On photographing social dancing

Hi there, and welcome to my world. This is my very first post here and so I would like to introduce what I believe will be the main theme of my site: photographing social dancing. This will certainly not be the only thing I post about, as I also enjoy travel, nature, cats, good food, strong coffee, yummy cakes and all sorts of other things. Perhaps one day I will also do more with studio photography and, who knows, maybe even try my hand at fine art photography. But I love taking photos of dancers, and this is what I have been photographing mostly for the past many years, so I might as well start here.

By social dancing I mean dancing for fun rather than performing on stage or taking part in a competition. Most of my subjects are just ordinary passionate dancers just having fun on the dance floor. I might take a few photos of performers at an event’s evening showcase, but not very often.

What is it I like so much about dance photography? Well, I’m a dancer, a passionate one, perhaps one can say I am addicted. I love dancing and so it seems natural that I would enjoy taking photos of dancers. I very often attend weekend or longer dance events and so there is ample opportunity for me to do so, providing the lighting is sufficient to make it possible. You see, I am a bit unusual in that I do not use flash despite taking photos indoors in hardly lit dance halls. I depend only on the ambient light that happens to be there. When the lighting is not sufficient I put the camera aside and just dance.

In a later post I will relate what I find advantageous to shooting dance photos without flash. Suffice it to say for now that doing so allows me to take very dramatic shots, filled with spontaneous emotions and moods. Candid shots, because the dancers usually do not notice that I am there.

Why are social dancers so interesting to photograph? Good dancers do not just carry out their repertoire of moves to the music. They connect and communicate with each other, they play with each other, they innovate and ad-lib and create a performance in tandem lasting just the length of the song. This performance, usually without audience, is filled with countless snapshots full of emotions, there for the taking if one has a camera. This is what I do when I photograph dancers, and I love doing this.

The photos appearing in this post are meant for illustration and to give an idea of the kind of photos I take of dancers, and so I have not included any description or discussion of them. All were taken at a number of events occurring between August 2021 and February 2022. My skills have been improving over the years and my style has been evolving so I wanted to show first some of my more recent efforts. More photos – many more – can be found in publicly accessible photo albums on my Facebook profile.

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