Cameron Mitchell chats to DanceLife

Cameron Mitchell

From humble beginnings in Adelaide, Cameron Mitchell has become one of Australia’s most versatile choreographers and has been the Artistic Director of Sydney’s Brent Street Studios for a number of years.
Cameron acted as personal choreographer for musical theatre star Caroline O’Connor and was resident choreographer for the Nine Network’s award winning Hi-5 for 6 seasons. Cameron also created choreography for numerous artists and corporates including Sony Music, Warner Music, Festival Records, Kelly Rowland, Natalie Bassingthwaite and many more.
Cameron has choreographed a some pieces on the current season of So You Think You Can Dance and is very proud of the talent he has helped coach to become some of Australia’s top dancers represented on the show.
We caught up with Cameron to find out his thoughts on this year’s season of So You Think and find out a bit more about his career in general …

What is your opinion of the dancers you’ve seen this series?
I think this year they are the most all-rounded dancers that they have ever had. There is more dancers this year that specialise in more than one style. I feel these dancers are able to be more versatile than in previous series overall.
Do you think that is a reflection of the dance industry in Australia from a training point of view?
I hope so! I hope that we’re all teaching that dancers need to be more versatile and that that’s getting through. Hopefully this is a reflection on the training received and the knowledge that has been given.
The boys have been very strong this year…
Yes…Very! For one, Michael, with his solos … you can just imagine me, screaming out loud!!!
What would you say your favorite genre of dance or forte is?
Definitely Jazz and Musical Theatre! I started as a child in Musical Theatre and went on to do musicals – West Side Story … Chicago … and basically I just fell into everything… Choreographically as well! I gained the connection with Caroline O’Connor through those shows and she then had me choreographing for her. From there people just started to get to know who I was. I started working for a lot of artists for record labels and a lot of commercials as well. I started teaching at Brent Street when I was 19. I was constantly working as a professional and choreographing.
Constantly working as a professional …  do you think that has brought a lot back to your students?
Definitely… maintaining your currency is so important! You can’t just go off what you’ve learnt when you were 19 or 20, you have to constantly learn your entire career. I think that has aided in my longevity. I am always watching what is current and keeping up to date with it… it is just as important as going to the theatre for me.
What draws you to Musical Theatre, what makes you love it?
Musical theatre wraps every part of performing in a bow. Ever since I was young for the first time seeing The Sound of Music, to my first stage production, I just knew that that was what I wanted to do! I said this to my Mum and the next year I was in my first professional show. I always felt it was something I was naturally inclined to do.
What do you think that SYTYCD does for the dance industry?
It rejuvenates our industry and the whole dance community! I get so proud of the contestants – especially the ones I know or have taught!