For an explanation of the application process, first see Becoming a Participant.



Due to a combination of logistical challenges and personal medical issues, The Experiment will not be accepting applications for spring 2023. It is our hope and firm intent to once again be able to open applications in September 2023 for the following spring.

Admission Timeline

2021 September 7 Applications open
September 30 Early Blues application deadline
October 15 Final Blues application deadline
October-December Acceptance letters sent in waves
First payment due
December 17 Deadline for proof of COVID-19 vaccination
Cancellation deadline
(No refunds after this date)
2022 January Remaining applicants notified
Room assignments published
January 17 Second/final payment due
March 20-April 10 (Balboa Weeks 1-3)
April 10-17 Blues Week 1
April 17-24 Blues Week 2

Early Applications

Candidates are encouraged to aim for the early application deadline rather than wait until the last few days before the final deadline to apply. This helps prevent candidates from missing the application window altogether due to last-minute technical or other issues (such as problems filming or uploading video) and also greatly helps The Experiment by spreading out the work required to process applications. As a small incentive and thanks, those who apply by the early deadline and get accepted receive $5 worth of vouchers to the in-house “store”. Conversely, there is no penalty for applying after the early deadline (before the final deadline).


Admission Costs

The Experiment is priced similarly to other week-long swing dance camps in the US and Europe after factoring in costs such as lodging, meals, and airport ground transportation (all of which The Experiment provides).

Base Tuition US $575 Due within two weeks of acceptance–usually in late October through early December–to secure enrollment. Of this amount, $250 is nonrefundable from the outset. (See below for the full Cancellation/Refund Policy.)
& Meals
US $485-585 Due in January after room assignments are published.

Payment Plans

Alternate payment plans are available upon request. These typically require just a $250 nonrefundable deposit within two weeks of acceptance (instead of full Base Tuition) to secure enrollment, followed by one of several possible payment schedules which can extend well into the subsequent year. (Ultimately, if you are committed to participating, The Experiment is committed to working out a feasible payment plan with you.)

Cancellation/Refund Policy

The cancellation deadline for partial refunds (minus $250 which is nonrefundable from the outset) is December 17th. After this date there are no cancellations/refunds and those who confirmed enrollment accept responsibility for payment of their spot in full.

This policy is necessary due to the structure of the camp which makes resolving cancellations exceedingly difficult, as doing so often requires shuffling other participants between weeks in a cascading series of changes in addition to filling the final vacancy.



Is there a COVID-19 vaccination policy?

In effect for spring 2022, all participants and staff will be required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination in advance in order to attend. Accepted participants will receive further instructions on how to submit/upload the requisite proof which will be due by the cancellation deadline of December 17th. For legally protected exemptions such as explicit medical exemptions, or if your expected timeline for full vaccination may extend into January or February, please contact

What if I can’t record video (in the present context)?

For those who are unable to safely record recent partnered video in the present context, this year we will be accepting partnered video from before the disruption of the past 18 months. (Please clarify the age of such video in the corresponding Notes field.)

Whose idea was it to add Blues weeks to The Experiment?

The Blues Experiment is a collaboration between Mike (the Girl) Legenthal, who in addition to her love of Blues is also a multi-year alumnus of The Balboa Experiment, and David Rehm, founder and director of The Experiment. The story is simply that Mike had been dropping hints about how cool it would be to do a Blues version, until David surprised her (and pretty much everyone) by proposing that they actually try it. And then it actually worked.

Do I need to be a super advanced dancer?
Do I need to be a teacher or competitor?
Do I need a partner?

No, no, and no! See Becoming a Participant for details.

What is the schedule like?

Each week consists of six days/seven nights starting on a Sunday evening and ending the following Sunday morning.

The basic daily schedule begins with a late breakfast at 10 am, morning session at 11 am (90 minutes-2 hours), and lunch at 1 pm, followed by several hours of afternoon free time. The second half of the day resumes with a late afternoon session at 4 pm (90 minutes-2.5 hours), dinner at 6:30 pm, and the rest of the evening free with open social dancing starting around 9:30 pm.

This routine is broken up each week by a range of optional electives and non-dance activities, a formal night with formal dinner, and a morning off towards the second half of the week.

Which week is which?
How can I pick a week?

Candidates apply to the program and are grouped/placed into a specific week as part of the acceptance process. It is not possible to apply for a specific week and in fact the arrangement of the weeks is not predetermined and can change from year to year.

How are applications processed?

Processing Blues applications involves a panel of approximately a half-dozen judges plus consultations with outside advisors, and can take upwards of 40 man-hours each year.

How can I improve my application?

Above all, if you do not have sample video or your video is not optimal for any reason (not current, hard to see, etc) then by far the best thing you can do is find or record new video to submit, following the directions on the application.

One other suggestion for those who might have applied previously and were not accepted is to try to show some initiative since the last attempt. What have you been working on? Is this visible in your video? (It is important to understand that this is not necessarily required in order to get accepted–The Experiment certainly does accept and can offer a potential solution to help those who might have “plateaued” or gotten “stuck” in their dancing. The point is rather that demonstrating this kind of initiative and taking responsibility for one’s own learning process is a great way to stand out as a particularly worthy candidate.)

What about music?

Each week features a Head DJ who coordinates music together with participants who volunteer to DJ. Volunteering is very relaxed and informal with a chance to talk to the Head DJ in person about your range of experience and comfort before being given any DJ slots (normally just 30-60 minutes at a time).

Is there (really) an alcohol policy?

Yes. Participants who wish to bring alcohol may only do so on the condition that its consumption must be limited to a set window of time around dinner, from 6:30-9:30 pm. Outside of these hours The Experiment is a “dry campus”.

Yes, this is “for real” and is to be taken literally as it is written. Failure to comply with this policy will be considered sufficient grounds for expulsion without refund.

Can we bring a child?

Yes! The Experiment is committed to helping to enable parents to participate, with an increasing number of participants having brought children the past several years. If this is something you are curious about or considering, please do not hesitate to contact with any questions or concerns.

Can I volunteer?
How does volunteering work?

Each week has several dedicated support staff positions (for things like daily maintenance and interfacing with the catering company), in addition to/apart from the set of participants for that week.

These are highly sought-after, full-time volunteer positions which offer another opportunity to support and be a part of The Experiment, including staying in the same house with everyone and social dancing in the evenings; however unlike a participant, support staff cannot directly participate in sessions (although they can often audit/listen in on portions of them).

Conversely, as an unfortunate consequence of the format, The Experiment is unable to offer work-trade opportunities–i.e. volunteering in exchange for a discount–as each week requires the complete set of fully-paying participants to operate.

If interested, please complete the prospective support staff survey. Note that support staff are not usually determined until sometime in December or possibly January (after enrollment has been finalized).

Have you considered creating a ____ Experiment?

Actually, The Experiment is now formally accepting inquiries into the possibility of expanding to additional dances as well as entirely different (non-dance) hobbies/activities/interests. For details and how you can help, see the formal announcement.