Heather Ballew and Javier Johnson

Javier Johnson is a rocket scientist by trade, and he brings a powerful analytical sense which joins the mechanics of dance and the soul of expression. He is well versed in all the swing dances, but specializes in Balboa and soul. As an international swing dance instructor, he's travled around the world sharing his joy of teaching ans his passion for jazz dances.

Heather has studied Balboa since 2000 and is continually refining her teaching, always looking for better ways to explain moves and concepts.  Since 2007 she has directed and choreographed for balboa dance teams The Grabtown Grapplers and Ballyhoo. 

Past teaching credits include Balboa Rendezvous, Provence Swing Festival, Rock That Swing, EBC, and Rocky Mountain Balboa Blowout.  She is known for her personal investment in her students’ success and is a popular instructor for Lindy Hop, Blues, and Balboa.

Javier -

Heather -

Photo: Richard Springs (

Corey Manke

Corey is a veteran of the swing dance community and has been dancing Lindy Hop for 14 years and Balboa for 10 years. During this time, he has studied with many national & international instructors. He is most comfortable on the social dance floor, teaching & participating in workshops, instigating late night shenanigans and occasionally competing. He has received placements at All Balboa Weekend and is a regular finalist in several national competitions.

Corey has been a participant of The Balboa Experiment ( for the past 5 years, and most recently, along with his partner, Susan Manke, were awarded an Honorary Fellowship and served as Guest Mentors for The Experiment. He has also been an instructor at the Eastern Balboa Championships and is invited to teach at many other regional and national events. 

Corey is passionate about sharing the rich history of balboa, and strives to educate, preserve and promote balboa both locally and nationally. He has witnessed the evolution of the modern balboa dance scene over the last 10 years and provides a unique perspective for newer dancers.

Valerie Salstrom

One of America's busiest Lindy and Balboa teachers, Valerie has a reputation for her finesse on the dance floor. She emphasizes musicality and connection regardless of the style of swing. Since 2002 Valerie has taken home the 2003 National Jitterbug Championships (NJC) Grand Slam Championship, became both the 2004 NJC Balboa Champions and the 2004 American Lindy Hop Championships (ALHC) American Showcase Champions and most recently, (in 2005) she returned to ALHC to place 2nd in the same competition.

Valerie is the organizer of the 'All Balboa Weekend' held annually in her home town of Cleveland. This Weekend event first started in 2001 and was the first major dance camp dedicated solely to Balboa. It features the American Classic Balboa Championships (ACBC), one of the nations most respected and sought after Balboa competitions.

Valerie is enthusiastic about passing on her love and passion for dance and she brings a fresh, interesting, and lighthearted attitude to both the dance floor and the classroom. Valerie teaches all over the United States, Canada and Europe and runs a dance studio in her hometown of Cleveland, OH.