This year, we have been invited back to cover the American Star Ball Championships being held again at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City, NJ! This event has grown every year that we attend, and the dancing keeps getting better. With new ownership taking over the competition, this year will have some changes which you should see at their new website.
The venue is also one of the best reasons to attend this comp. The hotel has been completely renovated at this time from the previous Trump Marina site in Atlantic City. There is easy access to all the hotel amenities, and the large ballroom where the dancing is held is a perfect setting for ballroom dance.
As a repeat venue, there are many benefits especially for us. Just knowing how to load in all of our equipment takes a lot of the worry when going to an event so far from home. With this in mind, we are looking forward to a great weekend! Here are some of my favorite images from last year’s event. Enjoy!
Life takes a strange winding road. Looking back, my wanting to be in something creative led me to photography. Although I love music, and had studied piano from 4 until college, my attempt at becoming a pianist, a-cappella music director, or recording engineer was just not sustainable. I had an amazing time doing these things, but I always seem to come up a bit short when challenged. Much like in my science career at the time, I was adequate, but not special. However, I may have gotten lucky at the Bally’s casino/hotel in Atlantic City.
When dancing in at the 2007 Arthur Murray Dance-o-rama, I photographed my fellow students, and instructors from the Arthur Murray dance center in Tysons Corner, VA. Throughout the weekend, I found that ballroom dance was a terrific subject for photos! Additionally it was a fun challenge to capture. There were different types of dances, and different costumes for each type of dance. Also lots of personalities that could be captured from facial expressions, body movement, and moments in between dances. I pushed my camera and 70-200mm lens as far as they would go. It was necessary to try to get better photographs during each heat.
Professional Dance Competition
Overall the goal was to catch dancers in their dramatic lines that were well-practiced, and perfected leading up to the competition. Comparatively, i tried to catch students performing at their best in front of the judges! Likewise it was an ice breaker to interact with students from other studios. With a cheering crowd, and encouraging friends I felt that I really wanted to capture the mood. It was not every day that you see an event of this kind.
Now, three years later, the thrill of that first big competition is still with me. With this in mind, I will again go to the Bally’s Atlantic City for the 2010 New Jersey State Open. It was the same room that I made my first ballroom dance photographs. I still get caught up in the excitement when the music starts. Moreover there is another set of friends, instructors, and dancers start to cheer! My hope is that I can capture not only the anxious, excited mood of the event but the months and years of work the dancers have invested.
Bally’s Atlantic City
There are so many I need to thank for helping me along this journey – Steve Theiss for giving my first opportunity to photograph dancers and who really helped open the door to more events, to my first subjects at this dance event who sucked my laptop’s battery dry on the ride home to view all the photos, and lastly to my wife Bryony who has gone to EVERY event I have photographed doing everything behind the scenes from downloading cards, editing images, and talking with dancers about our photography. I am really behind on the blog, but I promise to get more of our 2010 events up here very soon!