Every Swing Dancer in the World Knows This Tiny Swedish Village
How come? Every year thousands of Swing Dance enthusiasts are pilgriming to a tiny coastal village about 3 hours north of Stockholm in the deep Swedish countryside. They come from all over the world, many for only 1 or 2 weeks – although the camp lasts for 5 weeks in total.
They come from Australia, Thailand, Hongkong, USA, Mexico, Russia, Canada, and of course all across Europe. Just for one thing: Swing Dancing.
Why on Earth Would They do That?
Herräng has already reached legendary status inside the global Swing Dance Community many years ago. What started as a 1 week project in 1982 became the worlds largest and leading swing dance camp existing. With every year, the number of participants grew and today it is receiving thousands of people every summer. Unfortunately I could not find out the exact number from the website, but looking at the videos on Youtube you will see that we are talking of masses of people here.
What Herräng Dance Camp (also called HDC) calls a semi-surrealistic reality of Herräng Dance Camp is total normality during the 5 weeks. 7 if you also count set-up and crash-down week.
This is the only time – I am presuming – that the local bus is full of swing nerds dressed in vintage clothes with heavy luggage on Saturdays. Saturday is sign up and departure day for the new/previous week. During these days everybody is super busy to be able to accommodated the new storm of participants.
During 5 weeks, all bookable separately, people from all over the world unite and dance, have fun laugh and compete on the stage. This is when the little town of Herräng is completely flooded with people in vintage clothes, hundreds of bikes clogging the main street, the swimming spots crowded and the local shop which presumably only survives thanks to them, overloaded overcrowded and chronically under equipped.
HDC Promotional Video
What Makes Herräng so Special?
Not only that the entire village becomes like a 1950ties town looking like the Back to The Future movie set. It is all about the fun you have. The dancing, the shows, being among legends and seeing top entertainers at night.
Herräng is like a completely separate little universe. Besides the large dance tents and several accommodation options of course, it also contains of restaurants, cafes, a self-catering kitchen, a sauna, movie theater, vintage shop, ice creamery, bike rental, even a massage service and swimming places around the village. The visitors don´t need to leave the village for their entire stay. Everything you need is right there.
A glimpse of Chester Whitmore - Tap Dancer and Choreographer
11 Good Reasons to go to Herräng
- The spectacular Broadway-like shows
- The meetings
- Learn from the best teachers
- Country site fresh air and cold water dip after dancing
- Friendly village atmosphere
- Meeting fellow dancers from all over the world
- Dance until you drop: the party is over when the last person leaves.
- The Banana Bread and Chocolate Cookies from the Ice Cream Parlor
- Access to the living legends of Jazz, like Norma Miller or Chester Whitmore
- complementary sauna, open 24/7
- countless talks and documentaries
Norma Miller and Frankie Manning Dancing Hair-Raising Lindy Moves in the Movie Hellzapoppin from 1941.
It does not matter who you are, where you are from, what color you have, if rich or poor: as long as you can dance.
The Many Faces of Herräng
- The staff: They work hard, like really really hard. You rarely see them on the dance floor at night. Pay them respect please.
- The volunteers: working less hours like the above but still alot. It is more likely to spot them with the “Volunteer” t-shirt or in the general accommodation.
- The DJs: in the background, but for which reason? They come from all over the world to serve and follow their passion
- The teachers: from across the globe, ever smiling and giving you the best input although they are totally jet lagged. Rarely spotted on the dance floor, or at least not for long periods of time.
- The campers: These are the participants, the people pilgrim to Herräng and taking classes or not, having fun.
- The food stand owners/workers: Offering you great food alternatives. There is something for everybody.
- The friendly, bewildered villagers: These are the locals of Herräng. For example the shop owner, the families at the beach, the restaurant owners at the marina.