Monthly Archives: August 2008

Hooray for Hollywood…

n782813071_1174585_6798Camp Hollywood was such a unique experience. It was my first dance camp and also my first competition. I participated in the Am Jack and Jill. Of course I didn’t make it to the finals but the entire event was pure exploding awesome that I’m not sore about it at all. But my body felt like blubber for three days after the event, it was sweet! I met some people there that have been dancing for five years and they were in the beginner track and they said they learned a lot which made me kind of jealous. On the the good stuff:

Pros: The Piano Jams in the lobby, Emily Hoffberg, Nina Gilkenson, Casey Schneider, the Sillyosity class, the merchandise, the competitions (the Shag esp.), that everything takes place at the hotel

Cons: The amount of money spent, the fact that there was no free food, very long fast songs on a repetitive loop, my very expensive shoes ripped…

My first impression was that they were trying to hard to please the Bal and Shag dancers because they would play very long fast songs a lot. It was hard because once they did play a medium tempo song and you would be in your groove and all and then they would revert back to outrageous tempo songs it would bum you out. It also kind of had the same thing as beep test where you don’t actually know how tired you are until you stop, I definitely felt like I got a lot more tired per one night there. And I wasn’t asked to dance a lot and the majority of the time I did the asking which is kind of annoying too because I’m on the shy side. Unless you know me.

The classes made up for the nights though. Except for the fact that WE WERE PACKED LIKE SARDINES. I think I still managed to learn a lot though. My favorite classes were David and Kim’s Charleston class on Friday, Mike and Casey’s Creativity Through Sillyosity class on Saturday, and finally Manu and Nicole’s Swing & Soul class on Sunday morning (which was absolutely the best choice for a class in the morning, every one really soul-ed it up).

My absolute favorite class was the Sillyosity class because the actually uttered out loud what I have been thinking for a while now: don’t try to be awesome all the time because the main point of dancing is to have fun and do whatever you feel like even if it is ridiculous. It’s like Casino Royale vs. All the other James Bonds. Casino sucks because the whole movie is so serious and is trying to hard to be a serious intelligent movie while not basking in the glory that already is James Bond which is stupid and silly and ridiculous but FUN above all. Sean Connery’s James Bond is someone I want to hang out with and go to a party with while Daniel Craig’s James Bond is like that person at the party no one wants to talk to.

Alright back on topic.

Some advice if you’re planning to go to Camp Hollywood: take privates with the teachers after the classes, or if you’re poor like me ask them to dance and then ask them for tips/advice after class or after the dance or just talk to them about their experiences, people love to talk about themselves. And also have friends that you can dance with in case there’s no one you want to dance with on the floor/no one asks you. Over all I had a great time and I learned a great deal and met a lot of great people who I would have never met if it wasn’t for Camp Hollywood.

School starts in 8 days. I’m also going to Inspiration Weekend on Labor Day weekend and I will compete there in both the Open Jack and Jill and the Pro-Am Jack and Jill. I’ll tell you all about it in my next entry.

P.S. Here are some more Camp Hollywood pictures.

Back in Red and White…

Sorry for the long blank time period of emptiness. I went to Ottawa, Canada for month to visit some friends and check out their local dancing scene.

I grew up in Canada from when I was seven years old so I definitely consider myself a Canadian. My friends are all still there so I try to visit every once in a while so they don’t forget me. And I’d have to conclude that Ottawa is definitely my favorite place on the entire planet and the universe.

Now on to the dancing. Ottawa has an amazing dancing scene. Although the community is not very big which can be good or bad. They have dancing there two times a week all year round but they also have many events during the year. In the summer there is also a venue in a boathouse by the river which is quite nice. It’s definitely not like LA where you can find a place to dance every day of the week but all of those places are very far apart while in Ottawa the two dances are run by 2 different groups (Ottawa Swing Dance Society and Swing Dynamite) but they take place in the same place. Since Ottawa is a fairly small city everything is always very close and the public transportation system is probably one of the best (if not the best) in the universe which means you can get anywhere within thirty minutes on the bus. If you want to take lessons in Ottawa I highly recommend Swing Dynamite. They run the Saturday night dance and they are all charming people. I met Byron Alley who is the head honcho of the SD gang and he is a very lovely person and dancer, in fact, he used to dance with Annie Trudeau and started Studio 88-SWING in Montreal with her. Look him up on YouTube. I met him on my first night there and he organized a jam circle just for me! Just goes to show that Canadians are as warm hearted as they say. For those of you looking for some amazing follows look no further than Alana Hock and Andrรฉa Pelletier, find them on the dance floor (just look for the circle of people watching) and ask them about privates! They are brilliant!

And now for a side note: If you live in Ottawa or are visiting for any length of time check out the Tea Store in the Byward Market, great place!

Well I’m off. I’ll post about Camp Hollywood tomorrow, sorry for the delay. I’m too busy for my own good.