Jacob Wigger and Shani Brown (USA)

Over 15 years Shani Brown has social danced and spent time honing her pure bal and slow bal skills with Dean Raftery, whose Slow Bal dancing forms the very roots of the dance we know today. Over this time Dean offered guidance and feedback for greater understanding of his approach to dancing and the feeling he wanted from a partner. Unsurprisingly, Shani is an absolute mine of information about Slow Bal as it was danced by him, as well as various tidbits of history and technique theorems. 

Together, Jacob and Shani have received direct feedback from Dean on their classes.

Now with guest teachers Mickey & Kelly, Andreas & Olga, as well as Gašper & Anni. All are well known throughout the world and highly popular for their Slow Bal teaching.

So if you love Slow Bal, or just curious to find out more, this event is not to be missed


Jacob Wigger

Jacob Wigger started swing dancing in 2003 and has been hooked ever since, with his first love being social dancing. As a teacher he uses a mix of humorous (in his opinion) analogies and serious instruction to create a fun and exciting learning environment.

Jacob has taught at numerous national and international events. He has also won numerous awards at major competitions. He is famous for his fast Pure Balboa footwork and his large repertoire of unique spins and turns when he’s in the spotlight.

Shani Brown

From sunny southern California, Shani is best known for her fast, syncopated Balboa foot-work and her soft connection – which has been said to feel like a ‘warm hug’. As an instructor, she strives to make dancing simple and effortless with a strong emphasis on combining foundational basics with the soft skills of connection mechanics and partnership to develop smooth flow and personal style.

Shani has dedicated herself to learning, preserving and sharing her love for Balboa and other vernacular jazz dances. She began swing dancing 1998 and is honoured to have honed her social dance skills and footwork under the guidance of legendary dancers Willie Desatoff, Hal and Marge Takier, Bart Bartolo, Jack Carey, as well as Dean Raftery and many others. Although Shani has won and placed in many prestigeous international competitions, she mainly enjoys social dancing and inspiring others to love Slow Bal, Balboa and swing dancing.

Guest Teachers Mickey and Kelly

Mickey and Kelly are both well known and loved across the world for their Slow Bal teaching, so we are thrilled that they will be joining us.

Mickey began swing dancing in Los Angeles in '99. A year later he was teaching local swing classes at NYU. After graduating he worked with local teams in New York including Varsity Swing and Hop Swing and a Jump and later started running his weekly dance White Heat.

Kelly has practically been dancing all her life and has studied ballet, jazz and modern dance. She has been part of numerous dance companies and has choreographed big dance performances. 

Mickey and Kelly have been dancing and competing since 2005. Their innovation and showmanship, coupled with their love of dance history and theory, have led them to become internationally recognized teachers and competitors in Balboa and Lindy Hop. They have taught extensively throughout the world.

Mickey and Kelly like to take Balboa to new places making it organic, interesting, and exciting, while still respecting the history of the dance. It is no surprise they are so highly sought after as dance teachers.

Guest Teachers Andreas Olsson and Olga Marina

Andreas and Olga split their time between Stockholm and Moscow.

Andreas has been teaching, competing and performing Balboa, Lindy Hop, Charleston, Collegiate and St. Louis Shag internationally for more than a decade. He is in considerable demand as one of the top Balboa teachers and dancers of the world. 

Olga Marina is from Moscow and was born into a family of teachers (language and music). Since her early years she has been an energetic live wire – studying music, doing athletics, martial arts and gymnastics. Olga has been teaching and competing all over the world and is widely regarded as one of the best balboa followers and teachers in Europe. 

Guest Teachers Gašper Hrovat & Anni Skoglund

Anni Skoglund (Sweden) and Gašper Hrovat (Slovenia) are an inspiring dance couple. Their style is playful, passionate and smooth. They share their love for the dance as their form of communication through rhythm, melody and harmony. To them it is the awareness of one another that make the couple dance so magic.

From a young age both danced several styles before getting into authentic jazz dances. Anni's background lies in Swedish folk-dance, waltz and fox-trot, while Gašper's lies in popular 90's Street dances. When they discovered swing dancing, this became another playground. They met in 2008, and now perform, teach and lecture about swing dances, at home and abroad. They have evolved into a couple who have won many competitions with their vibrant style and superfast feet. But above all, social dancing is their preference.

More Balboa Events

Martyn, Sue, Tony and Anna also run the following residential dance weekends

Bal Spring Break 2021

Residential Balboa Weekend
in a fabulous sea-front hotel

Top International Teachers

Bournemouth (90 mins Heathrow)

Friday 5th to Sunday 7th March 2021 

Jennifer Lee & Andreas Olsson (USA/Sweden) 

£270 for all classes, 3 parties, and including
2 nights dinner, B&B (Fri/Sat)

Click here for more details about Bal Spring Break

All Slow Bal Weekend 2021

a whole weekend of Slow Bal

Residential Balboa Weekend
at Livermead Cliff, Torquay

Fri 21st to Sun 23rd May 2021

Mickey Fortanasce (USA)
Anna-Maria Bernhard (Germany) 

£270 for all classes, dances and including 
2 nights dinner, B&B (Fri/Sat)

Click here for more details about Slow Bal 2021

BalBreak 2021

Friday 10th to Sunday 13th September 2021

Marty Lau and Sylvia Sykes (USA)
Jacob Wigger and Shani Brown (USA

£TBA per person includes 2 nights half board accommodation in Torquay

Click here for more details about BalBreak 2021