Camp Hollywood 2010 Observations

The National Jitterbug Championships at Camp Hollywood happened a couple of weekends ago.  I’ve been pretty lax with the video updates, but thankfully the Lindy Blogosphere is on the case.

There are the on the scene notes by Taint What You Do and Howard and Gayl.

Jo Hoffberg’s reactions from a competitor’s standpoint.

Atomic Ballroom celebrates the home team.

Lindy Dandy’s additional notes.

Patrick & Natasha are posting their own videos of the competitions complete with score sheets.

If you feel like trying out your french or Google’s translation capabilities check out results and videos on Teedee Hop.

I don’t have much to add about the event itself since I wasn’t there.  But I will say that the Fly Rights’ performance was pretty f’n awesome.

I’ve never been to Camp Hollywood, but I hear it’s quite an event.  It’s always interesting to see videos from it and contrast it to stuff that happens here on the East Coast.  The Taint What You Do post points out a YouTube comment that talks about how the Pro Strictly Lindy division was won in the air.  And that’s typically been the case since with Camp Hollywood since the beginning from what I’ve seen on videos over the past 12 years.

Contrast that to the way similar competition divisions have been danced at the North Atlantic Dance Championships, the American Lindy Hop Championships, and now the International Lindy Hop Championships which have been more floor based affairs.  Last year’s ILHC Champions Strictly Lindy Hop contest came down to two couples swinging out 16 times in a row.  Even when so called “Old School” dancing came back into vogue during the mid aught’s, most East Coast competitions were played out mostly on the ground.

I guess part of that is just who the hot dancers were in each scene.  Many of the good dancers that have gone to Camp Hollywood have always been more freewheeling with the aerials while most of the top dancers on the East Coast never really rocked them on a regular basis.  Also, back in the day (10 years ago) the tempo’s were decidedly much slower on the East Coast, which never made it a good fit for air steps.

This is something that Hilary Alexander seems to have recognized when she introduced the  “Classic” division at Camp Hollywood this year.  It’s an improvised social dance competition like the Amateur and Pro Strictly’s, but the main difference is that the music is solidly mid-tempo.  As you can tell, the tempo does a better job of dictating the use of air steps more than any set of rules can.

Overall, I appreciate the more wild and wooly atmosphere that CH/NJC fosters.  I think it’s good to have different events emphasized different things.  One of these days I’ll get over there.


  1. Apache said,

    August 11, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    Hey Jerry thanks for the link.

    What was interesting for me was a few months back I saw some of these same people compete at Boston Tea Party, such as Delilah Williams. Just the contrast of how different they danced in those separate competitions shows the degree that judging criteria shapes how people dance on the competition floor.

  2. Patrick said,

    August 11, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    Hey Jerry,

    I believe this year was the first year they decided to sell video passes for 20$ at Camp Hollywood, which explains the amount of videos that got online this time.

    The 50% showmanship in the judging explains a lot why you see so much more aerials in those videos.
    Thinking about your previous post about Jordan & Tatiana and their “classic” routine, I think that the Classic Lindy Division was a great idea for such an event.

    It was my first time (officialy my second time, but the first one I had been dancing for just a year) at Camp Hollywood and it was really a lot of fun.


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