Summer Beats

May 17, 2011 1 Comment

DJ Tina T. is always trying to stay ahead of the game. For instance, she currently has a pressing question on her mind: “When there are five summer camps to pick from for DJ’s, what’s going to make mine the best?”

Five summer camps for DJ’s? Last we checked, there was only one – and it’s hers.

Perhaps that’s what makes Camp Spinoff such a success: Tina T., the founder and director, is always seeking excellence. This drive to be the best is what brought her success as a DJ in the first place.

After discovering turntables at a friend’s house at age 15, Tina became intrigued. She fell into a group of DJ’s, and started practicing on a regular basis. Disc jockeying was a hobby and part time gig that she brought with her to college, but it wasn’t until she took a music marketing class that DJ Tina T. started to see a realistic future in DJ’ing.

Post-college, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her career. After finding success – Tina T. has been called Las Vegas’ Best Female DJ for the past two years – Tina had the idea to grow her brand in an unconventional way. She took her current passion – DJ’ing – and merged it with a favorite childhood experience – summer camp – to create Camp Spinoff, a week-long camp where children ages 12-17 can learn how to DJ.

Tina told, “I can’t think of a better way to retire or to ease out of D’Jing on the road than to spend the whole summer at camp.” The camp is important to her because were it not for the turntables she discovered at age 15, her life would have taken a completely different direction. “It just totally sucked me in,” Tina continues to explain. She wants to share her passion with others. From experience, she knows what an impact camp can have on kids.

It was important to Tina that she established a traditional camp setting, so she rented out a summer camp facility with cabins, a pool and a campfire. But in order to get the camp up and running, Tina T. needed funding. So she began to pitch her idea and after making a series of cold calls she realized it was pretty much a waste of time. Instead, the sponsors she ended up finding were all people who she worked with as a DJ, people who had supported her DJ career and now wanted to support her camp. further found out that Tina put the sponsorship money towards scholarships for kids to attend Camp Spinoff. It was DJ Tina T.’s search for sponsorship that taught her some of the most valuable lessons about starting a business.

First, she says to be nice to everyone you meet, from the ground up. People shuffle around in the workforce, and you never know which connections will prove valuable in the end. Second, keep in touch with contacts, no matter where they move. Any former acquaintance is a potential sponsor, or connection. Third, don’t only think of how others can help you. Sometimes, it’s more important to consider what they’ll get out of the experience. Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, and we quote, “no one can help you unless you tell them what you’re doing,” Tina says, “You have to be willing to tell people your goals.”

Tina’s network of contacts proved invaluable in structuring the camp. She wanted to establish Camp Spinoff as credible within the DJ world. This meant she needed to bring in experienced DJ’s as camp counselors, well-known names as guest speakers, and knowledgeable staff as teachers. DJ Hapa, director of the Scratch DJ Academy in Los Angeles, is a featured instructor at the camp.

In addition to housing an elite staff, Camp Spinoff also offers a plethora of opportunities for young aspiring disc jockeys. The camp has workshops on beat making & remixing, breakdancing, music business and marketing, and multimedia. And at the end of the week, students leave with a jump drive full of their work. The camp is filled with activities from open turntables, jam sessions and DJ battles to horseshoes, zip lines and basketball.

And how does she market this uniquely themed, kid-friendly camp? Facebook. Tina says 80% of her marketing is done through and, places where kids are likely to be exposed to the ads. This is savvy marketing, since the camp is geared towards 12-17 year olds.

So, while school might be out for summer, DJ camp is most definitely on.



Written by: Mary Ronau

Edited by: Bridgette Larcada


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