No. 8 Balboa Retreat
No. 8 Balboa Retreat is a live-in retreat, held over Easter weekend. The retreat is not like most dance exchanges. For one thing, it’s tiny - there are only 16 people in total one of whom is a cook. It’s also based on collaborative learning with your kiwi peers, rather than top-down dissemination from international experts. Attendees are active participants in a structured and safe learning environment, with lots of time each day to chill out and enjoy the scenery around the lodge.
Think of No. 8 Balboa Retreat as a balboa study group: everyone is there to improve, and everyone is there to help everyone else improve. The workshops give you space to analyse and critique your own dancing, and share what you’re learning with everyone else as you go.
When is it?
No. 8 Balboa runs over Easter weekend. You will need to arrive in Wellington, or at the Retreat, on Thursday. We car pool our way up to the location from Wellington in time for a 7.30.ish dinner, then start dancing. We pack up Monday after breakfast and hit the road back to Wellington around 11am (ish).
Where is it held?
Wai Ngaio Retreat, just south of Castlepoint on the east coast of the lower North Island (about 2.5 hours drive from Wellington). The retreat has stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, and lots of walks you can take in the breaks.
At Wai Ngaio, there is no internet, and very patchy cellphone coverage, so you’ll be able to enjoy a few days unplugged from the Matrix to really soak up the dancing and the environment.
Who is it for?
No. 8 Balboa is for any keen NZ-based Balboa dancer. You don’t need to be “advanced” but you’ll need a clear understanding of the basics – enough to get you through a bal-only social night.
More than dance ability, we’re interested in motivation. If you’re the sort of person who wants to take a deep dive into the dance, think deeply, and revel in workshopping ideas with other keen beans, you’ll fit in well.
The aims are to stoke your passion for Balboa by developing your dancing abilities, and to grow the NZ-wide Balboa community.
How much does the weekend cost?
In 2017 it cost $350 – we try to keep costs as low as possible. The fee covers everything: your accommodation for four nights, all workshops, and three square meals a day from Thursday dinner to Monday breakfast.
Where will I sleep?
You’ll sleep in a king-single bunk bed, in a room with five others. There are 3 bathrooms.
What about food?
We have a cook who provides the aforementioned three square meals a day. We haven’t yet met a dietary restriction we couldn’t accommodate.