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The Northwest Balboa Festival is back for its fourth year! We need YOU to come and make 2018 better than ever! With another year of fantastic music, dancing, practices, and afternoon socials, we're excited to give you everything you love about Balboa, perhaps with a surprise or two along the way. This year's Northwest Balboa Festival will bring the best of what the Pacific Northwest's dance community has to offer.

Since its start, Northwest Balboa Festival has been about building community and making everyone feel welcome. This has been the underlying driver for every decision we make. We didn’t set out to create the largest event possible, nor did we set out to pack as many classes as possible into one weekend. Originally inspired by our Vancouver friends Matt Lam and Angie Weddell, this event has largely been shaped and built by many members of our Seattle scene to provide a warm environment that encourages meeting new people and growing our regional dance scene in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Further, as our dance community at large evolves and grows, it is clear that we have entered a period in which consent violation and lack of personal safety have become problematic. With increasing awareness of these issues, we strive to provide a safe environment where we can all share this dance that we love. If you experience any such problems at the Northwest Balboa Festival, please do not hesitate to come talk to any one of us.

We feel so blessed that you have chosen to spend your time with us, sharing this dance that we love. Let's make 2018 the best Northwest Balboa Festival yet!

Full Pass

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

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


  • Beginners
  • This track is for the aspiring Balboa dancer! If you're just getting familiar with your step-step-hold-steps, or you've just put on some dance shoes for the very first time, this is the track for you. We'll start with the absolute basics, and move quickly to get you shuffling your way across the floor. If you've already danced a little bit of Balboa but are still feeling a bit uneasy about dancing socially, come to this track and brush up on your fundamentals! We'll get you lolly-kicking like a pro.
  • The Beginner track is priced to encourage new and continuing dancers to enter the world of Balboa. To create the best learning environment, this track is limited to 10 leaders and 10 followers.
  • Learner
  • For those who are getting more comfortable with Balboa, but would like to review and refine their technique. You may already know how to out-and-in and swivel, but sometimes need some help nailing the moves. You're probably confortable with a couple different stylings, but would like to learn how to add your own personal flavor. This track is appriopriate for those with significant other dance experience, especially Lindy Hop.
  • Improver
  • This track is geared for dancers who are very comfortable with Balboa and Bal-Swing. You may be "that person that dances Balboa" in your local community. You can probably name a couple of the Old Timer Balboa dancers, do a Maxie Slide, and may have even traveled to an event just for Balboa. Classes will emphasize on refining technique, adding moves, playing with rhythm, and exploring musicality.
  • Perfecter
  • This is the track for those who are in a committed long-term relationship with Balboa. You're easy to connect with on the dance floor, and can likely both lead and follow. Some might describe your Pure Bal as "dreamy". You've probably competed at a couple different events, and may have even taught locally. Dancers in this track should be extremely comfortable with Balboa and Bal-Swing, with a strong interest in perfecting technique, musicality, and aesthetics.
  • Dancers interested in the Perfecters track should register for Improver and inquire further during registration. Perfecter track students are welcome to take classes in other tracks as long as it does not upset class balance.


  • Balboa Classic Competition - $25 (Sign up as a couple!)
  • It's time to strut your stuff! This year, the NWBF wants you to grab a partner and show us what you got. You'll be judged as a couple, and have the opportunity to win fabulous prizes.
  • This competition is only open to dancers who have not placed in the top 3 placements at any major Balboa competition (e.g. California Balboa Classic, Camp Hollywood, All Balboa Weekend, etc.)
  • Sunday Strictly - Free
  • Open to anybody!
  • This competition is for those who enjoy the element of surprise. As in, we can't tell you what it is! But we're certain you'll have a grand time, so grab a partner and join us for this free competition!



Evening Dance: Salsa Con Todo

  • 9pm-12am
  • Check in and Registration opens at 830pm
  • Invitational Competition at 1050pm
  • $15 Cover for non-pass holders



  • Absolute Beginners
  • 12pm-2pm
  • Taylor Stender and Travis Whetman
  • Lowdown Ballroom
  • Learners
  • 12pm-2pm
  • Corey and Susan Manke
  • Side Room at RCC
  • Improvers
  • 12pm-2pm
  • Jennifer Lee and Jeremy Otth
  • Main Hall at RCC
  • Perfecters
  • 330pm-5pm
  • Corey and Susan Manke
  • Side Room at RCC

Guided Practice: Russian Community Center

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

Evening Dance: Russian Community Center

  • 830pm-1230am
  • Live Music!
  • Competition at 1050pm
  • $20 Cover for non-pass holders



  • Absolute Beginners
  • 12pm-2pm
  • Taylor Stender and Travis Whetman
  • Lowdown Ballroom
  • Learners
  • 12pm-2pm
  • Jennifer Lee and Jeremy Otth
  • Side Room at RCC
  • Improvers
  • 12pm-2pm
  • Corey and Susan Manke
  • Main Hall at RCC
  • Perfecters
  • 2pm-330pm
  • Jennifer Lee and Jeremy Otth
  • Side Room at RCC

Afternoon Dance

  • 4pm-7pm
  • Art Marble 21
  • $5 Suggested Donation
  • Surprise Competition at 530pm (Free!)

