In 1939 Hamburg, Germany, a group of teenagers express their rebellion against Adolph Hitler's Nazi regime through their affection for American swing music, British fashion, and Harlem slang. American and British big-band jazz records are among those banned by the Fuhrer, but the young men secretly get together with their friends to listen and dance to the music. As their escapades become increasingly bold, they each get into trouble with the authorities. Robert Sean Leonard stars as Peter, who ends up being forced – by a prank – into having to join the Hitler Youth with his friend Thomas (Christian Bale). They are both engineering students at the university, where Thomas' father was taken away for defending his Jewish colleagues. With Arvid (Frank Whaley), they pretend to be Nazi supporters by day while rebelling with the swing music by night. Kenneth Branagh, in an uncredited appearance, is a glib Nazi Gestapo chief who makes matters more difficult.
Balboa was very popular among the College Kids and the sophisticated dancers in the mid 30s and is now extremely popular once again. Originally Balboa was a closed position swing form with intricate footwork predominantly based on 8-count patterns. But when the hot Swing music really hit the scene some of the younger dancers like Maxie Dorf and Lolly Wise added break-aways and swing turns to the Balboa, which nowadays is often referred to as Bal-Swing. Balboa can be danced to any speed of music, from slow songs at 120 beats/min. till very fast ones at 300 beats/min. Pure Balboa is probably the easiest way to dance to fast swing music, enjoy it, and look good.