It’s baaack, and no I’m not referring to pesky critters or poltergeist. I’m talking about the world famous Labor Day weekend swing dance event, Camp Hollywood. Already in its 18th year, Camp Hollywood is one of the longest running events of its kind, and is a must do for swing dance and music enthusiasts.
Held at the LAX Marriott hotel in Los Angeles, from September 4-7, special hotel group rates were offered for Camp Hollywood attendees. A facebook page was conveniently set up to connect participants and help them find roommates and other resources. Teeming with vendors selling everything from shoes, clothing, accessories, novelties and other souvenirs, ‘campers’ could also be found shopping to their hearts content during dance breaks.
The fun-filled event kicked off on Thursday, September 3rd with a pre-party at The Lindy Grove, followed by a check in at the Friday night evening dance, with a quick meet and greet of instructors and fellow participants. The Lucky Stars Band ushered in a night of great dancing to live music with an open showcase and team divisions.
Starting early Saturday morning, the slew of classes offered began. With the vast majority being lindy hop or lindy related, classes were separated into beginner, intermediate and advanced tracks. Although participants were able to take a combination of various level classes, a partner was required for the new Advanced Plus track due to the vigorous demands of challenging lifts, aerials and speed involved.
Saturday also began a weekend of throwback theme nights with an art deco nautical theme. Dancers came decked out in their naval style sailor wear, as they were treated to live music by Jonathan Stout and his Rhythm Busters!, as well as The Big Butter Jazz Band after hours. Sunday’s theme took dancers on a nostalgic trip down the yellow brick road with a special Wizard of Oz theme. Again with the The Jonathan Stout Orchestra! from 9PM-midnight, followed by the The Grand Slam Sextet band from 1am-3am. Dance performances and contests continued with the NJC amateur and open lindy finals.
The events final night came to an end with a Rocky Horror theme. With people dressed to the nines, and eager to practice new steps and combinations learned throughout the weekend, the night was a buzz with energy and excitement. Mike Filetsky who is also a Camp Hollywood instructor, closed out the weekends live entertainment with his band Mike Faltesek’s Falty and the Defects. An illustrious list of long time Camp Hollywood contributors were inducted into the 5th bi-annual Camp Hollywood Hall of Fame, and included ATOMIC’s own Shesha and Nikki Marvin. From the catchy live music to the Inter-generational Jitterbug contest, there was a lot to behold on this final night of swing dance bliss.
With days filled with back to back workshops and several contests (from amateur showcase to the preliminaries and advanced Jack and Jills), to fun themed nights of dancing until dawn, this years Camp Hollywood was truly an event for the ages.