Camp Hollywood

Camp Hollywood is the biggest and best annual Swing dance event in Southern California. Dancers and instructors come from around the world to attend this celebration of Swing dancing, Balboa, Blues, and more. The popularity of Camp Hollywood has not diminished over time, and a solid attendance is expected!

There are classes during the day and contests and dances at night, plus late night dancing till the wee hours of the morning. There are three huge dance floors in the main room and an additional floor for blues in a separate room.  Seeing how late you can stay up dancing is part of the Camp Hollywood experience. I think I made it to 4AM last time.

You can either do the whole package including classes, or just do the dances. I probably wouldn’t recommend Camp Hollywood for absolute beginners (unless you are very ambitious), but it’s great for intermediate through advanced dancers. If you do the classes, you will be utterly exhausted, but your dancing will improve tremendously.

There are many contests throughout the day and evening, including team competitions, Jack and Jills, etc. The caliber of the competitors is is top notch.

Check out the Top Twenty Ways to Maximize Your Fun at Camp Hollywood!

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone there! – Brian

Here’s a contest from 2012, as an example of what to expect:

When: Once a year in August, Friday through Sunday, all day and night long
Cost: $20-$35 for the dances, full weekend passes available for the classes
Crowd: Some intermediate and many advanced dancers; somewhat intimidating for beginners, plenty of partners, usually more follows than leads
Dress: Dress up according to the night's theme.
Website: Mobile Website
Facebook: Facebook Page
Los Angeles Airport Marriott, 5855 West Century Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90045

6 thoughts on “Camp Hollywood

  1. Can my friends and I come and just watch the dancers? We don’t mind paying a fee or such. We just love to listen to Music and watch the dancers. We have been to many jazz venues is the past.

  2. Here’s my experience with Camp Hollywood. The first year I was there, I was nearing the end of my first year of dancing. I tried to do everything – classes, dancing, watching the competition. I had a blast dancing with people from LA and those from elsewhere.

    My second year I still signed up for everything but I didn’t spend much time watching the competitions but spent a lot of time dancing to the wee hours. I still had a blast but I did notice that there were fewer people from outside the SoCal/NorCal area. I think this was the first year it was moved to Labor Day weekend.

    My third year, I only did the party pass. It was fun but I did notice the fun level wasn’t as great as my first year there. I also noticed again that there were fewer dancers from outside California.

    My fourth year, I went to one dance. It was fun hanging out and socializing.

    My fifth year which was last year, I decided not to go.

    One of the factors that kept me from attending even a dance at Camp Hollywood lately is the fact that there is such a lack of variety in the bands that play there. While Jonathan Stout and his bands are good, there are so many other bands out there that are also good. Yet, they are not given the opportunity to play at Camp Hollywood. Looking at the current list of bands for the 2016 there are Li’l Mo & The Dynaflos, The Rhythm Busters (a Jonathan Stout band), The Jonathan Stout Orchestra, Les Boulevardiers (a Jonathan Stout band), Falty and the Defects, and an unnamed band. So out of the six band slots, half are taken by a Jonathan Stout band. This is a common schedule for the years that I have attended or looking to attend Camp Hollywood.

    If this was only my opinion, I wouldn’t write this but there are people I know who no longer go to Camp Hollywood because there is no variety in the bands that play.

    1. Thank you for sharing! I think you do have a point. Would be cool to see Dave Stuckey or the Big Butter Jazz Band headline one of the nights.


  3. Hey Brian! – I have two DIFFERENT bands playing Friday and Saturday. The Rhythm Busters on Friday are a pre-swing 20’s/30’s band, whereas the Jonathan Stout Orchestra is a full-swing band of late 30’s-early 40’s stuff. Other than both being very danceable, I think they are significantly different.

    Unfortunately people seem to think there’s no difference between the Campus Five, Rhythm Busters and Orchestra. And sadly, this lends people to think the music will be the same, and that perhaps they only should come to one night or the other. I assure you they are very different, and I’d love any help you can give in making that clear.

    1. Hi Jonathan,

      Thanks for the clarification! Good to know this! I’ve updated the info in the writeup. Let me know if there’s anything else you want to add. – Brian

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