We had the good fortune of connecting with Camille Thompson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Camille, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I would not be where I am today without the willingness to take risks. If we do not jump, we will never learn to fly. I feel that taking risks is important for growth in every aspect of life. We learn from these risks. Whether they pan out for the good or end in a set back, we learned something. In my position, I am taking some sort of risk on a daily basis. Making that phone call, submitting my teams for those competitions and professional appearances, changing the style up a bit in class; all comes with a certain amount of risk. I am grateful for each leap I get to take. Whether that leap lands gracefully or not, it was not a waste.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have been teaching and directing since I was 17 years old. I started off, like most teenagers, a bit rough around the edges. I had to burn some bridges and rebuild them to learn how to successfully handle business. Over the years, certain situations have humbled me and enabled me to have an immense amount of patience when it comes to teaching. As a young instructor I complained about teaching “babies” and “beginners”. Now, I find the most joy in teaching RAW, UNTOUCHED, HUNGRY dancers. Babies and all. As a choreographer, I know we can often times get caught up in the “trends” and what looks good on our own bodies. When I teach, my goal is to allow the people learning to take a little piece of swag home with them each time. After-all, when you are a teacher of ANY sort, its about what you can give as an instructor and not so much about showing those watching what you are capable of. I love seeing even the smallest amount of growth in dancers performing my choreography. Of course, in the past I have questioned my ability to compete with some of the best. For a while this was a huge challenge for me. A great friend of mine and fellow director, Jenny Durbin, told me years ago to stick to my own style and run with it. She said there is only one me and to stay original. That was one of the best pieces of advice I have ever received. That information has stuck with me to this day. I would love the world to see my passion and genuine heart for the work that I do. As a young dancer I was often over looked, even in my most memorable accomplishments. So today, I pride myself in providing a safe space for all to explore what their bodies can do, no matter their age size, status, or dance background. Earlier this year, after 18 years of teaching for other dance studios, I took a leap of faith and decided to branch out and start my own dance program. From there, I made the decision to push even further and open my own dance studio. As a young girl, it was my dream to be a dance studio owner. My studio was built with love and positivity and this is only the beginning to a very awesome journey. Additionally, I get to take this step with my beloved Mom Crew sisters and all my kids on VCPC (Vizual Content Performing Company). I could not be more grateful for the blessings that I have obtained throughout my career. I wouldn’t trade a single tear or drip of sweat for the reward I have received in return. As a single mommy, it is my goal and duty to show my baby girls that their goals CAN be achieved with dedication and discipline. I am so proud to be doing exactly what my heart desires. Changing lives and creating lasting memories.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
In our crazy lives as mommies, we rarely get the chance to unwind and relax. If my bestie was coming to town, I would want to provide an opportunity for us to do just that. We would start with a nice cleansing workout in the morning. likely a yoga class or good pump at my current gym, Lifetime Fitness. Followed by some much needed brunch. From there I would suggest we grab a massage at one of the foot reflexology places in the DFW because Lord only knows we need one. Lastly we would likely land at a Moms with Moves class to cut up and let loose followed by some authentic tacos (I love tacos). I would see if she would be interested in at some point during her trip making our way to KING SAUNA in Dallas as that is one of my favorite hot spots! We would probably have to spread these activities out over a weekend.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My journey has not been an easy one. I would first like to give all thanks to God for giving me the gift to touch others and change lives. There isn’t just one SINGLE person that I can shoutout. My circle of love has been so overwhelming. My mentor and great friend Gino Johnson for seeing the fire in me at a very young age, Shella Sattler for instilling some of my first professional habits while I danced under her for the Dallas Mavericks, my family and friends for encouraging me when I felt I wanted to give up, all 45+ of my past and present sisters I gained on Mom Crew. My two beautiful daughters for constantly challenging me to be a better human. My past and present dance parents for trusting me to mold and mentor their babies. Without the parents’ encouragement and loyalty, I would not be where I am today. Lastly, and most importantly, my mother for always encouraging me to create my own lane and pursue whatever it is I have a passion for.
Roy Brookshire Photography