We had the good fortune of connecting with Camryn Eakes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Camryn, how do you think about risk?
I learn the most from taking risks and, in turn, I love forcing my brain outside its defaults. And, Pertaining to dance and choreography, a lot of what risk does for me is show me how or how not to achieve what I am going for. I’ve been greatly disappointed in myself after taking risks, but accepting that choice and moving on to your next venture is THE process. It’s part of my journey as an artist, and maybe the hardest part. Risks keep my life and career vibrant, and they keep me curious. Asking myself if I want to take a chance on something new is one of the first things I do when starting on a project. Being a dancer my whole life, I’ve learned to make choices on the spot and on stage, but through that I’ve learned that the choices that are “risky” are the most fun choices. I think feeding my passion and everyday routine with risk makes me more curious and more open–wondering what else is there for me to explore. With working with artists in music video and live performance realms, I want to make movement and visuals that are specific to them, so not all movement for every artist I work with will ever look the same. Taking chances on ideas makes those collaborations and outcomes richer and more intersectional.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My work as a dancer and choreographer changes everyday as I’m influenced by people, other art, current events and experiences. What sets me apart as of late, I’d say is my combination of contemporary styles, tap, and hiphop. I’ve been playing with making the most intersectional work to me and that seems like the most fitting combination of styles at the moment. I’m super proud with the chameleon I am becoming, specifically in Covid. I’ve been asked to do jobs that I’ve never done before whether it’s directing camera movements and creating music video sets, alongside movement directing, choreographing and dancing. It’s been a great year of trying new things as a creative and remembering that humans have infinite potential. These new things that are coming to me are, no doubt, a learning curve every time, but I take what I learn and apply it next time. Doing one thing for the rest of my life is not at all what I envision for myself. During this time, I’ve proven the saying ‘every thing affects every thing’. One of the biggest lessons I’ve ever learned is ‘go with your gut’. In a discussion at the Capezio Ace Awards in 2018, legendary dancer and choreographer Wade Robson was talking about how humans are taught to go against their intuition to do the ‘smart’ thing, but that concept has leaked into too many parts of life, scaring us from following our intuition… even the small things. That’s not to say that there aren’t things that you know you shouldn’t do because you will hurt yourself, someone else, etc. but as a creative, this really resonates. Essentially, he’s stating that this concept limits our imagination and creativity. My mom has also reiterated this idea to me since I was little.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I wouldn’t be where I am today without so many people. My family believes in and supports me in everything I decide to do. My mom and dad supply me with guidance and inspiration daily, as they are both artists and understand the path. My dance teachers growing up Abbie Naber and Wendy Moore really invested time in helping me develop technique and a voice in tap, jazz and contemporary dance that I still draw from to this day. I also would be without so many friends, teachings and connections if it weren’t for my time with Justin Giles at SoulEscape. Justin also invested time in me and gave me my first industry experiences as an apprentice to his company for a year. His teachings are also with me everyday. And, a shoutout to Roald Dahl, Dr. Seuss and Tim Burton for being three of the weird ones out there that made it to the mainstream… my childhood was greatly impacted by your characters, words and the universes you created.
Seannie Bryan “Marble Man” Dir. Pearl Amanda Dickson “Echalo Pa Ca” by Sofia Reyes “Crush On You” by HARLOE Dir. Tyler Cunningham “Volveras” by Carmen De Leon Dir. Tyler Cunningham