Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Danica Paulos, who runs the company's Instagram page, is a talented photographer.

Danica Paulos, who's now in her fifth season with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, moves with captivating grace and power onstage. And when she's not wowing in-person audiences, the multitalented artist is mesmerizing Ailey's online followers: A gifted photographer, she regularly posts beautiful images of her coworkers to the @alvinailey Instagram page, which she's run for the past two years. We caught up with Paulos to talk about her diverse interests—and find out how she's helped shape AAADT's digital presence.

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Branch Out
One of dancer Kristi Griffith's fitness shots (Wes Klain, courtesy Griffith)

Scrolling through your Instagram feed, you probably notice tons of awe-inspiring dance photos: a penché in front of a waterfall, a jeté over a busy city street. While these tend to get a lot of likes and attention, they may not be the best types of pics to send when you're trying to book a job. You want to keep the focus on what's most important to casting directors: you! So how do you find the right balance between eye-catching and professional? We talked to insiders across the dance world to find out.

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How To

We're giving away Jordan Matter's latest book, Born To Dance. It features young dancers just like you, who are passionate about dance. Enter below for your chance to win a copy!

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Giveaways
Robles' photo of dancer Melissa Mya in San Juan (via @omarzrobles on Instagram)

Odds are you already know the photography of Omar Z Robles, whose images of dancers in striking natural settings mesmerize his hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers. Recently, Robles paid a visit to his native Puerto Rico for the first time since it was devastated by Hurricane Maria. And the images he captured of its resilient dancers, finding beauty in the ruined landscape, will bring tears to your eyes.

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Dance News
(L to R) Adrienne Lipson, Ashley Downs, Noelle Kayser, and Devin Buchanan photographed for "Dance for Life 2017" (Todd Rosenberg Photography, courtesy PurePoint Financial)

Yes, you read that right. Last summer, we told you about Instagram-favorite photographer Rachel Neville's work being showcased in an innovative new kind of financial center here in NYC. Now, PurePoint Financial—aka the company behind the paradigm-breaking pairing—is bringing that very same concept to the Windy City.

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Dance News
Matter arranged for cancer survivor Stephanie Consiglio to make a triumphant return to the hospital where she received treatment. (Via YouTube)

It's impossible not to love dance photographer Jordan Matter's 10-minute photo challenges. His videos of the rapid-fire shoots in totally unlikely locations have become huge YouTube hits. But his 10-minute challenge with dancer Stephanie Consiglio—who recently beat stage 3 germ cell cancer—is next-level incredible.

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Dance Videos
Dancer and photographer Lee Gumbs (photo by Katie Morton, courtesy Gumbs)

A contemporary, jazz, and ballet dancer, Lee Gumbs is known for his six-year touring stint with Bad Boys of Ballet (and, of course, for being a Dance Spirit Cover Model Search finalist in 2008!). But Gumbs' photography has earned equal praise. He's amassed an impressive portfolio of subjects, shooting famous dancers like Ashley Everett, Allison Holker, Melinda Sullivan, and Sean Lew, to name a few.

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Dancer to Dancer
@emmarie.xox (via Instagram)

We've all heard William Shakespeare's famous quote "all the world's a stage." Dance photographer, Jordan Matter has taken that quote quite literally as he prefers to shoot his dancers in every day settings like grocery stores, subway stations, and even in the middle of the street. But Matter takes things to a whole new level of outrageous in his latest YouTube video, where he teams up with dancer and model Em Marie, for a photo shoot in Miami International Airport. That's right, Matter uses the chaotic and rather aggravating ambiance that is an airport for the backdrop of one of the most elegant art forms—and we don't hate it.

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Dance Videos
Boston Ballet's Misa Kuranaga and Patrick Yocum (courtesy Rachel Neville/Boston Ballet)

We're on somewhat of a dance photography kick here at DS, so we figured we'd keep it going in a very big way: an exclusive interview with Rachel Neville, the photographer responsible for all those absolutely drool-worthy dance photos on your Instagram feed. We caught up with Neville at PurePoint Financial in NYC, where she just wrapped up her new show, "A Command Performance"..

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Dance and Fashion

Even if you don't already know Jordan Matter's name, you definitely know his work. He's the photographer behind the fabulous "Dancers Among Us" series, which features talented dancers doin' their impressive thing in everyday locations.

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Dance News

It's Sunday, which means it's time to zen out, especially with the craziness of Thanksgiving just around the corner. And what better way to do so than watching a beautiful dance video? Dance photographer Karolina Kuras, who photographs the National Ballet of Canada, was recently profiled by Cottage Hill Magazine, covering everything from her photography career, her background in dance and how she gets the perfect shot every time. Check out the lovely video below, and catch the full feature here!

