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My guest this month is instructor and founder of the All Balboa Weekend, Valerie Salstrom. Valerie has a long list of Lindy Hop and Balboa competition titles to her name, including from events like the National Jitterbug Championships and the American Lindy Hop Championships, and is also well-known as the founder of the Cleveland Junior Jitterbugs after-school swing dance program.

Val and I sat down at ILHC 2017 to talk about what it was like learning her first Balboa steps directly from legends Maxie Dorf and Sylvia Sykes, the thrill of competition, and the incredible impact the Junior Jitterbug program has on its participants and our scene.

We also discussed her inspiration for the first weekend event dedicated solely to Balboa, what it took to build a scene from scratch in Cleveland, and both got a little choked up talking about how much we love the Juniors division at ILHC.

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