Dancer's Corner

Learn About the Artists in Ballet Hispánico's Company

Simone Cameresi

Born in Grottaglie, Italy; Raised in Anaheim Hills, California

Joined BH in 2019

What experience, mentor, or teacher supported your passion?

My parents have always been the biggest supporters of my passion. Growing up, they did everything they possibly could to help me succeed. After school they would drive me back and forth between a ballet studio and my competition studio to make sure I was well-rounded and got all the training I needed. My mom stayed up countless nights working on my costumes and even helped me homeschool so I could travel and get more training during the day. They pushed me to stay committed because they saw how much potential I had. They have always believed in me, I would not be where I am without all the hard work, and sacrifices they have made to help me pursue my passion.

When did you first know you wanted to dance?

The first time it really clicked for me just how much I loved and wanted to dance was when I was around nine years old. I was so shy when I was younger and performing solos at competitions gave me such bad stage fright. I would cry and beg not to go on stage. During one of my performances, I finally let go of my fears and really tried to be in the moment. I ended up getting so lost in the music and the story of the piece that I started crying because of how deeply connected I felt to dance. Everything about it was so beautiful, especially how sincerely you could feel emotion and express it to others. I knew then that all I wanted to do was perform.

When and where was your first or favorite performance?

My first performance with the company was in Israel and it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I had the chance to perform Carmen.maquia, a brilliant and captivating ballet, that filled my heart with so much joy. The piece required a lot of acting, which was nerve-racking at times, but when I got up on that stage it felt so rewarding and humbling to know that that opportunity was what I trained my whole life for. As for one of my favorite performances, it would have to be the last one we did before the pandemic hit. I was in Southern California, just thirty minutes away from my hometown, and I got to perform a solo in one of my most favorite pieces, 18+1, with my family and friends in the audience. It was such a special moment that again reminded me of my love for dance and how far I’ve come.

Why did you choose to come to Ballet Hispánico?

I chose to come to Ballet Hispánico after seeing the company perform Con Brazos Abiertos at New York City Center’s Fall for Dance festival. I fell in love with the way they told a story and how they showed the beauty of embracing one’s culture and identity. It was more than just a dance, it was real life and an important message for people to hear. Ballet Hispánico touched my soul that night and from then on I knew that one day I wanted to be up there with them, touching people’s lives through the art of dance.

How do you see dance progressing as an art form and what impact do you feel you or your generation of dancers will have on the field of dance?

Dance is progressing as it finds new ways to adapt and flourish during this pandemic. It is becoming more accessible to people all over as classes are being taught online, performances are streaming for free, and dancers are trying to find new ways to connect with their audience. Dance is not exclusive to a certain social class anymore, it is for everyone and it is making the world realize just how important and fundamental the arts are.

Simone Cameresi


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