January 19, 2010

Top 5 Balboa Songs For Beginners

Learning Balboa can be a challenging task. Trying to learn Balboa while dancing to a complicated song can make things even more difficult. And it’s more than just the tempo of a song. Easy rhythms, simple song structure, and repetition can all make dancing that much simpler. It doesn’t mean that the music is completely void of interest, rather the song assists you in your learning process, rather than confuse you.  Below are 5 of my favorite beginner balboa tunes.

Joshua Fit The Battle of Jericho – Sidney Bechet

[audio:Joshua%20Fit%20The%20Battle%20Of%20Jericho%20-%20Sidney%20Bechet%20-%201949%20Volume%201%20-%20192.mp3|titles=Joshua Fit The Battle of Jericho|artists=Sidney Bechet]

Central Avenue Shuffle – Ozzie Nelson and His Orchestra

[audio:01%20CENTRAL%20AVENUE%20SHUFFLE.mp3|titles=Central Avenue Shuffle|artists=Ozzie Nelson and His Orchestra]

At The Clambake Carnival – Cab Calloway

[audio:15%20-%20Cab%20Calloway%20-%20At%20the%20Clambake%20Carnival.mp3|titles=At The Clambake Carnival|artists=Cab Calloway]

A Viper’s Moan – Mora’s Modern Rhythmists

[audio:A%20Viper’s%20Moan%20-%20Mora’s%20Modern%20Rhythmists%20-%20Call%20Of%20The%20Freaks.MP3|titles=A Viper’s Moan|artists=Mora’s Modern Rhythmists]

Community Swing – Glenn Miller

[audio:Kelly%20Kungle%20-%20Benny%20Goodman.mp3|titles=Community Swing|artists=Glenn Miller]

Learning balboa? What songs do you like to dance to?


  1. Clambake Carnival was great! Was familiar with a section of Viper’s Moan from Joel Plys Balboa instructional DVD. Great piece.

    Mine are a tad slower than yours but when a learner is just starting out it can be useful.

    – So Rare / Harry Roy Orchestra (UK)
    A gentle, slow and steady tempo — and such a delightful track — helpful while one is learning footwork in combination with basic moves. Heard this on Rob Bamberger’s “Hot Jazz Saturday Night” on WAMU in DC. Doesn’t seem to be listed on CD anywhere.

    Wouldn’t these also work?

    – A String of Pearls / Glenn Miller (“Army Air Force Band”/2001: track 2)
    – Beginning to See the Light / Bobby Darin (I think it works, yes?)

  2. String of Pearls would be a great song to use for learning. Nice and slow, and not too much in there to confuse or distract.

    Bobby Darin is always great for its ability to reach the listener. Many new dancers have heard many of those classic vocalists, Frank, Dean etc… So that would be a great simple tune to learn to.

  3. Esther Contreras

    I’ve started Balboa six months ago and the songs in wich my teachers are very into are legends of french songs like:

    Fibre de Verre de Paris Combo
    Mathieu Boogaerts Ondulé

  4. Katleen Rousseau


    this is a great pack of songs! thanks!! 😀

    BTW: the fourth one doesn’t work, and would you check the name and artist of the last one? …I think it’s not propely named !

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