Beginning Ballerinas Starting Pointe

I’m not a dancer.  There was a very brief moment when I was about 7 years old and I tried dancing.  Jazz class, once a week at the local dance studio in our small town.  I wanted to dance.  I remember watching Solid Gold with my mom and admiring the Solid Gold dancers.  (Am I the only 80s kid who watched that show growing up?)  Yes, I did want to dance but I also remember not knowing anyone in the class.  Not knowing the teacher.  And not liking that I was in this space with a wall of mirrors and my mom was on the other side of the door.  I made it through the year of classes.  Then we had the recital.   I still have vague memories of how the beginning of the routine began, with my back to the audience, bouncing my hip.  I remember dancing with a green sequined hat and I very much remember freezing when I forgot the dance.  That ended my dance career.  Since then, I’ve been content to dance around in my kitchen when the right song comes on the radio.

Dance mom but not that kind of dance mom

I’m not a dancer but I can imagine that special moment when you get your first pair of pointe shoes and watching my daughter and her fellow ballerinas go through that moment was pretty special.

From the time she started Level III, I knew that I wanted to include Sadie’s pointe shoes in this year’s ballet photos and many of her classmates were eager to participate as well.

For those of you who are just coming across this post, I’ve been documenting my daughter’s progress through ballet for the past 4 years.  She’s been taking ballet classes since she was 4. When she turned 8, she entered the student division and started being able to participate in the school’s productions.  Each spring after their performance, I rent a studio and take some photos of her demonstrating the poses that she’s learned.  And every year since that first year more and more of her classmates have joined us in the tradition.


Level I

Level II

This year I had the most interest ever!  16 dancers!!  There was even a boy in the mix!!  And several of them were eager to be photographed with their pointe shoes.  Once again we returned to Studio 415 to document another year of growth.

Sadie was excited to get her split!  She had it earlier in the year but learned that her form wasn’t correct and so had to re-learn it.  I’m so proud of this kid for continuing to work!

young dancer doing a splityoung ballet dancer and pointe shoes

Pointe has not been easy for her but she is determined to succeed.  This has been a huge life lesson for her.  We’ve been lucky that so much has come so easy that having to work hard for something is good for your soul and makes you appreciate the success even more.


After Sadie’s photos, it was time to jump into capturing the rest of the dancers.  It was so much fun to see their different personalities come through.  Some were a bit timid, other’s were so excited to have another opportunity to perform, even if it was just in front of my camera.

boy dancer jumping

head shot of young dancer

little girl, dancer, posing with white chair

ballet dancer in pink leotard

young dancer, girl in pink leotard

little girl in pink leotard with penguin charm

What I love about this experience is seeing the traditions that other families have started.  This young ballerina adds a charm to her bracelet for every performance.  She was eager to show off her penguin charm from this last season’s Nutcracker.

Level III and Pointe Shoes

And then it was time to capture the Level III’s and their shoes.  To me, there is something simple and beautiful in young ballerinas putting on that first pair of shoes and that was the moment I wanted to capture for these girls.  They have worked so hard to build up the strength.  I’m thoroughly impressed with all of their determination.

young ballet dancer with pointe shoes

young dancer in blue leotard putting on pointe shoes

young dancer in blue leotard en pointe

young dancer in pointe shoes

dancer in blue leotard doing splitdancer in blue leotard with pointe shoes

young dancer en pointe

Once again it’s so exciting capturing these moments for the girls (and boy)!  There were quite a few new ballerinas this year and the grins from seeing themselves on the back of my camera were priceless.

If you have a dancer who would love an experience like this, just contact me and we can schedule your own special session, in studio or out in the world!

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Hi there, it's Jodi!

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