I first met Andy and Anita at the gymnastics gym. They were there to get some help with the acrobatics in one of their ballroom dance routines. A few months later I was fortunate enough to attend one of their practice sessions and photograph it. It was quite the impressive session, they absolutely blew me away with what they did on that dance floor!
Andy (Andreas), is an instructor at the West Palm Beach Fred Astaire dance studio. Anita is his star student who competes with him in the Pro-Am circuit. The studio had just moved into a brand new location and they had invited a choreographer to help them with their new cabaret routine.
The choreographer, Joe Trovato, is himself a Fred Astaire instructor in Fort Walton Beach. I believe "genius" was the term Andy used to describe him and he certainly seemed very experienced and knowledgeable as he shared techniques and advice.
Andy and Anita did their thing while Joe carefully watched, critiqued and corrected their every move.
The routine seemed very complex with certainly some "interesting" moments.
As I learned, the cabaret style of dance is very acrobatic and athletic, involving lifts, throws and several gymnastics-like moves (hence how we met at the gymnastics gym). I made a series of photographs of some of their most impressive moves. I found that B&W added to the drama and strength involved in the routine.
I also made some shots to show the speed and movement involved in their actions.
Andy and Anita were certainly great partners. As you can see she did a lot of flying around but also did some heavy lifting of her own.
I can honestly say that it was a fantastic experience and I came away with a whole new respect for ballroom dancing. There is nothing I enjoy more than watching people who are really good at what they do doing their thing!
I should be able to return at some point to shoot a session with full costume, which I'm really looking forward to! Thanks Andy and Anita for letting me interrupt your practice, and Joe for helping us all get some great shots.
At the end of the session, I managed to snap some headshots of the stars