January 8, 2019 Artist to Watch: Infiniti Eaglin
Moving through the World of Dance
Infiniti Eaglin is a wonderful example of all the great resources in Baton Rouge, distilled into one person who was able to take full advantage of the programming available in our community. Raised in Baton Rouge, and interested in dance early in life, Infiniti has been able to develop her craft and move around the country doing what she loves. We got a chance to catch up with her over the holiday while she was back in town.
Q: Were you always interested in dance?
A: I always enjoyed dancing in school, but I wasn’t always interested in dance as a career. I first danced with Ms. Pinkie Windsor with the Excel Dance Company Structure Program when I was really young, and I was on the dance troupe at Baton Rouge Center for Visual and Performing Arts. I also danced at McKinley Middle Academic Magnet with Ms. Robbye Thomas, but it wasn’t until high school that dance became something I was considered good at and wanted to spend extra time doing. I joined a competitive dance team under the direction of Avery Wilson and enrolled in Ballet at Baton Rouge High with Ms. Sharon Mathews. My junior year of high school was when I decided to really train in dance because I wanted to do more with it. I started attending classes outside of school at Dancers’ Workshop and with great dance mentors in the community like Avery Wilson and Renee Chatelain. I also started attending Summer and Winter Dance intensives that year. Spending between one and four weeks taking dance classes all day, every day, twice a year in cities like Dallas, Jacksonville, Atlanta, New York City and Salt Lake City really exposed me to the dance world and the amount of work it takes to train to become a concert dancer. At the end of my senior year of high school, after about a year and a half of training, I decided I’d really love to dance as a career. I auditioned for the University Of Oklahoma School Of Dance, and was accepted.
Q: What kind of training do you have?
A: Most of my training is in modern dance but I also have some ballet. I was a modern dance major at OU, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. I trained in traditional modern techniques everyday and rehearsed modern and contemporary choreography for our Contemporary Dance Oklahoma (OU’s modern dance company) production each year. I also took a ballet technique class every semester and at every intensive. I even had the opportunity to study modern dance and ballet in Barcelona, Spain for a month during my junior year in college, as well as travel to Beijing, China to train and perform in the International Creative Dance Festival at Beijing Normal University where we performed some contemporary work.
Q: What do you think of the opportunities here in Baton Rouge?
A: I think Baton Rouge has wonderful opportunities! My access to dance in school and the encouragement I received from my teachers to seek other opportunities in the community really sparked my interest and started my passion for the art form. I was able to dance in Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre’s Nutcracker one year and perform on the wonderful River Center stage. I was also casted as a featured dancer in many New Venture Theatre productions, such as “The Wiz”, “Dreamgirls”, “The Color Purple” and many more. I even took advantage of the Debbie Allen Residencies that would come to Baton Rouge and danced in the show created to honor the life of former Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge CEO, Derek Gordon, “Derek’s Song: Here’s to Life”. I was also exposed to professional dance companies, both local and touring , such as Of Moving Colors of Baton Rouge, Ailey II from New York and Rirey Woodbury from Salt Lake City. All of these amazing opportunities in Baton Rouge helped to shape the dancer that I am now and I feel so blessed to have parents that supported me and encouraged me to attend every class, show and audition.
Q: Where are you dancing now?
A: I’m currently dancing in New York City as freelance artist. I recently finished one of my first projects in the city with a company called Born Dancing; a non-profit organization focused on creating work with both disabled and able-bodied dancers. It was an incredible experience that blessed me with the opportunity to dance with some amazing dancers that wouldn’t have the opportunity to perform if not for “Born Dancing”. I’m also working with the “Elevate” division of the Seattle based company “SDPrism” in NY under the direction of Sonia Dawkins. The company finished out this past season with a piece at the Koresh Dance Festival in Philidelphia, PA.
Q: Where can people see your work online and in person?
A: Footage of the last show I was in is posted on the Born Dancing Facebook page. I also have a dance reel on Vimeo that anyone can check out below.