I have always wanted to peek into the life of a real dancer. How do they move when doing mundane tasks like shopping at the market? Do they do anything other than practice dance? What music do they like? Can they dance without the discipline of choreography? Do they ever come down from their grand leaps of grace?
For the last few years, I have been photographing the Oregon Ballet Theatre’s dancers for their marketing material. When 1859 asked me to follow a dancer for a few months, I jumped at the chance.
Grace Shibley, a native Oregonian, exudes all of the qualities that we think of when we watch a professional ballet dancer: ever-present poise, acute awareness of nuances in her surroundings, a devotion to precision and a disciplined mind.
Here is a glimpse of her life, as she lives it. Full of grace.
All photos by Joni Kabana