of your own space, we have secured a small discount at the Silver Cloud Broadway Hotel, with the following details:

  • Rate: $209 Single King, $219 Double Queen
  • Arrival: 5/19/2015
  • Departure: 5/21/2015
  • On-site Parking: $30/night

This rate can be obtained by visting their website and reserving a room using NWBALFES as the Group ID and Password, or visiting the following link.

Alternatively, airbnb has a strong presence in Seattle, with many different options throughout town. You could even stay on a houseboat!


Andrew Hou

(Not Dr.) Andrew Hou once grew a garden on his head. His skills include vacuuming, washing dishes, doing laundry, and raking leaves. He is bad at computers and his car frequently breaks down.

Jennifer Lee

Dr. Jennifer Lee once worked in a Federally-funded potato laboratory. Her skills include skiing, trampolining, and ophthalmology. Her favorite foods are boiled cabbage and 7-Up Salad. She and her dog Stalah live a happy life in Kirkland.

Sherman Ku

Dr. Sherman Ku holds the distinction of being the only organizer born in Asia. His skills include concentration curls, hammer curls, incline dumbell curls, and preacher curls. He loves to play music, and is a big fan of community orchestra.

Brenda Parsons

Brenda Parsons is an aficionado of cocktails, cookies, cupcakes, and cockatoos. Her skills include making good conversation, picking Christmas presents, and sewing on buttons. She used to be a yooper.

Melanie Haagsma

Melanie spends her days keeping the public safe making water run uphill. She can sometimes do more than one push up, and is the aunt to an unborn fetus. She excels at making paper snowflakes.