Dancers & Dogs Are A Pet Project

Photographs that defy gravity … and expectations
By Karen B. London PhD, April 2020

The power and elegance of professional ballet dancers combined with the fun and flair of dogs. The results are imaginative, artistic photographs from a project called Dancers & Dogs that is the work of wife and husband photographers Kelly Pratt Kreidich and Ian Kreidich of St. Louis. They have been the St. Louis Ballet photographers for years, and Kelly came up with the idea of photographing dancers with dogs.

Dancers are sometimes perceived to be formal and serious, but their fun and playful sides are more easily displayed with dogs. In a behind-the-scenes video of photo shoots, we can see how it all comes together, while seeing the joy of the dancers, the dogs, the trainers and the photographers.

All of the dancers are professionals, and the dogs must meet a number of criteria to participate in a photo shoot. They must be polite and well-trained indoors, able to sit and stay even when their guardians are at a distance, and knowledge of tricks is a bonus.

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Most importantly, they must be able to handle the crazy sights and sounds of a photo shoot. Only dogs who can take it all in stride without becoming stressed are featured in any photographs.

You can see many more Dancers & Dogs photographs in their book, calendars and postcards. The pictures are clean, sharp and innovative, and that’s not even the best part! A portion of the proceeds go to Stray Rescue, a St. Louis organization dedicated to helping stray dogs in need of medical help and placing them in loving homes.

All the images show jubilant dancers connecting with charming dogs, and often convey the athleticism of both.

The project is yet another example of how everything is better and more beautiful when dogs are added.

Of course, people from the world of dance and from the world of dogs (as well as people in both spheres) are smitten with these photographs. What’s not to love?

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Karen B. London, Ph.D. is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer who specializes in working with dogs with serious behavioral issues, including aggression. Karen writes the animal column for the Arizona Daily Sun and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University. She is the author of six books about canine training and behavior, including her most recent, Treat Everyone Like a Dog: How a Dog Trainer’s World View Can Improve Your Life