Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance; Photo Courtesy of Choreographer
Cherylyn  Lavagnino Dance; Photo Courtesy of Choreographer

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The Dance Enthusiast Asks Kelly Pratt And Ian Kreidich Of Dancers & Dogs

The Dance Enthusiast Asks Kelly Pratt And Ian Kreidich Of Dancers & Dogs
Sammi Lim/Follow @ilikeloofahs on Instagram

By Sammi Lim/Follow @ilikeloofahs on Instagram
View Profile | More From This Author

Published on March 21, 2019
Bianca Bulle and Hero the dog (The Super Collies).

The Duo Discuss The Paw-sitive And Ruff Sides Of Their Photography Project

Dancers & Dogs is a photography project that has gone viral since kicking off in 2017. Couple photographers Kelly Pratt and Ian Kreidich aim to photograph 100 dancers and 100 dogs. The project will culminate in a book. Visit their offiicial website, their Facebook page, and their Instagram account.


Bianca Bulle with Loki, Marvel and Hero (The Super Collies). Photo © Dancers & Dogs.

Sammi Lim for The Dance Enthusiast: I’ve worked on one shoot with dogs, in conjunction with the Year of the Dog in the Chinese calendar, and it was no easy feat! The pooches were super excitable or nervous; one French bulldog even crawled under the sofa and refused to budge.

What are some tips for keeping your models, both humans and dogs, at ease?  

Dancers & Dogs: It mostly comes down to casting. We try to ask dog owners a lot of questions to see if their dog is right for the project. We are really looking for dogs that are comfortable with strangers touching them, can be obedient under pressure and are comfortable in new surroundings, with lots of distractions (big equipment, dancers doing big movements, et cetera). We work primarily with professional dancers on this project, because we have to focus so much attention on getting the dog how we want them. We need dancers whom we can trust to nail the moves and be comfortable in front of the camera.

Ashley Lew, her mom Becky Lew, trainer Sara Carson (The Super Collies), and Marvel the dog. Photo © Dancers & Dogs.

The Dance Enthusiast: I love that you share the goofy, imperfect scenarios from behind the scenes. After all, one of the objectives behind Dancers & Dogs is to erase the impression of dancers being super serious. Has any of the fun ever escalated into a silly accident on set?

Dancers & Dogs: You never know what dogs are going to do! That is part of the fun. Sometimes the best shots are not the planned ones.  But we haven't had any real accidents on set. We are very careful, and everyone's safety is the most important.

Amy Herchenroether, Mark David Bloodgood, Kimberly Morse, Lauren Christensen, and puppies from the Stray Rescue of St. Louis. Photo © Dancers & Dogs.

The Dance Enthusiast: Your “Muttcracker” series is one of my favorites (more puns, please!). It was also a joint effort with Stray Rescue of St Louis to highlight the importance of stray adoption. Have all the pooches found homes? 

Dancers & Dogs: There are still two adult dogs from our Muttcracker campaign who need homes! While all of six puppies found homes, only two adults found homes. Hopefully we can make Muttcracker a bigger campaign this year.

The Dance Enthusiast: What other kinds of organisations does Dancers & Dogs look to collaborate with?  

Dancers & Dogs: We would like to work with more ballet and other dance companies as a whole. We are always game to help highlight charities and organizations related to dance, the arts and animals.

E-store at dancersanddogs.com.

The Dance Enthusiast: You’re about two-thirds of the way to capturing 100 dancers and dogs. How does that make you feel?

Dancers & Dogs: We've done do much, but there is still so much to do!  We still have more ideas to explore.

The Dance Enthusiast: I’ve my eye on the mint ‘Paw de Deux’ racerback tank in your e-store. No apparel for dogs though?

Dancers & Dogs: It's something we've been thinking about for a long time. We don't have the storage and funds to stock merchandise ourselves at the moment (this project is literally just the two of us!) as dog shirts have to come in a LOT of sizes. All of our shirts are made as they are ordered by a fulfillment company; that company doesn't offer dog shirts at the moment. But we really hope to add dog apparel at some point.

The Dance Enthusiast: Are your products available at any brick-and-mortar locations yet?

Dancers & Dogs: Nope, everything is only available through our website.

Kelly Pratt and Ian Kreidich with their dog, Dillon. Photo © Dancers & Dogs.

The Dance Enthusiast: Which city are the pair of you traveling to for your next photo shoot?

Dancers & Dogs: We are planning on going back to New York City in the late spring. There are so many amazing dancers there, we could probably go back another 10 times. We are still planning where we will go after that.

The Dance Enthusiast: What have you learned about yourselves individually/as a couple through Dancers & Dogs?

Dancers & Dogs: I think we've learned that anything can happen! This project was never expected to go as far as it has. We learned to accept what life throws at you, and to just say yes to any opportunity that comes to you! You won't know if it's going to work, or if you're doing things right, but you have to give it a shot.


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