Heather Ballew hails from the lovely, landlocked city of Denver where majestic mountains tower over the skyline, sunny days are plentiful, and the name "Mile High City" has several meanings. A participant of the 1990’s swing renaissance, Heather Ballew traveled and competed for many years with Denver swing dance troupe, 23 Skidoo and was a lucky early participant at The Balboa Experiment. In the classroom, she strives to help her students gain confidence and realize their full potential on the social or competition floor but her biggest goal is to open up new avenues for creativity and communication within the partnership. She loves dancing with people of all levels and she is known for her connection, footwork and playfulness. She can be found teaching around the United States and abroad, talking passionately about scene-building, and starting zany and sometimes thoughtful Facebook discussions
Javier Skeets Reyes Johnson
Javier Johnson is a rocket scientist by trade, and he brings a powerful analytical sense which joins the mechanics of dance and the soul of expression. He is well versed in all the swing dances, but specializes in Balboa and soul. As an international swing dance instructor, he's traveled around the world sharing his joy of teaching and his passion for jazz dances.
Shani hails from sunny southern California. She is best known for her fast, syncopated Balboa footwork, tight swing style 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 and partnership mechanics to develop smooth flow and personal style.
For nearly 20 years, Shani has dedicated herself to learning, preserving and sharing her love for Balboa and other social dances. She began swing dancing 1998 before moving to Orange County where she discovered a vibrant vintage swing community well connected to their local ‘old timers’. She was immediately attracted to the fast footwork of Balboa and began frequenting the dance floors of first-generation dancers.
Shani is honored 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 and many others. And although she has competed, placed and won several major competitions, she mainly enjoys social dancing and inspiring others to love balboa and swing.
Augie Freeman is a Los Angeles based Balboa Instructor who’s passion and enthusiasm for swing has kept him dancing since 2003. His inspiration comes from dance history, old movie clips, and conversations with many of the original masters. Augie was inducted into California’s Swing Dance Hall of Fame in 2012 and has competed in many National and International level competitions including: the All Balboa Weekend, ILHC, NJC, the International Balboa Competition, and the California Balboa Classic. Although competing is fun for him, his enthusiasm and love is always found on the social dance floor.