MIT Open

So this past weekend was the MIT Open Ballroom Competition, and my collegiate team made their way up there like they do every year. This year, unfortunately, my partner (and boyfriend, one in the same) and I could not make it due to monetary issues. However, I MIT is still one of my favorite competitions to attend. First of all, it is a collegiate competition  which means lots of cheering, camaraderie, and excitement filling the ballroom, or gym in this case. Secondly, it is the largest collegiate competition on the East Coast, which means that you are pulling some of the best amateur talent from the East Coast throughout the levels to compete against. Thirdly, MIT always have an amazing professional couple come and perform a showcase and give workshops and private lessons throughout the weekend.

I love to dance, and compete. However, being able to sit in bleachers, not too far away from the couple, or even on the ground super close, is just amazing. To be inspired by these dancers to push harder and want more out of your dancing is priceless. This year’s showcase was performed by Pablo Basco and his partner Joanne Clifton, the 2011 World Dance Federation Champions. I will provide a link of their dancing below. 

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Above is an image from the 2011 MIT Dance Performance that I took on my Cannon D-SLR. The couple in the photo is Franco Formica and Oxana Lebedew. They were the 3rd place couple in the world in 2011. Shortly after the MIT Open, Franco and Oxana split ways and are now dancing with their new partners.

It’s not only my dancing these professionals are inspiring in me. They are also inspiring my photography. Every move these dancers make is just exquisite and my fingers just itch to click as many pictures as I can get.  It’s almost like an endless cycle of art. They create beautiful lines and shapes with their body in continuous motion, while I capture each line and shape on my digital card or film. I cannot wait until I have the opportunity to take pictures like this again of a professional couple. 

Videos:

Pablo Basco and Joanne Clifton Foxtrot

Franco Formica and Oxana Lebedew Rumba

Concert Photography

As I have stated in my last post, I love photographing concerts. Musicians just have so much energy and passion for what they do and it comes off on stage. Their energy and passion feeds my passion for photography, and my fingers just itch for my camera to capture them.

Earlier this month I attended one of Green Day’s concerts along their tour at Temple University’s campus in Philadelphia, PA. Now, as many of you know, most venues do not allow cameras at the event, so I did not want to bring my beloved DSLR to the concert only to be told that I have to leave it in my car, in one of the worst areas of Philly. Also, I did not want to be separated from my two friends, as we had pit seats. In short, I was only equipped with my tiny, so-so, iPhone 5 built in camera.

So we get to our “seats” and people are taking photos of the cover band, Best Coast, and none of the event staff is stopping anyone. So now, in my head, I am mentally kicking myself in the butt for not bringing my nice camera. Well I do thank myself for charging my phone during that trip so that I have at least an hour and half of shooting time. Ended up taking a ton of photos throughout the night. Unfortunately many turned out way to pixel-y, seeing that it is a rock concert, which means that it’s a dark venue. However there were a few gems in the bunch, like the one below.

It had been a long time since I have done concert photography–it’s probably been a year. Having this opportunity, standing only a few rows away from one of my favorite bands, being able to take photos of them… I just fell back in love with it. I believe this is what I want to do for the rest of my career–but doing it exclusively is probably out of the question. Oh well, we shall see how it goes. I just can’t wait for my next opportunity to photography any concert!

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What is a “picture line”?

I am Anastasia, a 21 year old female artist and dancer. I am currently enrolled at the University of Maryland studying art, specifically digital media. My hope one day is to be a successful photographer. At the University of Maryland, not only do I study art, but I also have become immersed in the ballroom dance community. It started freshman year when I decided to join a club because I was a commuter and hadn’t had a chance yet to make a lot of friends. I did ballet when I was very little, and I wanted to find my way back to the dancing world. I thought ballroom would be a great outlet to make friends and to dance again. I didn’t realize how much it would take up my life. Now three years, I am president of the ballroom dance team, working with my amazing partner to make our debut in open (I’ll explain more what the different levels mean in a different post).

Now what is a picture line? A picture line is a figure in which the couple stops moving and creates a beautiful line with their bodies. During these short moments, it is a photographers oppertune time to take a picture of the dancers at their best possible moment. The picture at the end of the post demonstrates the many different picture lines, or line figures, performed by Mirko Gozzoli and Alessia Betti, who no longer dance together.

When I’m not doing school work or practicing dance, I take my camera out and take photos. Recently I have been focusing on dancesport photography and concert photography. Now I love all forms, but those two types of photography really are speaking to me right now. I want to use this blog to post my photography and art to share and grow. That’s all that I have for now. Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think or if you have any questions.

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