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.
Nichelle Suzanne is a writer specializing in dance and online content. She is also a dance instructor with over 20 years experience teaching in dance studios, community programs, and colleges. She began Dance Advantage in 2008, equipped with a passion for movement education and an intuitive sense that a blog could bring dancers together. As a Houston-based dance writer, Nichelle covers dance performance for Dance Source Houston, Arts+Culture Texas, and other publications. She is a leader in social media within the dance community and has presented on blogging for dance organizations, including Dance/USA. Nichelle provides web consulting and writing services for dancers, dance schools and studios, and those beyond the dance world. Read Nichelle’s posts.