We had the good fortune of connecting with Eugenia Rodriguez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Eugenia, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
My name is Eugenia Rodriguez, I am 25 years old and I was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico. I have danced since the age of 2, and still continue to do so now as a professional dancer, choreographer, and educator in Los Angeles, CA. Out of all things I can say that my experiences, the people I’ve connected with, the exposure to cultures around the world and my rooted ambition have been the ingredients to take me where I am today. Having lived in Mexico for the first 17 years of my life and then moved to California to continue pursuing my dream through college, lead me to face some very life-changing realizations, challenges and growth periods. My upbringing and back-round gave me the muscles to be resilient through these processes and always feel a strong drive to keep going.

I truly believe that we are all shaped and formed by how we interact and adapt to our environment. The opportunities and experiences usually derive from the resources, people and exposure close to us. I am no exception. Growing up, in Monterrey my mom decided to put me into dance classes because it was simply 3 blocks away from my house. It was convenient and I loved it. Sixteen years later I continued to fall in love with this art form and decided to embark on the journey to make it a professional career. Even though there are abundant opportunities to train as a younger dancer in Mexico, there are only a couple of options to study it at a University and selective opportunities in the dance industry. But as I continued to train at my dance studio, I had the chance to travel to America attending big dance conventions. These events exposed me to levels of dance that I couldn’t fathom. Every time going back home, my goal was to attain that level of technique and artistry from America. My daily hard work was fueled by the big gap that I observed between me and those dancers. I always felt like I had to go the extra mile because I was so far, a behavior that has stayed with me and till this day keeps me aiming for the stars and putting the hours to achieve it.

In terms of location, there is an embedded and undeniable culture of hard work in Mexico. Not ever do you see a Mexican not working, selling, trading, or moving. In a third-world country where 126.2 million people live you have to work for your benefits and opportunities, specially in the arts. This is a model that was close to me via my parents. With a Montessori education and at home, growing up they taught me by example the practice and definition of creating your own opportunities. Also in Mexico, the value of family is extremely present in the work culture and family itself. Something that today is crucial to any work environment that I get to lead or contribute to, we all work as a team.

After having the life changing opportunity to move to Los Angeles to further my career in dance. There was a crucial moment of adaptation into the culture. It was a change in language and environment. As Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk says, “As many languages you know, as many times you are a human being”. To me, language is one of the most prevalent lenses that filters how we see the world. It is how we understand origins, descriptions, dictates how much or how less we conceptualize things, among many other behaviors. So knowing Spanish and English seemed only like a struggle at first, but then I started to realize how much insight and perspective it was giving me in my work and life. Living in a different country and having to familiarize myself with two cultures while staying true to me, pushed me to mature, grow, fight and feel grateful constantly. I am able to draw from different parts of history, understand people, and communicate more clearly thanks to these two languages and cultures. At the end of the day, the experiences we have fill our tool box to keep growing and overcoming.

Combining the fact that I wasn’t born in a mecca of dance like it is Los Angeles, New York, Miami, the desire to maximize my opportunities as a dancer and the developed discipline through training lead me to take risks. Through those, I’ve cultivated the ability to be tunnel visioned about my goals, to let go of perfection, remain determined, resilient, and be an overachiever. However, most importantly it has made me appreciate every opportunity and have the desire to multiply it.

Today I am still influenced by my upbringing every single day. I am passionate about broadening relationships with people in Mexico, America and the world. After being lucky enough to have seen so much of other cultures through traveling, learning about different religions, methods of education, and forms of living, I have realized that no matter where you are people are more similar than different. This has inspired me to believe that connection is infinite. It’s important to know that a home can be built anywhere if you bring your values and upbringing with you. As I recently started a a dance convention in Mexico (REVOLT), just like the ones that I would attend when I was younger, I hope to inspire someone to chase after their dreams just like they once did to me in those big ballrooms.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico where I trained and lived for the first 17 years of my life. In 2014, I had the opportunity to move to California to continue pursuing my dream of becoming a professional dancer and graduated in 2018 from Chapman University with a B.F.A in Dance Performance and Entrepreneurship and Anthropology Minors. Before graduating, I was invited to become a member of the LA based dance company Entity Contemporary Dance, directed by Will Johnston and Marissa Osato. It was a dream come true! In addition in 2018, I started to dance and tour with the latin pop artist Sofia Reyes. As time passed, I started to also choreograph and movement direct for Sofia. Some of my choreographic credits include Sofia’s music videos “Mal De Amores”, “A Tu Manera: Corbata”, “IDIOTA” and “Echalo Pa’Ca”. I’ve been so fortunate to work with many artists, choreographers and projects that include the Kids Choice Awards Mexico, Cirque Du Soleil, Becky G, Olivia Rodrigo, Paloma Mami, Ricky Martin, BANKS, Anitta, Nicole Ziniago, Julia Stone and Migrant Motel. In 2021, I created REVOLT Intensive, a dance convention that I now direct and teach in Mexico. In addition, I have worked for recognized dance conventions like Hollywood Vibe, Hollywood Dance Jamz, JUMP Dance Convention and West Coast Dance Explosion as a professional assistant. Throughout the years, I am very grateful to have presented original work, performed, and taught internationally in places like Cuba, India, Canada, Mexico, Singapore, Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong, as well as across the United States. I am incredibly passionate about cultivating a sense of curiosity and exploration both in my teaching and work. I believe it is the core of creativity and living a creative life.

All the credits mentioned above are important to me but they are just a result of other people believing in me, luck, coincidence, hard work and a part of a process. A combination of things creating a product. But what I am in love with is the long journey! No one’s journey is every easy, but I believe that when we learn most is from our mistakes, when we have to problem solve and recover. Success happens and it’s important soak it in and celebrate it but not to depend on it. No path is linear and it’s important to create a source of love and validation that comes from within. Dance is a career that is naturally self-centered, as we are our own business. However, I believe it’s possible and important to remain in the service of others and don’t forget to help and elevate the community as we keep moving. That is what helps me most grounded! I feel proud when I can present opportunities to others, this is something that I want to do more!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There are so many incredible places to visit in California!

DA1- We would start the day at Intelligentsia coffee and head down to Palos Verdes for a hike by the ocean and end the night at Cafe Stella (their bar and drinks are amazing :))

DAY 2-4- We would start a road trip to Carmel by the Sea, Santa Barbara and Big Sur. These are some of my most favorite places outside the city only a couple of hours away!

Day 5- Back in Los Angeles, definitely eating at Pine & Crane in Silverlake and going to Santa Monica to watch the sunset and have a picnic wine dinner at the beach

Day 6- Visit The Last Bookstore in Downtown, LA and have brunch at the NoMad hotel!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I truly believe that all people we meet are teachers of life. Those who stay forever, those who you are born with, strangers, short term relationships, etc. So I would like to dedicate this shout out to any person who I’ve spent time with having simple or long conversations of dialogue, movement or simply energy. My teachers from school, dance, and life are the ones who make me who I am.

Website: https://www.revoltintensive.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/eugeniardzp/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3xXjdDC2mE0JNwhcWq3NkA

Image Credits
Tania Todd, KT Madden, Camryn Eakes, Kristin Lewis

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.