Camille McPherson is thrilled to be in her eighth season with the San Diego Ballet, where she has been featured as a soloist in Javier Velasco’s productions of The Seven Beauties, Mambomania, Sweet Synergy Suite, Three Sketches of Latin America, Time Further Out, Reflections and Hope, De Los Muertos, The Jungle Book, Arabian soloist in The Nutcracker and 24 Preludes. A native of San Diego, Camille began ballet at the age of four and received her primary training at Ballet Center West and on scholarship at the California Ballet School. Camille augmented her training by attending summer intensives at the Jillana School, Boston Ballet School, the Washington School of Ballet, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School. Upon graduating high school, Camille attended Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s Graduate Program, where she performed alongside the company in Artistic Director Terrence Orr’s version of The Nutcracker. Camille also danced as an Apprentice with the California Ballet, where she performed in productions of The Nutcracker, Chopin Tribute, Cinderella, and Beyond the Barre. Camille teaches ballet to all levels and ages at multiple studios throughout San Diego, and has recently appeared as a guest artist with School of Ballet Arts, Step in Step School of Dance, Metro Dance Academy, and Ballet Center West.
Who influenced you most to become the dancer you are today?
I was encouraged tremendously and given many opportunities growing up by my childhood teacher, Michelle Bartolomei. My parents and uncle, all three accomplished musicians themselves, also influenced me heavily as a child through their continual support of my own pursuit of a career in the arts.
What was the funniest episode(s) you’ve experienced in your career?
There have been many, but one that I will always remember is an embarrassing leotard malfunction that occurred during a full-cast Nutrcracker run-through in the San Diego Ballet studios. My leotard strap managed to come down during a lift in my Arabian pas de deux, leaving half of my chest exposed. I didn’t even notice until one of the children in the cast pointed and called out, “ew!”
Who would you most like to share the stage with (living or dead)?
Hopefully this doesn’t come across as too cheesy, but growing up I always dreamed of sharing the stage with my father, who as I mentioned before is a renowned jazz musician. Lucky for me, he is currently one of San Diego Ballet’s resident composers, so that dream has and will continue to be realized for years to come!
What goes through your mind just before you perform?
It varies depending on what it is that I’m performing, but mostly I try to take in the moment and remind myself to have fun! When you have a career in the performing arts, often the most exciting aspects of the job are also arguably the most nerve-racking and anxiety inducing (challenging choreography, last minute solos, huge theaters with sold out crowds, etc). I try to focus on the fact that I’m performing a job that I love.
What do you like/admire most about San Diego Ballet?
Javier Velasco’s choreography is both fun and artistically and technically ambitious. Not only do I enjoy the movement he choreographs for me personally, I enjoy witnessing him work with my fellow dancers because I am constantly taken with how well he choreographs to each of our strengths. I’m from San Diego, so I also feel incredibly fortunate to be able to work in my hometown, where I have the love and support of my friends and family. The weather isn’t too shabby here either!
Adopting Patrons for Camille McPherson
- Elizabeth Daitch
- Jeffrey & Lori Tanaka
- Russell Vuich