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Graduate Spotlight: Jason Cameron


Jason Cameron is graduating with his associate in arts degree in dance with the highest honors from Hillsborough Community College this spring 2020 semester. He joined the HCC family in the fall of 2018 after taking some time off from his education. About 20 years to be candid. “If there is any advice I could give to others who may be scared to take the leap into going back to school, that would be to ‘just do it.’ There will always be a million excuses on why it is not the right time to go back to school, but you have to silence your inner saboteur and just take that one small step towards your future.”


In 1998, Jason graduated from his local high school. In 2000, he made the decision to leave his home of Boston, Massachusetts, and move to Tampa, Florida, to take a job as a performer at Busch Gardens. He had been dancing since the age of six and jumping into a performance career seemed like the perfect choice. He continued to dance professionally for over 16 years and found himself performing around the world and seeing over 40 countries. 


Eventually, he moved back to Boston to try and be “a real person,” he explained. “I wanted to see what my life was without dance and see what my other skills were. I tried out many jobs but realized quickly that I did need dance in my life and that I needed a formal college dance education.” 


After his husband was offered a teaching position at the University of South Florida, Jason moved back to Tampa in 2018. That fall, he decided to continue his education at Hillsborough Community College. “I chose HCC for a couple of reasons. First off, I wasn’t a very good high school student, and I knew it was going to be a great transition back into my education because I knew I could take it at my own pace. Secondly, it was truly for the staff. To be honest, I am floored at the professionalism of HCC. There was never a second choice.”


Throughout his two years in the dance program, Jason has performed four times at the Ybor City Campus Mainstage Theatre as part of the program’s annual showcase, held either in the fall or spring. He has also performed at the 2019 Presidential Showcase, and his favorite performance has been at the College’s 50-year celebration. He has enjoyed working with the HCC dance faculty and bringing their choreography to life on the stage, specifically Christina Acosta.  


“Professor Christina Acosta, the head of the dance department, has given me so many tools to go out into the world. She has been such a godsend, and she’s been a really big impact in my life. I am forever grateful and indebted to her for her guidance through the program.” 


Despite having a background in tap, jazz, and primarily ballet, Jason fell in love with modern dance at HCC and plans to make the form his focus moving forward. Jason’s higher education journey isn’t over, and he plans to continue learning until he reaches his goal of becoming a dance educator at the collegiate level. 


In the fall of 2020, he will be transferring into the College of Arts and Letters at the University of Tampa and will pursue his bachelor of arts degree with a major in dance and minor in public relations and advertising. In the future, he plans to pursue a master’s degree in dance. 


“Going back to school at an older age has meant everything to me. I wanted to prove to myself that I wasn’t the sullen teenager I was back in high school, and that if you truly apply yourself to the best of your abilities that, in fact, hard work will pay off. The past two years at HCC have changed the way I viewed education, and I realized that it truly isn’t as scary as I thought it to be. For someone who is perpetually scared of the unknown, this process was the most liberating and freeing experience that I could have ever dreamed of.”

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