a dancer’s soul . emily.

October 15, 2010

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For some time now, I have wanted to photograph dancers. Dance was like one of those things that hovers in your life; for me, it was always, always a passion. Growing up, there wasn’t a moment I didn’t want to become a ballerina, or dancer of some sort. I used to watched the Nutcracker almost every year live, as well as watch it on PBS, where there would be no talking for hours, and finally when I switched the channel, I found it strange to hear people speaking all of the sudden. I was never able to take classes when I was young because my family couldn’t afford it, so I would simply rely on day dreaming, putting on home “performances” and watching others dance. But that passion never died.

As I grew older and gravitated towards photography, I always had dance in the back of my head. It wasn’t until recently that I decided to dance full out for my own benefit, but that’s a post for another time. As my passion for photography grew, I always held dance there, even when I named my photography business. It has always had a hold on me, like a magnet.

I love photography because I love being able to show people how I see the world, and how things make me feel. I love dance because to me, it’s a way to feel free, to let yourself go, to visually interpret music. Dancers dance for so many different reasons, but as any artist, it’s a means to communicate, and get things out of their body that they may not be able to say through their mouths. Because of my two great passions, it was only natural they would combine at some point. And that point has arrived.

I met Emily only this year, but I’ve seen her dancing for much longer than that through the recitals at my dance studio. Emily is a wonderful spirit, full of life and energy on top of being a beautiful dancer. I knew I wanted to photograph her to capture that – to capture why she dances, and the dancer’s soul that she has. I didn’t want to just capture how amazing her leaps are (which are amazing), or how dynamic her dancing is. No, dance is so much more than that. Dance is a voice. Dancing not only involves the large moments when you are leaping, but the little moments in between. When you take a breath. When you gather yourself. When you show the world just what you want to say.

When you let yourself go.


I am so excited to be sharing this with you all, but these images are only a scratch on the surface for me. I want to dig more, meet more dancers, photograph their stories, their dancing, their souls. I want to explore that in photographs. And I want to share it with the world.


7 Responses to “a dancer’s soul . emily.”

  1. Yay! I can’t wait to see more! Being a former dancer myself (now photographer) I can’t agree with you more…

  2. Oh this is so beautiful! This project is going to be amazing! You have photographed her spirit so well. I love this!

  3. This is so beautiful…i have always admired dancers and their ability to say so much with movement and body. This is so nicely captured! Naz

  4. mel says:

    Great post and pictures, Susan!! “When you let yourself go” – something to strive for. :)

  5. mackdaniel says:

    this was a really nice post, thanks

  6. I love these photos. You can really see the dancer’s grace and strength at the same time.

  7. karen says:

    I totally remember how much you loved (and still love) dance. Glad to see that it’s still a wonderful part of your life.