Summer camp never gets old.
Just ask anyone who’s been a part of the Ballroom Dance Camp, whose annual program has spent 19 years offering dance lessons to seniors.
This year, from August 5-10, the Ballroom Dance Camp will be held at Crowne Plaza in Warwick. From Sunday to Thursday, members of the camp will receive dance instruction tailored to their individual skill levels. Their lessons will culminate with a gala finale and dinner dance on Thursday night, where they will get to demonstrate all that they have learned during the course of their lessons. With lessons covering all different types of dances each day, participants will soon find themselves mastering the foxtrot, waltz, swing, rumba, tango and cha cha.
The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance has certified all dance teachers involved in the program, all of who are highly qualified instructors with years of experience teaching ballroom dancing. Peggi Morrow, the co-founder and dance director of Ballroom Dance Camp, will serve as a teacher alongside five other instructors. The majority of teachers are also former competitors in dance competitions around the world, such as the American Smooth competition, and many have been recognized at the national level for their skill and expertise.
Each year, the camp also introduces two additional instructors as guest artists. The guest artists teaching at camp this year are internationally renowned dancers Nazar Norov and Irina Kudryashova. They will offer workshops on Wednesday and Thursday, followed by an exclusive performance for members of the camp during the Thursday night gala.
Nazar and Irina have both been dancers since the age of five, and have received many prestigious awards, both in their home country of Russia and in America. They have been named North American Rising Star Champions, as well as Grand National Champions and the Ohio Star Ball Rising Star Champions. They also have years of experience instructing dancers from many different countries, many of whom have gone on to achieve successful results in national competitions.
Members of the camp can register as a couple or as a single member, on a first-come, first-serve basis. Couples pay a registration fee of $2,829, while single members will pay $1,849.
If choosing to pay in installments, couples pay an initial deposit of $825, while singles deposit $595. The rest of the registration fee can be paid in a series of one-month installments.
Single members will be partnered with other single members, with the camp making all efforts to register an equal number of single men and single women, according to Byron Siegal, co-founder of the camp. Part of this effort includes offering a reduced registration fee to single men, in order to compensate for the abundance of single women already registered for the program.
Couples registering for the first time also receive a $400 reduction in price, while first time single women receive $150 off their fee.
Space is still available for commuting members. The registration fee for commuting couples is $2,099, while commuting singles pay $1,139. This fee will cover the program, breaks and dinner, but will not cover breakfast or lodging.
For more information on pricing, or to register over the phone, Ballroom Dance Camp can be contacted at 1-800-242-8785.
Each dance lesson is available at five levels of difficulty, with each level having its own separate practice room so participants can learn at their own pace. Private lessons with the instructors can also be taken throughout the camp after the daily lessons, at an additional cost.
On Friday, the last day of the camp, a farewell breakfast will be held where the members of the camp can say their goodbyes before parting ways. As people from across the country attend the camp, the Ballroom Dance Camp takes pride in allowing members from many different places to bond during classes, meals, and breaks.
Crowne Plaza was chosen for its convenience, as it provides lodging in the same building as practice rooms and is only a short distant away from the airport.
Transportation is thoroughly accounted for, as this program has historically drawn registrants from all over America. The shuttle to Crowne Plaza from T.F. Green Airport is free of charge, and available 24/7. Instructions and directions on how to reach the hotel for participants arriving from Logan Airport can be found on the camp’s website, www.ballroomdancecamp.com. The website also provides a list of airlines that service T.F. Green Airport, as well as several options for travel insurance. A complete list of dance instructors who will be teaching and a day-to-day schedule can also be found on the website.
Formerly hosted in Vermont, Siegal says the camp made the switch to Rhode Island in 2012, changing its name from “Ballroom Vermont” to “Ballroom Dance Camp.” The program is loosely modeled after Jazz Camp, known as a “Band Camp for Grownups.”
Founded by Siegal in 1985, Jazz Camp was intended to unite people who expressed an interest in music later in life. In 1995, Siegal began taking ballroom dancing lessons with Peggi Morrow. The two decided to team up and found a camp for aspiring ballroom dancers, in a format similar to Jazz Camp.
With Ballroom Dance Camp entering its 19th season after being founded in 1999, it appears that they’ll be soon sold out of spaces for the eighth year in a row. Registration is very broad, according to Siegal; it typically begins immediately after the last camp finishes and ends only once the next camp begins – or when spaces are sold out. Registration can be done online, or over the phone.
A free brochure for the program can be requested on the website as well.