DANCERS & DOGS started out as a wildly random idea one day in early 2017. St. Louis based professional photographers Kelly Pratt & Ian Kreidich, a husband-and-wife team who work with the Saint Louis Ballet along with dancers around the country, had a vision: "What if we took pictures of ballet dancers, with dogs?"
On paper, it was a strange concept and didn't make sense. Ballet is often seen as stuffy, moody, or unapproachable and dogs are known to be inherently playful, happy and goofy. However, after photographing their first duo Ericka and Baxter, an English Bulldog, Kelly & Ian fell in love with the concept and launched DANCERS & DOGS, a project which would ultimately photograph 100 dancers & 100 dogs in over 10 cities across the country in the span of two and a half years. The result demonstrates that you can both bring out the lighter side of dancers while teaching old dogs new tricks.
“DANCERS & DOGS shows the more light-hearted, human side of dancers. The soul of this book is not about perfection (an idea which can be very hard for ballet dancers!). It’s about being in the moment and experiencing joy. Because dogs don’t care if you have the highest arabesque or can do 32 perfect fouettes. They just love you as you are.” – Kelly Pratt & Ian Kreidich.
Releasing just before Thanksgiving, the final DANCERS & DOGS hardcover book contains over 200 pages of photographs and their favorite behind-the-scenes stories about the project and some of the featured dancers and dogs. A portion of the book’s proceeds will go to Stray Rescue, a St. Louis based non-profit that is currently at capacity and is eager to find homes for loving pets ahead of the holiday season.