How to Nail Your Next Dance Photoshoot
Is there anything better than a killer dance photoshoot? OF COURSE NOT! Whether you're taking headshots, model shots, or simply images that'll slay on Instagram, dance photography makes the world a prettier place.
To make sure your next dance photoshoot is as 🔥 as you are, we asked photographer Kenneth Edwards for his dos and don'ts. Follow his advice and your dance photography future will be as bright as your "golden hour" lighting.
On what to look for when choosing a photographer:
"Be picky about who you shoot with. Be wary of working with photographers who don't have experience shooting dance. Because I work with dancers all the time, I know how to look out for you and your technique. If you choose to shoot with a photographer who doesn't usually shoot dance—and who won't listen to you regarding what looks best—you may be misrepresented. Talk to the photographer about choosing your photos after."
Juliet Doherty (courtesy Edwards)
On creating the most photo-worthy poses:
"In the beginning, I encourage dancers to move around like they're alone in the studio," Edwards says. "Imagine that no one is watching and just move rather than strike poses. This will allow your photographer to catch natural movement. Then at the end of your shoot, ask your photographer if you can play with your greatest hits. Show them your best arabesque, your highest developpe a la seconde, or your most stunning jumps. Ask to shoot what you know you do well so you can come out of it feeling like you got what you needed from the experience and have a variety of great images."
Daphne Fernberger (courtesy Edwards)
On how to vibe with your photographer:
"Don't direct the photoshoot yourself," Edwards says. "You should treat it as a collaboration. Don't walk into it barking orders or telling them to reproduce a photo you saw on Instagram. It's better to work with an open mind and create something together."
Mikaela Kelly (courtesy Kenneth Edwards)
On what to wear to a photoshoot:
"Don't wear clothes you can't move properly in, even if they achieve the aesthetic you're looking for," Edwards says. "Think about how your clothes will look in a photo as you pick them out. Make sure whatever you wear shows your lines. If you're looking to get a shot with a lot of movement, consider wearing a flowing skirt to enhance the look of the photograph. Also, don't wear brand-new pointe shoes. They will absolutely get ruined, and those things are expensive!"
Natalie Varnum (courtesy Edwards)
On dance photoshoot safety:
"Be honest with your photographer about any pain or concerns you have as you're shooting," Edwards says. "Carefully choose the surfaces you're willing to jump on. Don't hurt yourself for a photo, and don't put yourself in situations you're going to regret. You don't have to do dangerous things to get great photos."
Ryan Lee (courtesy Edwards)
Misty Copeland. Her name is synonymous with exquisite artistry and outspoken advocacy. And her visibility has made a huge impact on the ballet world. Ballet's relationship with race has always been strained at best, hostile at worst. But Copeland's persistent message and star quality have finally forced the ballet industry to start talking about racial diversity, inclusivity, and representation. "The rarity of seeing ourselves represented is sad," Copeland says. "The more we see every hue and body shape represented on the stage, the more possibilities young dancers feel they have for themselves."
The Olympics are always full of inspiring Cinderella stories, where athletes no one had heard of mere months ago end up blowing all expectations out of the water, and maybe even nabbing a medal in the bargain. But we've recently caught wind of a different kind of Cinderella story—and it's one we really, really hope shows up in the Closing Ceremonies of the PyeongChang Olympics, airing tonight on NBC starting at 8 pm Eastern/5 pm Pacific time.
Being a dancer comes with the task of having to entertain the same questions over and over again from those outside the dance world. Of course, we love having our friends and family take an interest in our passion—but if someone asks ONE MORE TIME whether or not we've met Travis Wall, we might just go crazy.
Here are 10 questions that dancers hate getting asked.
Contemporary phenom Christina Ricucci has super-flexible hips, which means she can stretch her legs to unbelievable heights. But when she noticed herself making contorted positions in class, Ricucci realized she was approaching her extensions all wrong. "I went back to the basics in class, squaring my hips and using my turnout," Ricucci says. "I learned to create proper positions, rather than whacked-out versions of them."
Some dancers are so wonky they have a hard time supporting their high legs, while others struggle with limited flexibility. But no matter your facility, you can find a balance of stretch and strength to achieve your fullest range of extension. It's not about how high (or not) your legs can go: It's the quality of the movement, and how you get those legs up, that counts.
Last month, we asked why there wasn't a Best Choreography category at the Oscars—and discovered that many of you agreed with us: Choreographers should definitely be acknowledged for their work on the super-dancy movies we can't get enough of.
Now, we're taking matters into our own (jazz) hands.
We've decided to create a Dance Spirit award for the best cinematic choreography of 2017. With your input, we've narrowed the field to four choreographers whose moves lit up some of the best movies of the year. Check out our nominations for best choreography below—and vote for the choreographer you think deserves the honor. We'll announce the winner on Friday, March 2.
Once upon a time (until the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi concluded, to be exact), figure skaters had to compete to music without words. Before this rule change, a skater faced an automatic point deduction if the music even hinted at vocals. Understandably, there were *a lot* of Olympic programs skated to classical music, and you'd tend to hear the same music selections over and over and over.
There are plenty of current Olympic figure skaters who'd make beautiful dancers (first among them Adam Rippon, whose gorgeously choreographed long program won the internet, if not the gold). But today, as we wait for the women's figure skating competition to crown its new champions, we wanted to throw it back to one of the most beautifully balletic skaters of all time: Sasha Cohen.
The high-flying leaps of grand allegro are meant to be incredibly exciting. But at the end of an intense ballet class, when you're exhausted, it can be hard to give them the attention they deserve. Want to pump up your big jumps? Follow these 10 vital tips from Jennifer Hart, curriculum director and instructor at Ballet Austin.