I've been dying to do a dance shoot ever since I started dancing at Ninth Street Dance in Durham three years ago. When my lyrical/contemporary dance instructor said she needed pictures for her new website, I jumped at the chance (no pun intended) to take some artsy photos of her.
So Sakina and I spent a dance-filled afternoon at the old river mill in Saxapahaw, N.C. I had taken 14 weeks of contemporary dance under her instruction, but it was great to get to know her better outside of the studio. She shared a bit of her story with me, and learning about what drives her passion for dance made me appreciate even more the beauty and talent of this amazing dancer.
Sakina has always danced, but she took a long break from it when her then-boyfriend persuaded her to pursue a more lucrative career. After several of years of living without dance, she realized how much it was a part of her and decided to pursue her dreams of being a professional dancer, choreographer, and dance instructor. Her boyfriend didn't approve, but she chose to not let go of her passion again. So Sakina broke off their engagement and moved to Durham. When I asked her if she regretted any of this, she told me, no- she is so happy now and wouldn't change any of her decisions. Dance is who she is.
Stories like Sakina's really inspire me to keep dancing. It is never too late to pursue your dreams and do what you love. It doesn't matter that I never trained as a dancer when I was younger; I can find joy in it now and really push myself to grow as a dancer and artist.
Sakina, photographing you was such a joy. I had so much fun collaborating with you and tapping in with my more artistic/creative side. Your love of the arts is infectious. The world needs more dancers like you in it! I hope these photos remind you of how far you have come on your journey. Never stop dancing, and never give up on your dreams!