Grace Borun: DanceSport Photography
Notes from Grace Borun's Presentation ...
DanceSport is also known as competitive ballroom dancing and it is an exact sport. It is strictly governed and sanctioned by regulatory bodies on the national and provincial level: CDS-Canada DanceSport (National) DSAB DanceSport Alberta (Provincial).
CDS is a National Sport Federation and represents DanceSport competitors in Canada. It is one of 92 National Sport Federations, members of the World DanceSport Federation, which is based in Switzerland and represents about 9.5 million competitors worldwide; 68 of these federations (including Canada) are recognized by their National Olympic Committee.
CDS consists of five regional member associations:
Competitors compete in 10 dances divided into two categories: Standard and Latin with five dances in each.
Dance presents wonderful opportunities for photography. It is full of stories told by the competitors through the dance. Each dance has a different character and will bring a different story. The waltz will project a feeling of lightness and happiness as opposed to tango, which is very dramatic. Latin dances will of course exude tremendous sensuality and romance.
Dance photography can also present a technical challenge for a photographer. Shooting is usually done in low light and no flash is allowed and those dancers move fast. It can be a visual feast with the display of colours, extreme make up, hairdos, ballroom gowns studded with crystals, and tail suits. It is also a display of superb athleticism and stamina. Apparently, competitors who reach World Championship finals will dance the equivalent of 60 minutes of the 800 m dash. DanceSport is the test of not only skill and artistry, but also extreme fitness and stamina.
Grace Borun: A Treasure in the DanceSport World
Written by Lynn Spiller, IACC Member
Written by Lynn Spiller, IACC Member
Grace Borun excels at many types of photography and is well recognized within the Club. However, the focus of her Showcase was her Competitive DanceSport Photography. There are some 9 million members internationally, who compete in the 10 dances within two categories of Standard and Latin dance.
Grace divided her presentation into three segments, the first showing the elegant Waltz, considered a standard dance. The second segment showed moments during breaks, with dancers relaxing or preparing to compete and also included some of the children starting out. The dancers appreciate Grace capturing time outside of the actual dancing. The last segment was the Rumba, a Latin dance. For each slide, Grace had the full image along with a second image slowly zooming into a part of the body. This was extremely effective, as it emphasized the
sensual aspect of the dance.
Grace's photos were stunning. They captured the flow of the beautiful gowns, the dancers' expressions, the makeup and their precision footwork. Over all,
the dancers' flexibility and fitness is emphasized in the photos.
Some of the challenges of this photography are dealing with low light settings, with flashes not allowed and the dancers moving very fast. In addition, the photographer must not block the view of the audience and must never ever block the judge's view. Grace uses a monopod for some of the time,
but many dances can only be captured with a handheld camera.
Grace once danced competitively, so she knows the patterns and what to expect, which is a great advantage. There is mention of how fit the dancers are, but the day for the photographer goes from
9:00 a.m. to midnight with no significant break.
(So we know Grace doesn't just look super fit.) By the end of the day, Grace usually has 2,000 to 3,000 photos to go through and then more work begins for
Grace is treasured in the Competitive DanceSport world, as she has all the wonderful qualities for capturing memories with her photographs.