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Dancers are some of the greatest photographic subjects around (for obvious reasons). They know their bodies, how to pose and captivate audiences—all of which translate into consistently stunning images. But Nir Arieli's photo series, "Flocks," showcases some of our favorite dance companies in a completely new context: without motion.

Arieli has been photographing a number of world-class companies for two years. The dancers are posed in motionless formations that, while aren't showing any movement, are still 100% dancey—not to mention stunning. Arieli told Slate that he wanted to show "what happens after the movement is over or when the movement is drained from the body. You get an intimate moment about this special group of people who spend so much time together...They’re very physical with each other...there are very interesting relationships formed with these people, and I hope this project is speaking about that in a visual way.” Below are some of our favorites, but be sure to check out the entire feature here!

(Now-disbanded) Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet (Photo by Nir Arieli, via Slate)

The Martha Graham Dance Company. (Photo by Nir Arieli, via Slate)

Ailey II members. (Photo by Nir Arieli, via Slate)

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We love a good, flawless dance picture more than anyone. Case in point: Our daily Facebook Photo of the Day posts that serve up some seriously stunning poses and inspiration. But, we also know that dance isn't always that glamorous. It's hard, grueling and rarely picture-perfect. And that imperfection is exactly what makes Russian photographer and dancer Darian Volkova's Instagram such great #MondayMotivation. She showcases the real, gritty and dirty side of balletand reminds us of all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into achieving those breathtaking performances.

(Screenshot via @darianvolkova)

(Screenshot via @darianvolkova)

(Screenshot via @darianvolkova)

(Screenshot via @darianvolkova)

(Screenshot via @darianvolkova)

But it's not all work, work, work. She also posts insanely gorgeous photos that show the end results of all of that effort and dedication. It's the perfect reminder of what's on the other side of that blood, sweat and tears. (Plus, we're living for her insider backstage shots and self portraits.)

(Screenshot via @darianvolkova)

(Sceenshot via @darianvolkova)

(Screenshot via @darianvolkova)

(Screenshot via @darianvolkova)

(Screenshot via @darianvolkova)

Scroll through her entire feed here and have a great Monday bunheads!

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Photographer Aaron Pegg is already Insta-famous as @underground_nyc, where he snaps artsy photos of people throughout the NYC subway system. Over the weekend, he revealed that ballerinas are his favorite photography subjects.

The New York Post interviewed Pegg and rounded up some of his best ballet pics—and we are drooling over the gorgeous poses and stunning lines. And it doesn’t hurt that his #flawless subjects frequently include Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Alison Stroming, Ingrid Silva and Nayara Lopes, American Ballet Theatre’s Elina Miettinen and Boston Ballet soloist Rachele Buriassi.

Of his dance subway shots Pegg says to the New York Post, “It’s such a great contrast between two art forms—the gritty subway with the elegance of ballet. I love working with ballerinas because they’re perfectionists. They make you want to be a perfectionist as well.”

Scroll through our favorites below for some serious #MondayMotivation and check out the original Post piece here.

Dance Theatre of Harlem's Nayara Lopes, Alison Stroming and Ingrid Silva. (screenshot via @underground_nyc)

Dancer Olivia L. Burgess (screenshot via underground_nyc)

Dancer Ingrid Silva at Central Park (screenshot via @underground_nyc)

Boston Ballet soloist Rachele Buriassi (screenshot via @underground_nyc)

Dancer Kelly Kakaley (screenshot via @underground_nyc)

American Ballet Theatre dancer Elina Miettinen (screenshot via @underground_nyc)

Dancer Alison Stroming (screenshot via @underground_nyc)

Dancer Brittany Cavaco (screenshot via @underground_nyc)

Dancer Rachele Buriassi (screenshot via @underground_nyc)

Dancer Ingrid Silva (screenshot via @underground_nyc)

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What do you get when you add the NYC skyline + six Julliard-trained dancers + a dozen photographers? You get magic.

Tara Langdon (photo by Caroline Sollmann)

The dancers were modeling in a workshop organized by Ebbe Sweet, a NYC-based photographer and former dancer, as part of Photoville—a photography exhibit displayed along the Brooklyn waterfront. The photographers were hoping to learn more about dance photography.

The dancers nailed every jump and pose (naturally), but the photographers got in on the action too, throwing themselves on the ground to get the perfect angle.

Joseph Davis (dancing, photo by Caroline Sollmann)

It was pretty cool to see how all those insta-perfect dance shots happen IRL. You know the ones: The dancer is effortlessly hitting the height of her jump, while remaining perfectly framed by the dramatic skyline behind her. Guess what? It takes a lot of repetition and hard work to get that one shot, but with dancers and photographers of this caliber, there were many stunning moments.

Zoë McNeil (Photo by Caroline Sollmann)

See more images on Instagram at #photovilleinmotion!

 

 

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