Twenty Tips to Maximize Your Fun at Camp Hollywood

Camp Hollywood 2012

Camp Hollywood, the largest Swing dance weekend in Southern California, is coming on Friday, August 30th, 2019 to the LAX Marriott Hotel!  All of the veteran Swing dancers will be there, but if you’re a beginner and you want to get better fast, this is the way to do it. There will be four days of classes, social dances, contests, and after-hour shenanigans that will take your dancing to the next level. If you can’t spare the whole holiday weekend, you can also attend just the nighttime social dances.

Now that you know what Camp Hollywood is, here are the top tips that experienced Camp Hollywood attendees would tell you (courtesy of Hilary Alexander, and a few added by me):

  1. Check out some of the pre-Camp Hollywood Swing events during the week of Camp Hollywood!  Venues like LindyGroove on Thursday and Rusty’s Rhythm Club on Wednesday before the dance are always well-attended with lots of out-of-towners. [Brian]
  2. Eat your Wheaties, take your vitamins, and get plenty of rest beforehand.  If you do all of the classes plus the dances, it will be an exhausting weekend.  [Brian]
  3. Driving back and forth between classes, after dances, etc, is not as good an idea as it sounds. Never has the phrase “get a room!” been more meaningful. [Hilary]
  4. Take the day off work the Tuesday after Camp Hollywood. Trust me on this one. [Hilary]
  5. The freaks come out at night. ‘Nuff said. [Hilary]
  6. Prepare to do all your dance shoes/clothing shopping for the year here. [Hilary]
  7. Sign up for the contests. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself watching them this year saying, “I totally could have beaten that guy.” [Hilary]
  8. Wear something you’ll be happy to see yourself in about 1,000 pictures in. Be aware of the evening dance themes. [Hilary]
  9. Don’t leave stuff in the ballroom overnight, especially towards the end of the night Tuesday. The hotel staff starts gathering things up and we can’t guarantee they’ll show in up lost and found (we don’t take things home – if you do leave something, call the hotel). [Hilary]
  10. Enjoy the pool! [Hilary]
  11. Take naps! You really don’t want to miss the after-hours bands. Well worth staying up until 4 AM. [Hilary]
  12. Try to break up with your boyfriend/girlfriend after, not during, the event. [Hilary]
  13. Enlist your favorite teachers for private lessons – now’s the time because they’re a captive audience! [Hilary]
  14. Take advantage of the massage/hair styling/yoga we offer – make it a full spa-type experience! [Hilary]
  15. Cheer for your favorite competitors – nothing makes a dancer feel better than encouragement from the audience. [Hilary]
  16. Make it a point to dance with people you’ve never danced before, especially people from out-of-town or from different countries! [Brian]
  17. Don’t wait until Monday night to get the contact information for new friends that you’ve made. Some people don’t go to all of the dances, or will have to leave early for the airport. [Brian]
  18. If you’re from out-of-town, have a really good dinner at least one or two nights outside of the hotel. Don’t eat at the hotel for every meal. [Brian]
  19. If you’re not from L.A., get an In ‘n Out Burger at least once during the weekend. [Brian]
  20. Keep social dancing after Camp Hollywood, or else you’ll forget everything you’ve learned. [Brian]

If you’re from out-of-town and looking for other fun stuff to do while you’re here, check out my other site about fun stuff in LA.

That’s it from us!  What other tips do you have?

See you there! Brian

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7 years ago

Is the beginner’s track for absolute beginners? If I know the basics, should I be trying the intermediate? Looking for advice from people who’ve taken the classes.

7 years ago
Reply to  newbie


Camp Hollywood is a relatively advanced camp overall, so I would guess that even the beginner’s classes move pretty quickly past the basics.

Having said that, they are not requiring that you specify your track ahead of time this year, so you can always jump to a different track if the one you’re in is too easy/hard.