Dancing is one of our culture’s most notoriously glamorous professions.
We associate it with life in the fast lane: with private jets and high-end nightclubs and roses between clenched teeth. Grace, fluid hand gestures and the ability to glide across long expanses of floor in precariously high heels… All of these attributes we ascribe to a chic, enchanting, balance of independence and allure.
Camilla Hippee ’13 is a dancer.
Beginning at the age of five, the junior at West has been involved in ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, modern and pointe.
“[Ballet is] very elegant and beautiful. It’s really not easy to do and I admire dancers who can make it look effortless. Jazz is almost the opposite. . . it’s about entertainment for the audience and having fun while you dance. . . Doing both gives me a good balance and versatility,” said Hippee.
In addition to involvement with Beauty and the Beast as Babette, Don Quixote as Kitri, Swan Lake and Raymonda, Hippee has participated in summer intensive programs with the Houston and Royal Winnipeg Ballets. She has also played the roles of the Sugarplum Fairy and Chinese Dancer in multiple performances of The Nutcracker, by no means is she jaded by her numerous accomplishments.
Her journey has been a long one.
About a year ago Hippee nearly quit dancing.
“I began to feel stuck. . . I forgot that I loved to dance,” she said.
The stress of homework and rehearsal was a strain that made her craft feel more like an obligation and less of a privilege for leotard-clad children. Only after a teacher reminded her that dancing brought joy not only to her, but to those around her, was Hippee able to fall in love with her creative outlet again
Performance skills, confidence and poise are traits that Hippee has drawn directly from her experience with dance, and because of these things, opportunities have made themselves available to the talented dancer.
“I have been so lucky… [I have] met many incredible dancers and I have worked with renowned choreographers and instructors. Most of all I have made wonderful friends through all of my dancing experiences,” she said.
Hippee intends to continue dancing in college, but not professionally. Dance will remain a stress-relieving addendum to her busy schedule.
“Now, I dance because I love it and for no other reason,” she said.