John Wharington

Meaningful play is all about getting into the zone, which Balboa delivers in spades. John has been teaching Balboa regularly since 2007 with a focus on creative teaching techniques, distilling the dance to its essence, and bringing an infectious enthusiasm to his classes. He has taught numerous workshops throughout Australia, travels to the USA annually for Balboa, and is a keen competition dancer, with six Australian Balboa Championship titles under his belt.  John has an analytical approach to the dance, loves to explore the frontiers, and is highly motivated by seeing his students’ progress. Incorporating games frequently into classes, John loves teaching with Julia to be memorable and rewarding for everyone.

Photo credit: Michael Collins

Julia Wharington

While Julia has been dancing some form of partner dancing since she was a young teenager, she found her passion for all things swing in 2008, and has never looked back since. She is a true all-rounder, happily dancing Balboa, Lindy Hop, Shag, or Slow Swing, depending on the song and mood. Balboa will always have a special spot in her heart, because she met her husband John on a Balboa dance floor (naaaaawwwww). Together they are four-times Australian Balboa Champions, and they haven’t been doing all that shabby at the major competitions in the US either. Julia’s biggest international successes have been winning the CalBal Open Jack & Jill in 2016 and placing in the IBC comp at All Balboa Weekend 2017 (1st place) and 2018 (2nd place). 

Julia has been teaching Swing dancing since 2011, both in her hometown Melbourne, as well as at various events around Australia. It gives her immense joy to provide the students with a fun learning experience, with her favourite times being those little success moments, when she sees big smiles around the room because the students get the hang of something that is being taught. 

Photo credit: Michael Collins

Lizou Bouchard

Lizou is a balboa dancer hailing from the northern land of Canada. With a background in education, she combines her expertise in teaching with a genuine passion for partner dance.

Having received training in various dance styles from an early age, she discovered her true calling when she found balboa. In Montreal, she played an active role as a scene leader and co-founded the “Apéro Balboa” and “Come Around Montreal,” fostering a vibrant community of balboa enthusiasts.

As a valued member of the “Montreal’s Cat’s Corner” family, Lizou dedicated years to teaching Balboa series and coaching teams. She has had the privilege of sharing her knowledge at Balboa events across Canada and the US, alongside her role as a seasoned DJ with a decade of experience.

Lizou has consistently reached the finals of numerous amateur competitions throughout Canada and the United States. A significant highlight was her victory at the “All Balboa Weekend” in 2019, where she secured the “Amateur American Classic Balboa Championship”.

At the core of Lizou’s dance philosophy lie the values of technique, connection, and creativity. She holds great reverence for the foundations of balboa while welcoming and embracing the evolution of the dance. As an enthusiastic proponent of footwork variation, Lizou delights in exploring solo balboa and has developed an array of captivating “balboa tongue twisters” that include numerous footwork variations within a single basic step.

Photo credit: Samantha Kunz

Sam Chan

Sam Chan started swing dancing in 2003 and has trained under many world-renowned Balboa instructors, as well as original dancers like Dean Raftery and Marge Takier. He has placed in international Balboa events (including 1st place at KBW 2018) and recently in the invitational level contests at Hot Rhythm Holiday and Balorado. In his dancing, he values good connection, flow, and musicality. As a teacher, he excels at breaking down dance techniques in a clear and understandable way.

Scroll to Top