About

DEBORAH CAMERON
A.R.A.D Teachers Diploma RTS

Mentor for the The Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies (CBTS)
A coach to teachers, professional dancers, as well as younger students here in the province of British Columbia, who is honoured to share the knowledge and passion of  “Teaching a Love of dance that lasts a lifetime“.
Professional Teaching

1988 – to Present Founder and owner of Cameron Academy of Classical Dance in Langley, BC Canada with training specializing in classical ballet technique. Fully registered and accredited Associate Member of the Royal Academy of Dance, London, England and holds teacher’s diplomas in Children and Pre-professional teaching syllabus attaining Highly commended marks in these examinations. Graduate students are now performing and teaching internationally in many idioms of dance.

1970 – 1988 Former graduate and faculty member of Canadian Dance World Studios.

1971 – 1976 Faculty at Dorothy Hunter’s Lynn Valley School of Dance

1971 – 1973 Teacher for Delta Parks and Recreation

Professional training

Trained at Canadian Dance World studios, under the tutelage of Josephine Slater A.R.A.D. A.T.C., Ellen Andrews A.R.A.D. A.T.C. and Norbert Vesak. During training prepared and completed all of the RAD ballet examinations in children’s work and Major syllabus. High Marks were attained in all examinations with a Highly commended award in final examination level of Advanced. Extensive training continued in ballet and contemporary/modern dance with  internationally renowned teachers in Canada and USA  included working with Norbert Vesak, Albert Reid, Norman Walker  in Horton, Limon, Graham and other methods. Received full scholarship studies 1972 – 1974 in Ballet, Modern/Contemporary, East Indian, Jazz and Spanish at Jacob’s Pillow, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Became an assistant teacher in 1965, and opened the Langley studio of Canadian Dance World in 1970. As a  faculty member and co-owner of Canadian Dance World studios taught ballet and contemporary classes. Received the award of Associate of the Royal Academy of Dancing in 1973 for accomplishments in Advanced examination levels.

History of Canadian Dance World Studios: Founded by Josephine Slater A.R.A.D. A.T.C. included co-owners Ellen Andrews A.R.A.D. A.T.C., Norbert Vesak and later Deborah Cameron.

Josephine Slater A.R.A.D. A.T.C. (d 1995 in New Westminster, BC.) was a pioneering dance teacher for the RAD in BC and founder of Lynden Studio of Dance later renamed Canadian Dance World Studios. Through her tutelage her students went on to become respected dancers and teachers throughout North America and Europe.

Ellen Andrews A.R.A.D. A.T.C. faculty member of Lynden Studios and co-owner of Canadian Dance World, became one of Canada’s first dual examiner for the Royal Academy of Dance from Canada. Her students continue to become teachers and dancers throughout the world.  She is currently teaching at Linda Jamieson School of Dance in Kanata Ontario.

Norbert Vesak [(b at Port Moody, BC 22 Oct 1936; d at Charlotte, North Carolina 1990) was discovered by Josephine Slater at a local festival, and under her tutelage became both a co-owner of Canadian Dance World and also Resident choreographer at VANCOUVER PLAYHOUSE Theatre in 1964 before founding Western Dance Theatre (1969-71) in Vancouver; official choreographer for the ROYAL WINNIPEG BALLET in the 1970s creating- The Ecstasy of Rita Joe (1971), What to Do Till the Messiah Comes (1973), whose “Belong” pas de deux was Evelyn Hart’s signature piece which won a gold medal for choreography at the Varna International Ballet Competition in 1980, then directed the Metropolitan and San Francisco Opera ballets while creating dances for many companies in Europe and the US.

Professional performances Performed with Vivaldi Concert Dancers, Pillow Dancers, and Ballet Horizons. Commenced Professional Teaching career in 1970.

Life lessons set to music

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She hadn’t been walking for too many years before the dance bug sunk its teeth into Deborah Cameron.nd well before she hit her teens, she’d mapped out a career path that would allow her to follow her passion for decades to come.“I was nine when I decided I was going to teach dance,” said the Langley woman, who in 2011 is marking 40 years as a ballet and modern dance instructor.

Even at such a tender age, the choice was clear. That is to say, there wasn’t really a choice at all.“I loved the dancing, but I also enjoyed the process of passing along (the knowledge),” she said. Although she’d already been helping out beginning dancers for years, Cameron registered her first official student shortly before her 17th birthday and never looked back.

“At 16, I got the opportunity to take over the classes of a teacher who was leaving,” she explained.Only one of that teacher’s students signed up for her class, so Cameron advertised again and ended up with 11 students in her first session in a rented room at the old Odd Fellows Hall on Eastleigh Crescent.Four decades later, she can picture many of her charges’ faces, but can’t say exactly how many students have come and gone over the years.

“I’m not a numbers counter. I remember the individual personalities,” she said.And they, it seems, remember her, too.Last year, that very first student who signed up for the 16-year-old teacher’s class, walked through the doors of Cameron Academy of Classical Dance in Willoughby, to sign up her home-stay student.

Cameron had opened her own studio in 1988 after starting her teaching career at Ballet Horizons (which would eventually become Ballet B.C.). She spent three summers on scholarship at Jacob’s Pillow — a dance academy in Becket, Mass. where she was introduced to a range of dance styles, from Indian to tap to jazz.

“I got a chance to be involved in genres I wouldn’t have been in Vancouver,” she said.The foundation of ballet hasn’t changed since the reign of Louis XIV, but while the basics have remained, there have been a few modifications, she noted.Over 40 years, Cameron has seen the incorporation of modern dance into ballet and adapted her teaching techniques to reflect the latest information available in the science of kinesiology.

“I love teaching, I love the interaction, giving what I can to them.”

“I don’t think the passion has diminished.” The body, on the other hand …“I see a massage therapist regularly now,” she said.
“As you get older, it’s hard to jump as high as you once did, and that’s a bit sad,” she laughs. In 2000, as she was demonstrating a move, she landed badly, tearing all the ligaments in one ankle and breaking a toe.

But the teacher has no regrets about the path she’s taken.Having her own home studio allowed her to be there to put her two children to bed every night. It also gave them the opportunity to watch their mom doing what she loved — an experience that shaped each of them in its own way.

Her daughter Kelly, 20, is studying to become a dance teacher. Imitation may be sincerest form of flattery, but another one of the highest compliments she’s received came from her son, Scott. Now 27, he danced from the time he was four until he was 10 or 11, she said. He once thanked her for teaching him to dance because it helped him to be co-ordinated in both life and in sports. “That’s nice — especially from a boy,” she said.

Many of Cameron’s former students have carried on dancing, while others have used the skills they developed in her class to become more well-rounded people, she said. Among them — “Respect for the art form, respect for music and for your teacher.“You learn self-discipline and that you can achieve more than you expect,” she said.Dance also teaches empathy, Cameron believes. “Watching others struggle and, when they get it, the joy that comes.

“What we learn, we take into the world.”