So what in the world is MADjam?
Mid Atlantic Dance Jam "MADjam" is all about West Coast Swing Dance
Fun. It's a four day party that offers exciting contests on our
beautifully spotlit stage, workshops at every level, and tons of social
dancing. The largest West Coast Swing convention in the eastern USA,
MADjam offers a fabulous weekend experience for everyone from casual
social dancers to serious professional competitors. With more than
fifty scheduled workshops, whether you are a relative beginner or have
been dancing for decades, this is an extraordinary opportunity to learn
from the most inspiring WCS teachers on the planet. From Thursday
evening till dawn Sunday, the all-night social dancing is as good as it
gets. And with the largest WSDC contests anywhere, superstar routines
and the best stage lighting in the business, our competitions can’t be
beat. Dancers come to MADjam from all across the globe to perform,
learn and dance our dance together. It's like no other west coast swing
party you've seen, broadcast live on the Internet all weekend. Follow
the links in the navigation menu to learn more about what makes MADjam
so much fun.
Our purpose is to have a great time each year by...
- Sharing our passion for West Coast Swing with others.
- Seeing old friends and making new ones.
- Developing and improving our skills with the most inspiring instructors.
- Awakening the dancer within each of us by watching inspiring performers.
- Reinvigorating our social dancing and our desire to share our dance passion with others.
- Keeping it all inclusive, fun and friendly - Code of Conduct
MADjam is a part of several organizations that create
standards and guidelines for similar events. You can learn more about
each at the individual websites.
Association of Swing Dance Events.
Points & Cash for Classic, Showcase, Strictly &
J&J swing divisions
WSDC World Swing Dance Council.
Points system for West Coast Swing Jack & Jill Contests
Cash prizes & sponsorships. Fund raising for teenage competitors
MADjam is licensed by
ASCAP, BMI and SESAC through the National Fast Dance Association.
How did it begin?
MADjam was conceived during the summer of 2002. Interest in West
Coast Swing and Hustle dancing in DC and the surrounding communities
had grown significantly over the previous decade. After working behind
the scenes at many major Mid Atlantic area dance events, Dave Moldover
and several dancers with event production experience decided to create
a new event with new goals and new enthusiasm. We enlisted many dance
pros, volunteers and social dance enthusiasts to help plan and pull off that first event.
The goals set for that first year are still a fundamental part of each
annual MADjam weekend. We offer our community and visitors an
experience that features a broad variety of distinguished dance experts
from around the country. We recruit a diverse panel of judges to ensure
fair contests. We maintain a strict schedule and deliver everything we promise. Taking good care of the staff and every guest is our top priority.
The first year’s goal was to create a single-day, mega event that
included all the best elements of a weekend long event. Especially
important was finding a location that would accommodate all our guests
for an all night party. In March of 2003, the first MADjam held at the
Promenade Dancesport in Baltimore brought together over 500 dancers for
14 workshops, 2 levels of swing and hustle jack & Jill contests and
an exciting open showcase division. Workshops began at 10am and the
diehards at the late night party were still dancing as the sun rose the
next morning. It was a success by every measure.
In March of 2004, MADjam moved to the Ramada Inn in New Carrollton, MD
to accommodate a larger crowd and many more out-of town dancers. Dance
Jam Productions invested in sound systems and beautiful new portable
dance flooring for all 3 ballrooms. MADjam joined the World Swing Dance
Council. The weekend-long schedule allowed for additional contest
divisions, more prize money and a greater variety of workshops. Hand Dancers
were invited to perform choreographed routines. Just Dance Swing,
Sophisticated Jack & Jill and Pro/Am divisions were popular new
additions. The attendance topped 580 and the contest entries quadrupled
from the first year.
In 2005 MADjam grew by leaps and bounds. It moved to the Sheraton
National in Arlington, VA. The hotel sold out and over 850 dancers
turned out that weekend. A new Thursday night welcome party hosted a
crowd of 250+. Many dancers from out of town arrived early and people
were still dancing at 6am. Contest entries went up over 50% and we were
able to fund a $10,000 prize purse. Invitational Jack & Jill
contests for swing and hustle were big crowd pleasers. The pro staff
expanded to include nearly 50 of the nation’s top swing, hustle and
hand dance experts. Once again, the dedicated event staff and
volunteers were able to keep us on schedule and everything ran smoothly
during the weekend. MADjam became part of the International Hustle
Dance Association which includes several events featuring Hustle
contests and works to promote Hustle dancing worldwide.
