Utahn returns home a Disney princess
Kausha Campbell did not grow up expecting to be a princess. Even a Disney princess.
"Oh, no. I definitely did not see that in my future," said the Lehi native, who was cast as Princess Sofia in "Disney Junior Live: Pirate and Princess Adventure." The national company will perform two Salt Lake City shows on Saturday at Energy Solutions Arena.
"When they said, 'You're going to be a princess,' I said, 'What?' " said Campbell, who sort of "blurred over it" when the casting director told her she'd gotten one of the lead roles.
"I just thought I was a background dancer," she said. "It didn't even click until the second time I talked to her. I was asking what other roles I would have understudy roles. And she said, 'No, you're Sofia. You're the main character. You have a lot on your plate.'
"It finally hit me and it was pretty overwhelming."
Campbell has been dancing since she was 3. She took classes at the Hot Shots Dance Studio in Pleasant Grove. She danced at Lehi High School and was a dance major at Utah Valley University for two years before auditioning for Disney as somewhat of a lark.
"Disney Junior Live" is based on characters from shows on the Disney Junior cable channel: "Sofia the First" and "Jake and the Never Land Pirates." It's aimed at the preschool set (and their parents), who get to interact with the singing, dancing cast as they act out adventures.
Campbell said it's a thrill to interact with the youngsters who are so excited to meet the characters.
"Thinking back to the times I went to Disneyland, being able to meet the princesses was so magical," she said. "Now that I get to be on the other side, it's unbelievable. It's definitely a humbling experience.
"There's the little girls who are so happy and they're asking every question they can possibly think of. And then there's the other ones who are screaming and don't want to see me," she said with a laugh. "There's all sorts."
As for Campbell, she is particularly excited to perform in front of her Utah friends and family.
"I can't wait," she said. "I am so excited. It's my hometown or, at least, close to my hometown."
'Disney Junior Live' On Tour
When • Saturday, Sept. 7, at 1 and 4 p.m.
Where • EnergySolutions Arena, 301 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City
Tickets: $20-$50 at the box office; at smithstix.com and all Smith's Tix locations; or by calling 1-800-888-TIXX