This post was originally published on Dallas Weekly

By Catrina Satterwhite

There are all types of artists. An artist doesn’t just apply to music, painters, or singers. Dance is another major art form in itself, and I feel like we don’t see enough of it. I had the pleasure of speaking with Eleni Loving, a native of Dallas who will be making her Texas debut with Gibney Dance Company.

Loving was raised in Dallas, attending Dallas Black Dance Academy and then Booker T. Washington High School of the Performing and Visual Arts. She returned to show her village of supporters everything that she has learned over the years.

“It’s kind of weird, honestly, because the trips between DFW, Love Field, and La Guardia, I’ve made that trip so many times through my school years, and to be now at this stage of my life with this wonderful group of people making my debut, it almost feels like a merging of my two worlds,” Loving says. “It’s amazing because I spent all of my childhood in Dallas. I have my village from Booker T. Washington and Dallas Black Theater and even my church family. I just have a large village here. It’s a bit nerve-wracking because I still feel new. I want to make them proud. I feel really good about it. I’m glad I’m able to share where I am now and who I’ve become.”

Eleni Loving (Photograph courtesy of Gibney Dance Company)

Loving has achieved so much already in dance, including being nominated by the Julliard School for the 2022 Princess Grace Honoraria, which supports extraordinary emerging artists in theater, dance, and film through career-advancing grants. She was also named the 2018 YoungArts finalist in Modern/Contemporary Dance.

Dance has been a part of Loving’s life since the young age of five. Whenever the television was on, she would love to dance to some of its tunes. She feels that though dance takes a specific type of regimen to learn, and most of these things have come naturally to her along with hard work.

After high school, Loving studied with Mejia Ballet International, Geralyn Del Corso Garner, and in summer programs including the Dance Theater of Harlem, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Arts of Umbrella, and the B12 festival in Berlin. She has had a multitude of training in her chosen field.

I’m glad I’m able to share where I am now and who I’ve become.

Eleni loving

While being in New York for her summer programs, Loving feels that she got a lot of cultural experiences because it’s such a huge melting pot, but also believes Dallas offers a cultural experience as well. She’s had the opportunity to meet several people who have influenced her journey.

“The beautiful thing about New York is that people come in and out all the time so it’s rare that someone leaves forever, “ Loving says.

She has also worked with esteemed choreographers such as Ohad Naharin, Justin Peck, Shamel Pitts, and Francesca Harper.

“Francesca Harper is a dancer and amazing educator and choreographer. She’s now the artistic director of Ailey II. She has taught me so much and she is someone I want to emulate,” Loving says. “Also, Shamel Pitts, a Brooklyn native, and based artist. I’ve learned a lot from him. He is someone who I’ve found a lot of expansion in my mind and spirit while working with him.”

Loving feels that she is indeed living in her purpose and passion and on the right path, which is a great place to be.

“In five years, hopefully, I have done some traveling around the world. I’d like to have done some and to continue meeting artists around the world that really speak to me,” Loving says. “I want to keep an open mind because there are so many possibilities.”

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