Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-06-20
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Eddy Ocampo's Dance Fever
by Ross Forman
2007-11-21

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


Eddy Ocampo attended his 20-year reunion from Argo Community High School in September and easily was named the Most Changed.

At Argo, located in south suburban Summit, Ocampo was a 5Ɖ' 200-pounder. He liked break-dancing back in the day and now admits, 'Even as big as I was, I learned how to spin on my back.'

Now 38, Ocampo is the picture of athleticism, a 5Ǝ' 150-pounder with, oh, less than five percent body-fat. Oh yeah, he's still dancing, just to more hip styles.

In fact, he's developed into an exceptional professional dancer who now is an award-winning choreographer and master teacher of the art. Just consider Ocampo's resume:

— Won the Dance Chicago 2004 Outstanding Choreography Award.

— Won the 2005 Cliff Dwellers Arts Foundation Outstanding Choreographer Award.

— Inducted into the Filipino Hall of Fame in 2005 for his work as a dance teacher.

— Won the Leo's International Choreography Event at the Harris Theatre this past August, selected from over 200 applicants worldwide.

— He will be working with several dance companies next spring, including the Houston Metropolitan Dance Company and Odyssey Dance Theatre in Salt Lake City.

— Won the Eisenhower Dance Ensemble National Choreography Competition in Detroit in July.

— He teaches locally at the Lou Conte Dance Studio and Visceral Dance Chicago.

'I guess I'm doing OK,' he said modestly. 'I never imagined that I'd be a professional dancer, nor that I would become a professional choreographer and a master teacher who people actually want to hire. It blows me away everyday and I'm grateful for it, especially in a difficult industry.'

Dance was not his initial interest. He was accepted into medical school after graduating from the University of Illinois-Chicago back in 1993, but that's when his dance career kicked off.

Ocampo actually started dancing in college, in a course called Modern Dance. 'I thought it [ would be ] like the dancing in the clubs and thought it would be fun. But it was totally not what I thought it was going to be,' he said.

Ocampo had a teacher at UIC who pushed him toward dance because she saw the talent he possessed.

'Dancing, I think, was my destiny. It was like the shoe that fit,' he said. 'But dancing was difficult at first; I had to persevere.'

His first professional gig was with the Augusta Opera, then in a musical at the Drury Lane Theatre in Oak Brook. 'I remember thinking, 'Man, we get paid to do this,'' Ocampo said.

He eventually started an apprenticeship at the River North Chicago Dance Company, then landed at the Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago.

Ocampo danced for Giordano for seven years before retiring in 2003, and then moving into full-time choreography and teaching.

'I definitely have some fond memories [ of my dance career ] . I had some great, great stuff happen,' he said. Being a professional dancer, 'is a hard life, but a very fulfilling one. There's not a lot of money in dance and no one expects to be in it for the rest of their lives because, well, it's difficult to make a living at it.

'But it's a lot of fun.'

Ocampo, who was born and raised in Chicago and now lives in Lakeview, has been an independent teacher and choreographer for the past four years.

'I have done some really great stuff in my short independent choreography career, so I'm not complaining,' he said. 'I do enjoy it, though it can be stressful at times.'

Ocampo is an integral part of Dance Chicago 2007, running Nov. 2- Dec. 2 at the Athenaeum Theatre ( 2936 N. Southport Ave. ) . He'll be a choreographer for the event and also return to his roots—as a dancer.

'Dance Chicago is a venue for me to create new work,' he said.

Ocampo teaches dance at the Forum Jazz Dance Theatre in northwest suburban Libertyville, where he has been for eight of the company's 10 years. The group recently performed at the University of Arizona—and Ocampo was the choreographer for the gig.

Ocampo, who is gay and single after a 14-year relationship, said dance 'definitely has a high percentage of gay men in the industry.'

'I think you have to be really in touch with your feminine side to be a dancer, though some might disagree with me on that,' he said.

Getting To Know … Eddy Ocampo

Age: 38. Hometown: Chicago ( Lakeview ) .

Also has lived in: Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Ocampo on the popular dancing TV shows, such as Dancing With Stars: 'I like them. They have really elevated dance in this country.'

In the future: 'I want to create a huge body of work, and then disappear and never be seen from again.'

On losing about 50 pounds and sculpting his physique: 'The dancing really helps. Plus, when you have to wear shiny lycra on stage, you learn how to drop the weight because shiny lycra doesn't lie.'


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Dance for Life 2018 names companies 2018-06-20
DIFFA/Chicago marks 30th anniversary 2018-06-14
Disco documentary to screen June 15 2018-06-12
Queen! show with CeCe Peniston, Dajae June 22 2018-06-12
Back Lot Bash, fifteen years and still going strong 2018-06-12
National Museum of Mexican Art hosts annual queer prom 2018-06-06
DANCIN' FEATS Nora Sharp on their work, 'Small Boobs' 2018-05-30
Chi-Town Squares marks 30 years with party, award ceremony 2018-05-30
Theater Spotlight on Don Quixote 2018-05-16
SUMMER DANCE SPECIAL Unusual offerings heat up summer 2018-05-16
Obama-era guidance protecting safety of transgender prisoners now rolled back 2018-05-12
Chicago House celebrates springtime with 'Revive' 2018-05-09
Wonka Ball on May 11 at MBC 2018-05-09
Wonka Ball on May 11 at MBC 2018-05-02
Bridge Dance Festival through May 6 2018-04-25
DANCE PROFILE Getting to know Lucky Plush dancer Aaron-Raheim White 2018-04-18
Bridge Dance Festival through May 6 2018-04-18
Wonka Ball, Saturday Night Live: The Experience, May 11 2018-04-16
Artemis Pride More Than Music concert, dance June 9 2018-04-15
Queer dance series through June 17 2018-04-11
'Bolder Than Out' features variety show, panel discussion 2018-04-11
ALMA winter salsa has dancing, awards 2018-04-04
'Bolder Than Out' ball April 6 2018-04-04
'Make Out Party' events March 30-31 2018-03-28
DANCIN' FEATS Talking with performer Okwui Okpokwasili 2018-03-28
ALMA's 'Winter Salsa' March 23 2018-03-20
SPRING DANCE PREVIEW Women lead the pack this dance season 2018-03-20
Queer dance series March 18-June 17 2018-03-14
Wonka Ball on May 11 at MBC 2018-03-14
Joffrey Ballet receivea $1 million grant from Alphawood Foundation 2018-03-08
NUNN ON ONE MUSIC Jennifer Higdon's full 'Dance Card' 2018-03-07
DANCIN' FEATS Sharp and still with Lin Hwai-min 2018-02-21
CFW's Women's Day Dance on March 3 2018-02-21
DANCE REVIEW Modern Masters 2018-02-14
The Joffrey Ballet Announces 2018-19 Season 2018-02-12
Queer Dance Party for #UptownTentCity, LGBTQIAs dance to support Uptown neighbors 2018-02-10
The Vagina Melodies, feminist/LGBTQ issues in song and dance Feb. 18, 25 2018-01-30
Joffrey's 'Modern Masters' Feb. 7-18 2018-01-17
WINTER DANCE SPECIAL Contemporary dance, ballet and much more 2018-01-16
500,000+ LGBTs on Medicaid face uncertainty due to HHS guidance on work requirements 2018-01-12
 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Submit an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.