I’ve been capturing creative dance photography with the Park Hill Dance Academy for years now. Karlyn Griswold has run the school and company since 2014, offering ballet, modern, and jazz for all ages. Classes start at 18 months with Leapin’ Lizards and go all the way to pointe work at the pre-professional level. They even offer adult classes now! They have amazing student performances throughout the season, like At A Crossroads and Revolutions. Park Hill’s success has allowed them to move into a brand new space that they custom built. They just moved in and I can’t wait to see it!
Creative Dance Photography with Park Hill Dance Collective
Each year, we do a promotional session for the company. This year, we went to Denver’s Millenium Bridge to take advantage of the modern structures and sculptures. The five company members chose costumes that were red, white, and black, a bold combination that helped the dancers stand out against the white bridge and neutral backgrounds. On the other end of the bridge, the reds stood in contrast to the bright blue sky reflected in the glass buildings. We also spent time interacting with the art installation under the bridge, with its bright reds and orange tones. After the session was over, Karlyn and I collaborated on a Dance Warriors session at the same location, a powerful piece about sexual assault.
This group is so much fun and I always love working with them. While individual sessions allow for total spontaneity, group sessions require a bit more direction. When I find a great spot, I might ask them to gather around a bench, do something cohesive, or maybe fill different levels or find a pose in contrast to everyone else. We then play around, tweak this and that, go back and forth until it all creates the perfect frame. Sometimes they come up with their own idea, like the three women on the steps, and I just need to tweak the angles or the framing. It’s a collaborative process we all really enjoy.