Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Camp Hollywood XIII: Full of Win

(It looks like Andrew beat me to the punch).

I know it’s not Thanksgiving, but I am thankful for a lot of things. Right now, while I’m on deployment, there are two things that I’m thankful for in particular.
  1. Dancers that take clear, HD videos of dance competitions at events all around the world.
  2. High-speed internet access.
This forced hiatus from social dance is only bearable because I have so many beautiful videos to watch. (Plus, I have some time to work on jazz routines).

This past weekend was Camp Hollywood XIII. Now in its 14th year, Camp Hollywood is one of the largest and longest running dance camps in the world. CH is also home to some incredible competitions.
It’s only been a few days since the event, so I expect more videos to pop up (the social dance comps in particular), but here’s what I have found so far.

Beautiful HD videos by PatrickandNatasha. They have videos of several of the Showcase routines, a couple team routines, Balboa Finals and the Pro Lindy finals.

More HD videos by irishbrat4u. Different angles of a couple of the showcases, videos of most of the team routines, and a video of the Underground Finals.

MTJokerProductions has the Underground Finals, half the Pro Lindy Finals (up to Nick & Laura’s second run) and the best version of the 1st place Team Routine.

Pro Lindy Finals




These competitors are pushing the boundaries with clever aerials and innovative combinations. This isn’t so much a social dance competition as it is a raw, high-flying, air step showcase, so pre-planned sequences are the norm. There are so many little things going on, but here are some things I would like to point out:

During the second round of spotlights, Ceth and Tiffany recover beautifully after a slip up by the previous couple. Excellent focus here. They also have this neat snatch variation.

7:05, Kevin dries off the floor with his knees after Shesha rolls off. Well done.

7:27 Marty and Delilah do the very showy, impressive airplane move that they used in their showcase routine (and later reprise the move in the final all skate). That move is a feat of strength and trust. Nice bloomers, BTW.

For their second spotlight, Nick and Laura pull off an awesome sequence of linked together air steps after a couple bars of fancy syncopated footwork. The entire thing is breathtaking.

For their second spotlight, Kevin and Angel do what I’m going to call the “Mancake to Bridge.” The Bridge part is slow and at first looks like he’s about to crush her. I love the other competitors’ reactions, especially Mikey’s and Marty’s.

I really enjoyed watching the reactions of the competitors in the background; there was a lot of interaction. You can tell they were just excited to watch as to compete: jumping up and down with the aerials; and interacting in other ways.

Then, the final all skate. Two words: Legs. Everywhere.

By my count, I think there were at least 19 air steps, sweeps, big kicks or jumps during the last 2 phrases of the all skate. I was hooting and hollering watching this at the beach bar last night.

Two of my favorite showcase routines:




I love this polished routine by Kevin and Jo, especially the staggered Tacky Annie sequence. Jo has mastered flirty, sexy, girly styling and clever footwork; the ladies (and leads) attending Southern Belle Swing Bash are in for a treat. I hear Kevin will be there too.



Finally, now I know what song they’ve been using to intro their instructional videos: “Lookin’ Good but Feelin’ Bad.”

More importantly: Double Cartwheels. (Cue the Double Rainbow song).

Team Division Champions




This is a very well choreographed routine. It has lots of neat elements: circle formations, moving line formations, impressive air steps, and yelling, lots of yelling. Also, I have a big crush on all of the follows on that team. Just sayin’.

Results for all of the competitions are on the Camp Hollywood website.

3 comments:

  1. Double post - Atomic does "Looking Good But Feeling Bad" and I've listened to this version of the song a gazillion times to learn the song. I was so happy to see someone dancing to the song, exhibiting the exuberance I feel when I'm singing along with it in my car. ;)

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  2. Great post Michael. I've never really had an interest in CH but now it seems like an event not to miss. Thanks for summarizing it in this post :)

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