Recently, I was lucky enough to get some gorgeous photographs of dancers from San Francisco Ballet and New York City Ballet to post in pointemagazine.com's web exclusives section. Most of the images we run in Pointe feature professionals. I love looking at their strong technique, developed artistry and toned bodies—I once literally drooled on our art director's desk over a pair of beautiful Bolshoi feet.
But there's something about the spirit of students—their hunger, their excitement—that creates a different kind of magic on camera. Bay area photographer Douglas Despres recently emailed me a few black and white shots he took of the teenage dancers of Alameda Civic Ballet. As he puts it, "There's this energy, sometimes nervous and sometimes boundless, that the young dancers have, which seems to infuse the studio space with life." Although they may not have 180-degree turnout or nose-high extensions, these preprofessional dancers aren't lacking in passion. Take a peek at Despres' gallery.