Melissa Dooley started taking pictures because photography offered her a visual representation and artistic way of remembering her life. Though a ballet dancer herself, it was not until 2009 that she began photographing dancers. “We usually find that the average photographer does not choose flattering angles and correct positions,” she says. “We want to look longer and leaner but still with a grand presence.”
The dancer in this photo, Julia dances with Houston Repertoire Ballet. The photo is one in a series Melissa took while on a trip to New York City. After watching American Ballet Theatre’s dress rehearsal for Swan Lake along side Ethan Stiefel and Jared Matthews, the girls were inspired to dance (naturally), and Melissa suggested they head to Central Park. “By the end of the afternoon,” Melissa remembers, “we had a small crowd following us from location to location just watching the girls pose on their toes.”
Still relatively new to photography, Melissa notes that she is constantly learning. “I have two photographers in my family so I really eat up all of their help and tips. I find this is something I aspire to do in the future along side of my ballet career.” Melissa is currently dancing in the Graduate Program with Pittsburgh Ballet Theater and awaiting replies from recent auditions to find out where she will be next season.