Evening Dance: Century Ballroom

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


211 N 36th St
704 19th Avenue East
628 11th Avenue East
731 Westlake Avenue N


Jennifer Lee and Jeremy Otth

Kirkland, WA and Los Angeles, CA

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.

Jeremy amassed a great amount of knowledge on the historic essence of vintage swing dances from many of the original jitterbuggs and swing dancers. Along with his seemingly inexhaustible amount of energy, Jeremy’s natural talent and dedication led him to accumulate championship titles at many acclaimed dance competitions such as the International Lindy Hop Championships, National Jitterbug Championships, American Classic Balboa Championships and the US Open Swing Dance Championships. Jeremy is now able to share that breadth of knowledge and passion for these classic partner dances by entertaining and educating feet from Southern California to around the world.

Corey and Susan Manke

Nashville, TN

Corey and Susan

Corey and Susan Manke are Balboa and Swing dancers from Nashville, Tennessee. While Lindy Hop was their first passion, they soon discovered their true love of Balboa in 2004 fascinated with its connection, rhythms and partnering. They have spent over a decade studying the dance with many international instructors.

Corey and Susan are particularly drawn to the aesthetic, connection and feel of the original dancers. They strive to implement these elements into their own dance style and reference these dancers in their teaching in order to preserve the original dancers’ contribution to the dance floor.

They have been participants of The Balboa Experiment every year since 2010, where they have been students, served as Guest Mentors, awarded “Honorary Fellows” and became "Distinguished Fellows" in 2016. Corey and Susan have been instructors at California Balboa Classic, All Balboa Weekend, Bal-ast Off, Eastern Balboa Championships, Minor Swing and invited to teach at other regional, national and international events. Corey and Susan have received placements at All Balboa Weekend, Bal-Ast Off and are regular finalists in several national competitions. However, they enjoy the aspect of social dancing the most.

Taylor Stender and Travis Whetman

Seattle, WA

Taylor and Travis

Taylor has found a way to dance most of her life. In the last several years she has been broadening her Balboa through travel and being active in the bubbling scene in Seattle. She has had the opportunity to spread the joy of shuffling locally and throughout the Pacific Northwest for the past 8 years. If Taylor isn't twirling on the dance floor, she is twirling the hair of anyone who will sit still in front of her, all while amassing more shoes than common sense.

Travis has been teaching and performing Balboa, Lindy Hop, and Charleston in the Pacific Northwest for over 10 years. When he's not on the dance floor, you'll often find him in the DJ booth playing the best Balboa music from the Swing Era. Travis believes in empowering dancers to find their own style and being creative so that they can have a unique presence on the dance floor. Travis has two cats named Muggsy and Pops, likes pizzadillas (think about it), and enjoys winding down by catching reruns of Frasier.


Greg Ruby Band


Composer and guitarist Greg Ruby is a distinctive voice in the Hot Club jazz tradition. His 2010 CD, Look Both Ways, celebrated the 100th birthday of gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt with 12 original compositions, and reached #1 on the Roots Music Review’s jazz chart. His compositions have appeared in both television and documentaries including NBC’s Parks and Recreation. As a former member of the group, Pearl Django, Greg spent five years performing and touring throughout the United States, Canada and Europe and appeared with the group at the prestigious Django Reinhardt Festival in Samois sur Seine, France. As founding member of the hot jazz string band, Hot Club Sandwich, Greg can be heard on all four of the band’s recordings and produced their 2010 release, And If Only, featuring legendary vocalist Dan Hicks. In 2014, he received an funding from King County’s 4Culture to create and record new work for a prohibition era Jazz dance band. The project was debuted at Seattle’s historic Washington Hall during the 2014 Seattle Lindy Exchange. Currently, he leads his own group The Greg Ruby Quintet, collaborates with New York and New Orleans musicians on a project called The Rhythm Runners, and performs European cafe jazz with the Bric-a-brac Musette Trio.

DJ Jose Tello


Jose started listening to and collecting Jazz before he graduated high school and his passion for it continued to grow as he began traveling for Lindy Hop & Balboa events. Nowadays he regularly DJs at social dances and events in his home scene and occasional out-of-town gigs. Jose's taste in Swing Jazz centers around early 1930s to late 1940s music pulled from Benny, Artie, Duke, Lunceford, Basie and a handful more. He has a keen interest in digging up live recordings and radio broadcasts, as well as obscure groups and music for dancers.


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!


Airbnb has a strong presence in Seattle, with many different options throughout town. In past years, many dancers have successfully booked with them. You could even stay on a houseboat!

The Silver Cloud Broadway has also offered a 10% discount for reservations. Either click the link, or give them a call at 206.325.1400 and ask for the NWBALFES group rate.

  • $201.50/night King Bed, $210.50/night Two Queen Beds
  • Arrival: 5/3/2018
  • Departure: 5/7/2018
  • On-site Parking: $30/night
  • Additionally, 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 three 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.