Flight school is our mission for dancers who are just getting started on their Balboa adventure and is designed for those who have little to no prior experience with Balboa. You'll receive 6 hours of instruction by our talented crew members, in addition to 3 hours of open & guided practice sessions.
If you've never taken a Balboa class, or have taken just a month or so of classes and don't feel 100% confident with your basics yet, we recommend you register for flight school, we'll start at the very beginning and give you a solid foundation to take off from.
NO PREVIOUS DANCE EXPERIENCE IS REQUERED FOR PARTICIPATION IN THIS TRACK.
You've taken a few classes, maybe attended a workshop or two, have a good grasp on all your basic Balboa movements and have started to feel comfortable going out and social dancing Balboa for an entire evening. You're looking to expand your Balboa vocabulary with some new moves, footwork variations, and really want to work on how to refine and stylize the basics you've learned, as well as start digging into some partnering and musicality concepts.
In this level,recruits will be expected to know & comfortably perform the following set of movements:
A down hold basic (aka a single time basic)
Adlib Steps (aka repeaters or scootches)
Toss Outs (aka throw outs)
Out & Ins
WHILE THERE IS NO OFFICIAL PREFLIGHT CHECK FOR THIS MISSION, RECRUITS SHOULD BE AWARE THAT IF A RECRUIT SHOWS A SEVERE LACK OF UNDERSTANDING OF SOME OF THESE BASIC MOVEMENTS, THEY MAY BE ASKED TO JOIN THE BEGINNER FLIGHT SCHOOL FOR THE WEEKEND.
You've been dancing balboa for at least a year or two and have attended several dedicated Balboa workshop weekends.
You can do everything mentioned in the previous level description and you are fluent in more than just the basics of Balboa and Bal-Swing. You know quite a few footwork and styling variations and you easily do them to songs of all tempos; including ones that are up to 190 beats per minute.
You are interested in finessing the flow in and between moves. You would like to understand musicality better and are hoping to have a bunch of new moves, ideas and concepts to take back home with you by mission completion.
You've been dancing Balboa for several years now and are probably one of the most advanced Balboa dancers in your scene.
You're extremely comfortable with all your Balboa fundamentals and are possibly starting to teach Balboa in your own home scene. You regularly use alternate rhythms and footwork patterns within your social dancing, feel comfortable dancing to tempos in excess of 220bpm and have been consistently placed in one of the top two non-invitational tracks at most international Balboa events.
You're interested in really digging down deep into advanced partnering mechanics, more challenging figures, fine-tuning your basics as well as developing your own personal style.
You've been dancing Balboa for quite a while now and are probably one of the most advanced Balboa dancers in your region.
You've mastered all your Balboa fundamentals and have spent a great deal of time going back to and geeking out over the basics. You are most likely teaching Balboa in your own home scene and have been placed in the invitational track at other Balboa events.
You not only use alternate rhythms and footwork patterns within your social dancing, but can also lead/follow them as a partnered movement as well as an individual styling. There isn't really a tempo out there that truly scares you anymore because you've mastered the art of staying relaxed at any beat. You're interested in getting really nitty gritty, geeking out over some really subtle stuff and would be totally fine with spending 2hrs working on fine-tuning something as "simple" as down hold basic.
*Space in this level is extremely limited and will be treated similarly to an invitational track*
You've spent years thinking about, studying and practicing balboa outside of organized classes. You know who you are as a dancer and have been making very specific choices over the last several years to coalesce all the various aspects of your dancing into one unified concept. Let's not even begin to mention how much time you've spent in front of a mirror trying to perfect that one line you make in that one move you do. You've got ideas at this point and would love some quality time with peers to bounce them off of, refine them with, and test them out on.
You've most likely been dancing Balboa for at least 7-10 years now and have been consistently getting placed in the invitational track at every international level Balboa event you've attend in the last 2-3 years.
Dancers invited into this mission will be given 4 hours of broad concepts/ideas led by our international instructors, then 4 hours of dedicated peer practice time over the weekend (mentored by Shani Brown) where they can work together on their dancing and explore their own concepts and ideas as well. Dancers in this track will also be allowed into any of the other missions they choose to attend that weekend keeping the lead/follow ratio in mind.
THIS MISSION IS BY INVITATION ONLY
If you did not receive an invitation, but wish to be considered for this mission during the Saturday morning pre-flight check at the event, you will have the ability to select this option during your registration process.
PRE FLIGHT CHECK
To maintain the integrity of the Skylab, Apollo & Gemini tracks, there will be a quick peer check on Saturday morning from 10am-11am before official classes begin. At this time our trained staff will group dancers who are at similar points in their dancing together and place them where they feel the attendee will be best served during the weekend based on our detailed pre-flight check criteria.
HOW WILL THE PRE-FLIGHT CHECK WORK? IS IT LIKE A LEVEL TEST?
The pre-flight check is a bit different than a level test, and we're hoping a lot less stressful for everyone involved.
Basically it will just be an extra hour long class like any other class you would take, no three songs to somehow show off everything you've ever learned and impress the judges who may or not be looking at you during the three seconds your partner chooses to do something crazy and makes you look like a dork. No getting stuck with a partner who decided to jump in and you know, just see if he could get into the advanced level even though they have never done balboa before… (let's just say that we too have had our share of level test woes)
Instead there will be a teacher teaching a class like normal, you will work through the move or concept as normal, rotate around a whole bunch like normal, and by the end of the hour our exceptionally talented staff of instructors will have grouped together individuals who learn at the same pace and are at similar points in their dancing. Also you'll have an an additional free hour of classes that weekend from some of the best international instructors in the world! How bad could that be?
EXPLORE OUR DETAILED PRE-FLIGHT CHECK CRITERIA
In order to maintain the integrity of our missions at Balast Off! Our pre-flight check judges are given a detailed set of criteria with which they are instructed to base all their decisions off of during the check. You can download that criteria and read it for yourself HERE.
After completing the pre-flight check and attending your first hour of class immediately afterwards, if you decide that you are not happy with your mission, simply do not understand why you have been assigned to the mission you have, or have any other question in regards to your mission assignment, we will be hosting a dedicated time this year to meet with you, discuss your mission and if applicable, give you some concrete feedback for things to be working on. Because we've been there. We get it.
Mission appeals will take place at 1:40 on Saturday at UAH in room 127