In middle school and high school, I was a dancer. I loved expressing myself through ballet, jazz, and modern dance. It was a time of leotards and leg warmers, and sweatshirts with the neck ripped out. I reveled in it all; the choreography, the music, the intense workouts and sore muscles afterward. While I was passionate about dancing, I knew that I didn’t have what it would take to be a professional dancer, and I pursued my other interest…animals. I have spent nearly 30 years helping people better understand the dogs in their lives, and this is why when I came across the “Dancers & Dogs” project on social media, I was hooked.

What seemingly began as a far-fetched idea to bring professional ballet dancers together with a wide variety of dogs, finally came to fruition with the recent publication of the hardcover, coffee table book, “Dancers & Dogs,” beautifully photographed by the husband and wife team of Kelly Pratt and Ian Kreidich. Many people think of the ballet and ballet dancers as snooty, snobby, rigid, and overly serious. Truly the polar opposite of dogs who are fun-loving, exuberant, and often far from graceful. After photographing more than 100 dancers and 120 dogs, across 10 cities, Kelly and Ian discovered that they were onto something magical. The elegance of professional dancers combined seamlessly with dogs, well, just being dogs. All of the dancers volunteered their time as did the owners with their canine companions. There were even dogs on the project with special needs: one was deaf and another had only three legs. A wide variety of dogs were used and happily the photographers reported that no toe shoes were harmed during the project!

This book is delightful from start to finish. Every single page is full of joy and possibility. The dancers are breathtaking, and I was mesmerized by what they were able to do to incorporate dogs into each composition. The use of color in this book makes it really warm and inviting and the stories peppered throughout just add to the pleasure of this one-of-a-kind photo book that just begs to be shared. The main goal for Kelly and Ian was to create something that made people smile. They have succeeded. This book is for everyone, but especially for the dancers, dreamers, and dog lovers on your holiday gift list. And the best part? A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book goes to Stray Rescue, a St. Louis-based non-profit rescue organization dedicated to finding homes for pets in need.

Get your own copy here.

Julie Bond

Julie Bond is a voracious reader with eclectic tastes running the gamut from YA lit, to psychological suspense, and anything dog-related, of course. You can find her haunting her favorite San Francisco Bay Area indie bookstores. Email her at ObsessiveBookFanatic@gmail.com

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