I have had good experiences with Championship Dance Camps. The Independence Day Ball is held on dates surrounding the 4th of July in Washington, D.C. I went in 2006 and 2007.
-High caliber instructors.
-Several classes at each time slot.
-Classes focused on technique.
-Opportunities to take private lessons with the instructor(s) of your choice (though some people sell out way in advance).
While college and 20-somethings probably make up about 70% of the population of the camp, I am old enough to dance Senior I (36+) and always felt welcome.
A highlight for me was getting to be in a performance class with a group number choreographed by Jean-Marc Genereux. Another highlight was getting to take private lessons with Jean-Marc Genereux, Karina Smirnoff, and Polina Pilipenchuk.
I'm keen to try the Independence Day Ball in Washington, D.C.; the schedules always look packed with useful stuff (I joke with my partner that my dancing's at the stage where any instruction will be helpful, so I get lots of value for money).
Definitely for me is the Dutch Open (Assen, Ned) which has a dance camp, and the added benefit of watching the competition (Think this year's teachers included Alan & Hazel Fletcher, Massimo Giorgianni, Donnie Burns & Gaynor Fairweather, Ruud Vermey)
Maybe the Vilnius Dance Festival in Lithuania? I heard Arūnas & Katusha and Justinas & Anna were giving lessons this year.
I attended IDB more recently that CCM (this past summer), and I'm glad to report it's still awesome. I believe the classes honestly bumped me up a competitive level in both Latin and Smooth. The Standard classes were fantastic too, but it's the one style that I need extra extra help in. My only gripe as a Rhythm dancer, which I put on the comment survey at the end, was the lack of Rhythm classes, so hopefully those will show up in the future.
Basic Ballroom in NYC also holds an annual Dance 2 Xtreme camp for Latin specifically that I did this past August. Body conditioning every morning, followed by a seminar on a specific Latin dance by a world-class coach, followed by a seminar on a related dance style (like Flamenco [for Paso], Afro-Cuban [for Samba]), ended with a runthrough. Every day. It was tough physically but extremely useful and highly recommended.
BYU has an adult camp every July/August. I've never been but I know they always have great coaches/judges present to teach and there are opportunities for private lessons. Google "BYU Dance Camps" and you'll find more info.
We attended this 2 years ago (tho we mainly were a part of Lori Woods-Gaye's wonderful istd syllabus workshop) and I can say this camp is special. Great instruction (no social dance versions of rhumba lol but the real deal); access to top coaches and many unique events within the camp such as an "ask the pros" pizza party and a fantastic field trip to the mall to watch fireworks with your fellow dancers - and a midnight tour of some of the memorials; and the comp organizers were welcoming and friendly. The attendance is on the young side and so the crabbiness factor was thankfully minimal lol. We loved it - FYI we are sr 3 competitive 10 dance.
I've attended the OC Dance Camp since its inception and I have nothing but great things to say about the experience.
The format of the camp is very special in that the focus in really on the group learning environment. Often you get two instructors per session and the sessions are longer so that you really have a chance to get the instructors point of view on the particular dance they are teaching.
Plus there is a formation team that prepares and performs during a New Years Eve party!
paintanker, I have not been to the Holiday Dance Camp since it moved to Southern California. However, the organizer Nadia Eftedal was a co-owner when it was held in Northern California. When it was in Northern Ca., the camp was a mixture of lectures and actual workshops (weighted more to the workshop side - only one or two pure lectures a day). My GUESS would be that it will remain the same, I would contact Nadia if you need clarification.
If you look on the schedule for the camp, the second and third day indicate a "warm up the body" slot in the morning, which probably means you'll be dancing through the day....
To update on the Holiday Dance Camp in LA run by Nadia Eftedal....
For latin the coaches were world class (Ruud Vermey, Maxmillian Winkelhaus, Barbara Ambrose, Shirley Ballas, Johan Eftedal), the location exceptional, and the content well worth the price.
The format was indeed both lecture (with a few up on your feet exercises) and workshops (which were mostly dancing). There were all levels of dancers in the classes from advanced beginner to pro - and the coaches picked topics that seem to benefit the wide range of students there. I was impressed with the information relayed throughout.
The atmosphere was friendly and enthusiastic. It was a great experience!
I always got the impression that the really good dance camps ( like Independence in DC) were geared towards a much younger set and the dance camps for the older set were more socially focused. Was the Holiday dance camp like that? Oh, and I am getting confused... there is a Holiday dance competition in December in Vegas, and then a Holiday dance camp in LA? No relationship between the two?
Hi debmc! The Holiday Dance Classic competition in Vegas and the Holiday Dance Camp and Ball in LA are two different events.
The dance camp in LA had no specified targeted age set. There weren't too many young kids, but the group seemed to consist of 10 or so late teen dancers, the majority seemed to be in the twenties and thirties, and then probably 5-10 dancers in the forties and up age group.
The camp was focused on competitive dancers (rather than an age group) and I thought was good for any age except for younger kids. I would say that dancers taking this type of camp should have a good grasp on technique, patterns and have competitive experience to benefit the most from the type of information that was presented.