In 2006 MADjam emerged as one of the top five largest west coast swing
dance events. Over 1250 dancers attended and Sheraton Premiere was
completely sold out. 623 Competitors from 45 states and Canada
competed. Novice swing J&J was the largest division with 110
entries. The late night social dance parties were easily the best
dancing the DC area has ever seen. The 24' video projection wall
displayed real time contest data and live feeds from several cameras.
2007 MADjam grew again, gathering 1400 dancers together for the WCS
biggest party on the East Coast. There were almost 800 contest entries.
Jack & Jill divisions were huge with over 450 total entries. The
Hustle divisions were the largest of any contest anywhere. All 43
workshops and every contest started on time, as advertised. It was
truly an amazing weekend.
In 2008 and 2009 MADjam continued as the largest West Coast Swing
weekend in the east and the largest Hustle competition on the planet.
Over 1050 contest entries in 2009 and more than 1600 total participants
earned it MEGA-event status on both dance circuits. The pro staff
continued to expand in size and scope and 52 workshops were offered.
The prize money awarded increased to more than $18,000. MADjam joined
that Masters tour. In addition to offering that division for routines
danced by Masters couples (50 or older) there were also strictly swing
and hustle masters divisions added. Jack & Jill contest
participation produced an amazing 650 entries between 13 divisions.
Perhaps the most significant contest change was the addition of the
Superstar Show where the current top Swing & Hustle champions were
invited to perform their breathtaking routines in lieu of entering the
contests. This provided an awesome show and opened up the professional
contests to emerging new champions eager to earn those titles.
In 2010 more than 1500 dancers attended. A new all computer managed
registration, check in and contest management system was deployed to
manage expanded contests. An improved schedule and enlarged main
competition floor helped everything stay
on schedule with more time for social dancing and warm ups between
contests. The dance floor was also more comfortable during the most
crowded times. MADjam became a founding member of the Young America
Swing Dances Association YASDA and 6 teen couples competed in the new
division. The most raved about new feature was MADjam TV which was
broadcast live to every TV in the building all weekend long. It
featured contest stats, titling with division and contestant info and
staging instructions and schedule updates. This ensured nothing was
missed and everyone knew exactly what was happening even if they were
in a guest room or at the restaurant or bar!
For 2011 MADjam joined the NASDE (National Association of Swing Dance
Events) tour. This includes the largest and most prestigious of the
West Coast Swing competitions in the USA. The tour concludes at the US
Open Swing Dance Championships in November. Points are awarded in the
Classic, Showcase and Open Strictly Swing divisions. Tour winners earn
significant cash prizes. Many dancers traveled from overseas to
participate. With lessons learned from the growth during previous years
and the implementation of computer managed contests it was possible to
maintain a flawless schedule throughout the weekend. Dance Jam
Productions also expanded in 2011 by acquiring Swing Fling and
launching the DC Swing eXperience (DCSX) to replace the former VSO
weekend. We now offer 3 annual, first class dance weekends in the DC
In 2012 construction at the Sheraton necessitated a temporary change of
venue. A record turnout of 1644 dancers packed the Reston Town Center's
Hyatt Regency. Contest participation was also at an all-time high.
Returning to the Sheraton, 2014 saw Hustle contests give way to an
increased focus on West Coast Swing throughout the weekend and featured
Robert Royston and Tren Veal’s crowd-thrilling performance to “Baby
After selling out Sheraton Tysons for 3 years in a row it was time for
a larger venue for 2016! MADjam welcomed dancers to the waterfront at
Baltimore's Harbor East Marriott, nestled on the shoulders of Little
Italy, where the soaring ceilings and harbor views from the 30th floor
were matched only by the thrill of dancing together in such
2017 brought the addition of Kay Newhouse as event co-director teaming up with the original executive director Dave
Moldover, an expanded Newcomer Welcome Program to enhance the weekend
experience for event first timers, and a Community Organizers’ Forum to
help our local event organizers make connections with one another at
MADjam, the largest West Coast Swing convention on the east coast. A
record number of workshops and the best pro staff ever.
2018 is on track to be the best MADjam ever!