Tips for Herräng Dance Camp

The largest and longest running jazz dance festival in the world happens in tiny Swedish Village.

Yep, you heard that right.

Herräng Dance Camp (HDC) is the mecca for modern day lindy hop. HDC’s impact on lindy hop today is massive. Not only has HDC helped to spread lindy hop worldwide, they have connected dancers to lindy hops’s history. Frankie Manning, Norma Miller, and others spent many consecutive summers in this quiet little village of Herräng. There they would tell their stories to a captivated audience. Revivalists like Lennart Westerlund would provide thoughtful and insightful context.

There is far more to HDC than can possibly be summed up in a single post. HDC’s history extends nearly 40 years. But for those attending this summer, I can offer a few helpful suggestions.

*There’s no “one way” to do HDC

It is incredibly tempting to try and do it all… classes, evening talks, social dancing, shows, visits to the beach, etc. Trust me, even though it’s daylight 20+ hours per day, it’s far too much to try and experience all at once. Give yourself permission to not do everything.

*Just Say Yes

While seemingly contradicting my previous tip, I do think HDC lends itself to a variety of possibilities that are far outside of your daily normal life. “Just say yes” was the single best and most important advice I was given before first going to HDC. You’ll want to ask questions & know what you’re getting yourself into. I can’t begin to tell you what things might open up to you by just saying yes at HDC. But trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

*Connect to the History

As I touched on above, HDC more than possibly any other lindy festival can connect you to the spirit and history of lindy hop. Forget that youtube clip of last week’s big competition. Connect to the material that has stood the test of time. Ask questions, learn, and feel the spirit of the lindy hop.

*Bring Mosquito Spray

You only think you’ve experienced angry mosquitos before. HDC mosquitos are legendary for the fervor. Prepare accordingly!

MARK KIHARA

Mark Kihara