1. Basic footwork (step, step, hold, step)

The basic footwork is an eight count pattern:

step, step, hold, step, / step, step, hold, step

For the leader, starting with the left foot, the footwork is:

step step hold step step step hold step
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
left right left left right left right right
back stepstep together forward (but no step) step forward stepstep together back (but no step) step

Steps in balboa are small so that the heel of the stepping foot should not go beyond the toe of the planted foot. On the hold steps of 3,4 and 7,8 there is not a horizontal movement as much as there is a stepping in place with a lean where the leader leans forward on 3,4 and backward on 7,8. These leans are what communicate to the follower to change direction but they are only slight and should be barely noticeable to anyone watching.

For the follower, starting with the right foot, the footwork is:

step step hold step step step hold step
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
right left right right left right left left
forward stepstep together back (but no step) step back step step togetherforward (but no step)step

Steps in balboa are also small for the follower so that the heel of the stepping foot should not go beyond the toe of the planted foot. Followers tend to keep more of their weight on the ball of their feet so that they can be ready to follow turn patterns. On the hold steps (hold and then step) of 3,4 and 7,8 there is not a horizontal movement as much as there is a stepping in place with a lean where the leader leans forward on 3,4 and backward on 7,8.

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