Camp Hollywood XIII

Camp Hollywood XIII
Camp Hollywood XIII

For those of you who were not in California this past weekend, it was the thirteenth annual Camp Hollywood. A three day, four night camp with; daily workshops, live bands every night (and spontaneously during the day and in the halls after midnight), an underground contest at 2 AM, and even a vintage bathing suit contest this year.

What I have always liked about this event is it features something for everybody. You want to learn? A variety of workshops for Lindy Hop, Balboa and Collegiate Shag. You want to compete? Competitions galore. You want to party? You can catch people in the jacuzzi or poolside pretty much 24/7.

Anyways this year I felt attendance was smaller, but there was a lot more energy at the camp. Having Jonathan Stout and whoever had a musical instrument jam during lunch and after live bands ended, in the hallways, brought a great dynamic to the event. Also the classic division (a competition with more emphasis on quality of dancing instead of on flash) was a step in the right direction in my opinion.

Competition this year was pretty intense though, especially in the Pro Lindy, Team Division, and Showcase Division. The placements for all the contests are listed here. Also I would like to share some videos with you below from the event.

Team Division

1st Place: The Fly Rites

I have literally seen every performance these guys did before Camp Hollywood and always found something new to enjoy about it everytime. If you notice at the end of their performance they recieved a standing ovation, the judges noted it as well because they were unanimously decided as first place on the score sheet posted afterwards.

2nd Place: Swing ConneXion

It seems like Canadians are getting everywhere these days in the competitive world of swing dancing. This video, courtesy of Patrick and Natasha shows a great piece in which there is a nice contrast between the beginning and end of the performance. Also note the tricks that involved transfers between two people.

(Note: There were a total of seven teams in the division, if you would like to see the rest they are easily found on youtube)

Pro Lindy


All Skate

One of the youtube comments said it right when they wrote, “For this comp in particular though – this is a contest won in the air.” Due to Camp Hollywood judging 50% the three T’s (Timing, Technique, Teamwork) and 50% showmanship, you will probably not see more flash or air thrown in any competitions in the US.

The placements are listed below:

  • 1st – Nick Williams & Laura Keat
  • 2nd – Mike Pedroza & Nikki Marvin
  • 3rd – Kevin St Laurent & Angel Jenkins
  • 4th – Marty Klempner & Delilah Williams
  • 5th – Ceth Stifel & Tiffiny Wine


1st Place: Jo Hoffburg & Kevin St Laurent

Great song choice combined with a clean and entertaining performance (especially in the solo section).

2nd Place: Patrick Szmidt and Natasha Ouiment

If you have ever taken any of Patrick & Natasha’s online lessons, you will be very familiar with the beginning of this song. Notice at 1:31 the double cartwheels, this was one of the visuals that was stuck in my head all weekend.

François Paré & Nadine Gagnon

Even though this couple didn’t place, I though enjoyed how they did a Balboa showcase that was enjoyable to watch and it seems they really put themselves into it. I hope to see more from this couple in the future.

The placements are listed below:.

  • 1st – Kevin St Laurent & Jo Hoffberg
  • 2nd – Patrick Szmidt & Natasha Ouimet
  • 3rd – Doug Silton & Angel Jenkins
  • 4th – Marty Klempner & Delilah Williams
  • 5th – Joel Plys & Valerie Salstrom

(Note: Like the team division there were several showcases, if you would like to see the rest they are easily found on youtube under Patrick and Natasha’s channel)

François Paré & Nadine Gagnon

Swing Dance Avec Le Moderne Twist

A friend of mine from college was kind enough to send me the clip below that she recorded when she was attending a Caravan Palace concert in Quebec, Canada.

At the beginning couple on the right is Max Pitruzzella and Annie Trudeau, the couple on the right is Thomas Blacharz and Natasha Ouimet.

What I find inspiring about this clip is the fact that they combined Lindy Hop, Charleston, classic Jazz steps, and Balboa all into one routine that won over the crowd. They did an amazing job at bringing swing dance to a modern audience.

Edit: Thanks to MQAvatar on Yehoodi, the second couple was not just identified but also we now have a full clip of the performance.

Edit Deux (Two): Apparently I made a rookie mistake and didn’t search out the world wide web to see if this was covered already. Lindy Dandy already beat me to the chase on this one. Instead of deleting this post, I will leave it up because I figure Max, Annie, Thomas, and Natasha will not mind extra advertisement for them.

T’aint What You Do

Hey everybody, this is Apache and I have decided to jump on the whole lindy-blogosphere train.

This blog will cover my opinions, experiences, travels and insights in what is known as “The Swing Dance Scene”.  Ranging from random events I attend, youtube videos I feel like rambling about or random topics that have a loose affiliation with swing dancing.

I thought I would start off with explaining the reason I chose the name of my blog, T’aint What You Do.

For those of you unfamiliar with the song, it is what the routine known to many Lindy Hoppers as the Shim Sham is performed to on the East coast.

‘T ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it
‘T ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it
‘T ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it
That’s what gets results

Above are lyrics from the song T’aint What You Do. Yes I chose to quote the entire chorus instead of  “‘T ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it” line once for a reason. For me as a dancer, one of the most important things in dancing is quality of movement as some people put it.  Too often (Newbie leads are especially guilty of this.) people think learning the latest flash and trash or acquiring  x amount of moves under ones belt is how one becomes an ‘advanced’ or ‘good’ dancer.

Often when watching competitions or performances, it is what some consider the most ‘rudimentary’ or ‘fundamentals’ of the respective dance, done well and with a personal flair that make me smile and inspire me.

Nina Gilkenson and Mikey Pedroza

The reason for the name of this blog is it is one of my primary beliefs in dancing is the intent and quality of motion in dancing are more important then the moves that are performed in a dance. It is a theme that will probably be prevalent in this blog.

T’aint what you do… its the way that you do it.