In April I got to shoot some of Albuquerque’s professional flamenco dancers. Below are just a few of my favorite photos from one of their rehearsals before a performance. This recent shoot for the Albuquerque Journal of Yjastros: The American Flamenco Repertory Company ended up being the cover of the Life in New Mexico section for the week.
What happens when you have 21 amazing dancers and you have under three hours to photograph them? You move fast and have them on their feet and in the air as much as possible! (And making the occasional silly face.)
If you’ve kept up with my blog you might remember I photographed the Steve & Chanzie Denver Workshop back in December that Swingin’ Denver put on. So when Kenny asked me to shoot some promotional photos of Swingin’ Denver’s instructors and new dance troupe (The Ladies and Gentlemen) I couldn’t wait! I knew this was going to be a fun afternoon!
Lindy hop. Chorus girls. Live music. Team Performances. Lip Sync Battle. Dancing until the wee hours.
In April two dance workshop weekends happened back to back, one in Albuquerque, one in Denver. Dance weekends are the most fun times for a social dancer. You get to hang out with your dance friends all weekend, learn new things, and most importantly, dance, for hours!!!
505 Stomp is an annual lindy hop workshop held in Albuquerque each spring. Instructors are brought in from across the country, there are classes all day, dances all night, and laid back competitions during the dances. Rocky Mountain Girl Jam is a workshop weekend focused on follow technique and solo dancing. Performances and social dancing fill the nights.
I’ve been photographing 505 Stomp since it began in 2008, but this was the first year I made it to Girl Jam and got to photograph it as well! Both events were so much fun. If you are a dancer and have never made it to an event like these I highly recommend it.
Seven and a half years ago when I first made the move to Albuquerque I knew no one in this lovely Land of Enchantment. I had just driven from Florida to begin a six-month-long photo internship at the Albuquerque Journal and was in search of the local swing dance community, which I hoped existed. I had already been swing dancing for a few years by then and it was my main creative outlet outside of photography. I think I was in Albuquerque no more than two days before some deep digging on Google spit out what seemed to be some outdated info on a weekly Tuesday night dance at Heights Community Center. With nothing else to do on my first Tuesday night in Albuquerque, I drove into town to see if the dance was actually happening. Much to my excitement I found a rather large crowd of people dancing when I got there!
This became the place where I met my soon-to-be Albuquerque friends. I don’t remember who I met or danced with that first time at Heights, but boy was I excited to have found a place to dance. Much to my surprise (and excitement) I soon learned of other weekly swing dances. The Tuesday night dance at Heights Community Center will always have a special place in my heart though. It’s where I first found a community that would become a very big part of my life and where I began some very close friendships.
History & A Party
On December 30, 2014, the Calming Four hosted a 75th Anniversary Party for Heights Community Center. According to the city of Albuquerque website, Heights Community Center was the first community recreation center in the city. It was constructed between 1938 and 1942 as a National Youth Administration Project, one of several New Deal programs active in Albuquerque during the Great Depression. During World War II, servicemen stationed in Albuquerque for training flocked to dances at the center. Folk, square, and swing dancing groups still actively use the center’s wooden dance floor, which many consider the best in the area. Read more
Hi there! I’ve never blogged about any of the dance weekends I’ve photographed over the years so time to start! There have been many in the past seven years, but this one brought me out of town and not only gave me a personal recharge for my love of swing dancing but inspired my fiancé to want to learn more and more. How great is that?
In December I photographed a workshop weekend hosted by Swingin’ Denver. If you’re in Denver and want to learn how to swing dance I highly recommend looking them up. Swingin’ Denver brought in Steve & Chanzie to teach smooth style lindy, collegiate shag, and boogie woogie. In addition to classes during the day there were dances at night, as with most dance workshops. You can never dance enough. These are just a few of my favorite images, from classes both days and Saturday night’s dance in Boulder, CO. I hope the photos show how much fun everyone was having all weekend, how focused people were while learning, and the fun teaching chemistry that Steve and Chanzie brought to the classes. They are great to learn from and amazing to watch dance together.
The ASH Project was created by Albuquerque artists who took the 2013 concert dance piece by the same title and expanded its striking narrative through the visceral punch of film. ASH explores events from the Holocaust and a young generation’s reaction to crimes against humanity, diving into a harsh and unforgiving world. We are taken to a place that entwines art, religion ritual, and stories from the Holocaust to weave a narrative of a seeming distant past and our own relevant present to inform our future via the artistic abstraction that is dance. Read more