Interview with Camille McPherson 06/30/2020
A member of RALSD’s Steering Committee, Camille McPherson is a ballet dancer entering her 9th season as a soloist with the San Diego Ballet. She also teaches ballet extensively to a wide range of ages and levels throughout the county. When Camille is not dancing and teaching, she works in arts administration, serving as San Diego Ballet’s Educational Outreach Coordinator and Summer Intensive Administrative Director.
What’s your role with Rising Arts Leaders San Diego? I am excited to be in my inaugural year as RALSD’s Programming Committee Co-Chair. Although COVID has presented some unusual and unforeseen obstacles, I am finding my time as a Steering Committee member to be rewarding, gratifying, and stimulating. I love how it brings me closer to the San Diego arts community in such an impactful way.
What projects are you currently working on as a dancer? All of my performances are currently on pause, but I am keeping busy by teaching extensively on Zoom and organizing San Diego Ballet’s Summer Intensive, which has gone virtual due to the pandemic.
How has this pandemic affected or shifted your practice? I am used to dancing for hours a day, so to stay in shape, I have been walking and jogging and doing ballet and Pilates exercises at home. Although I miss being in the studio very much, I’ve found my at-home work to still be personally fulfilling, to my great surprise. I enjoy seeing my students on Zoom, and it has been peaceful and invigorating walking outside and doing ballet exercises on my porch! I feel I have gained a sense of control over my routine that I believe will serve me well even as studios begin to reopen.
Do you have any tips for up-and-coming or rising artists? This is certainly a precarious time for young emerging artists, and I have a great deal of sympathy for them. That being said, I’ve been inspired by the dedication and commitment I have witnessed amongst my ballet students. My advice for up-and-coming artists would be to create a routine you can stick with and seek to establish not only motivation but discipline. Maintain a balance between work and leisure and use this time to reflect on what you aim to achieve with your art going forward. Lastly, do not fall into despair, but do be realistic. Unfortunately, it appears the pandemic will be affecting our lives for a long time to come, so I believe the best way to move forward is to learn to adjust our schedules and expectations accordingly, focus on the positive whenever possible, and expand our horizons in order to navigate through these unusual times.