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Can I get an advance copy of the workshop schedule?
Program and schedule details are posted on the website as soon as they are available. The final schedule is distributed at camp, covering any last-minute changes.
What's the difference between Contra and English dance?
It's really only a shift in emphasis and a change in vocabulary.
Basically, Contra dance is more of a walking step, with swinging and spinning, while English can be more on the balls of the feet, and is about moving together in time with different rhythms.
The differences in vocabulary are pretty intuitive. For example, if you know your way around an "allemande" in a Contra dance, the English equivalent is a "turn by the right" or "right-hand turn" with a slightly different hand grip.
There's an excellent overview on both Contra and English dance on the
you'll see more similarities than differences.
I've heard about the camper led after-hour activities. Can you please elaborate?
After hours entertainment is mostly up to you, the Campers.
Are beginners welcome?
Yes, beginners are welcome. The teaching is generally designed for the intermediate to advanced dancers, but people usually learn very quickly when surrounded by experienced dancers. Beginners who have come to camp in the past have generally reported positive experiences. Let us know when you register that you are a beginner, and we can give you extra help where needed.
This also applies if you're experienced in one dance style, but
new to another. Contra dancers will be most welcome in the English
workshops, and vice versa. Use this is as the opportunity to find new
excitement with a new way to dance!
Are children welcome?
Yes, they are most welcome! Although we do not have a family
program coordinator on the camp committee, "camp kids" often attend and enjoy
the activities available. For younger children, or if you are unsure,
May I invite a guest to join me for part of the time?
The short answer is No. There are numerous reasons that we cannot accommodate these requests. The camp facility charges a day-use fee per person and there are limits to the numbers of people that the facility can accommodate (or that we are willing to cram on the dance floor), and still be safe.
Registration QuestionsCan you explain the lodging options in detail?
Miller and Morris Dorms are older buildings, with
various-sized rooms accommodating between 6 and 10 people. Some of the
rooms are connected to each other. These rooms are perfect for larger
groups that want to room together, or for those who like a bit of extra room to
move around in. The bathrooms are newer, and have more amenities, but you
must cross an outside deck to reach them from your room.
I'm financially challenged, but I still would like to come to camp. What can I do?
BACDS does not like to turn people away due to financial
constraints. We will work with you to meet your needs.
If you don't qualify for one of the above, it may be time to get creative. If you come from a distant dance community, perhaps your local organization has scholarship funds for sending people to camps to learn new skills that will benefit your community. Perhaps your friends and family can pitch in as a gift. The December holiday season is prime registration time. If you are truly stuck, please contact the Registrar or the Manager, and we will try to work something out with you.
What kind of jobs do Work-Trade and Youth Scholarship people do?
The responsibilities involve helping out with some of the chores at camp. We divide our work-traders into teams and give each team responsibility for a particular set of chores. All work-trade people are expected to help with setting up or tearing down of camp. Here's a list of the different tasks we assign to our work-trade teams:
It's generally shared work, and doesn't take much time away from the actual dancing or other scheduled events.
If you cancel early you will get a full refund if we can fill your space. Otherwise cancellations will be subject to a $50 administrative fee. If we don't hear from you at least three days before camp or you just do not show up at all, no money will be refunded.
Sorry, No. Registration must be used by the person being registered to ensure the logistics, housing, food, and other related information we have is current. It also helps us to manage the waiting list in as fair a way as possible. That said, if you have a special situation, contact the Registrar, and let's see what we do.
BACDS is a non-profit organization, often more so than we'd like. We are trying hard to maintain affordable prices in these economically challenging times, and so budget for a break-even point with a full camp. Less than full attendance, or unexpected expenses (we neglected to budget for the ice cream, for instance!) mean we may lose money. A donation to camp helps ensure we cover costs.
A donation to our Youth Scholarship fund is a great way to support the dancing community as well as individuals who may be on constrained budgets. We need to keep a healthy distribution and growth to ensure there will be dancers, musicians, and organizers for years to come. It's in everyone's best interest!
There is no dinner on Friday. We suggest you have dinner in Santa Cruz or Aptos before arriving at camp. All meals will be served on Saturday, with breakfast and lunch provided on Sunday. With luck we'll arrange for fruit and coffee to be left out for those late risers on Sunday.
Coffee will be available at the dance hall during the
evenings. Following the dances on Friday and Saturday nights we will have
pot-luck refreshments. Please bring contributions to share; you may give
them to our Grand Poobah of Pot-luck when you check in at camp. Many
people bring snacks, drinks, or savories to share. It's a great way to
contribute to camp, and to make sure there's something to eat that you like.
If your are a vegetarian, have food allergies, or other dietary considerations, explain your needs on the registration form, and we will pass them on to the cook staff. They have a set menu that does not alter much, but they have been very accommodating with certain dietary restrictions, particularly gluten and dairy intolerances, and vegan diets, if we let them know enough in advance. We will let you know whether or not your specific needs can be met, and whether you may need to bring your own supplemental food. There is refrigerator space and a microwave for campers' use but no real cooking facilities, so if you need to bring your own food, plan accordingly. We occasionally have requests for organic food. While the camp doesn't provide this, some of the local markets in Aptos do.
For detailed directions and information about Monte Toyon itself, please visit our Location page.
Be conservative! Santa Cruz is approximately thirty
miles from Silicon Valley. Aptos is eight miles south of Santa Cruz. Under ideal
conditions, it's about an hour to get to camp from San Jose/Silicon Valley.
However, during rush hour on Friday (3:00-7:00 pm or later), it can take over
two hours to get over the Santa Cruz Mountains from Silicon Valley, three hours
from San Francisco, and even longer from the East Bay. Carpooling is encouraged
at all times. Note that you're interested in carpooling on your
registration form, or contact
us to get in touch with the hospitality coordinator.
A full list will be included in your camper letter, but in general you should consider bringing:
For any last-minute or forgotten items, there's a shopping center with a Safeway just off the freeway in Aptos, about 10 minutes drive from camp.
Briefly, it means “shoes for dancing in” as opposed to others you may have.
Dance shoes are dance(r)- and floor-friendly shoes.
If you normally wear very slippery leather soles, cleats, or rubber soles that pick up a lot of rocks/pebbles that can scratch the floor, you want to bring a 2nd pair of shoes that are nice to and don’t damage the hardwood floor.
Some folks have an extra pair that provide better ankle and arch support. Others may simply include special in-soles as needed.
Also because the grounds can be a bit muddy if there’s rain, it's just a good idea bring 2 pairs – one to get around in, and a more pristine pair for on the dance floor. We’re not asking you to wear Capezios. We just want to ensure the best dancing and floor-surface experience for everyone.
Check-in for camp starts 5pm, Friday, at Helgasson Hall.
If you arrive sooner, congratulations - you just volunteered to help set up
camp! See the volunteer coordinator immediately.
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