Balboa Mondays was the brainchild of Lynn Maslen and Joey McMillan who decided there were not enough balboa dancers in their local town of Reading, Berkshire so they decided the only way to rectify this issue was to start teaching! Together they started a weekly balboa class and from small shuffles mighty progress has been made. Today Lynn continues to teach the weekly classes passing on her knowledge and experience from attending numerous workshops and events.
Balboa Mondays was given a home by the Rising Sun Arts Centre in Reading and to help support this magnificent organisation, Balboa Mondays holds an annual Balboa Tea Dance. Lynn is also available for private lessons (in balboa, slow balboa, lindy hop and solo jazz routines), teaching workshops and MCing evening dance events.
Lead Teacher, organiser, event MC and all round bossy boots!
Lynn started her dance adventure more years ago that she cares to remember, but still kicks herself it took so long to find swing dancing which has become her true passion. Lynn started dancing ballet and tap as a youngster, but soon developed her love of partner dancing by training in ballroom as a teenager, learning both to lead and follow - an ability Lynn has taken through into her swing dance repertoire.
Lynn discovered her love of swing dance with Reading based All Jazzed Up where she quickly moved to a teaching assistant role - again soon developing the ability to lead as well as follow. It is with All Jazzed Up that Lynn began to develop her teaching philosophy and gained valuable experience helping alongside Jean Harper, Shirley Strickland and Brian Anthony.
Lynn dances lindy hop and balboa and has competed and reached the finals at both National and International events including the European Swing Dance Championships, London Jitterbug Championships, The Scoot (Galway), DJam (Durham) where she placed 3rd in 2016 and 2017, Brighton Balboa Festival where she came 2nd in 2014 and also the Thames Valley Balboa Festival where she won the Jack and Jill competition in 2014 partnering Alejandro Cabanillas. Her most recent success saw her place 1st in the Balboa Jack and Jill and 2nd in the Lindy Hop Jack and Jill competitions at the Birmingham Swing Festival 2016 and won the Thames Valley Balboa Festival 2017 Mix and Match with Stephen Badham. She also regularly performs at events and festivals with various swing dance performance and social dance groups and has attended many international events including The California Balboa Classic and The Balboa Experiment in the USA.
Lynn teaches weekly balboa classes in Reading, along with occasional taster classes to help spread her love of balboa, slow balboa and lindy hop. Lynn also teaches workshops with Stephen Badham at Birmingham-based Hot Ginger as well as running one day balboa workshops and the very important annual Balboa Mondays Tea Dance to raise money for the Rising Sun Arts Centre. Lynn also teaches slow balboa, lindy hop and solo jazz routines.
Birmingham Swing Festival 2016 Jack and Jill
Lynn is also one of the leading swing dance event MC's in the UK providing her smooth-running informative MCing skills to a number of high-profile events including Thames Valley Balboa Festival, All Jazzed Up Lindy Turn events Reading Swing Exchange and The Rigmarole in London. Most recently Lynn provided her MCing skills at the California Balboa Classic in the USA and the prestigious Birmingham Swing Festival in the UK.
Photo credit: Hot Ginger