Posed-dancer photo credits: White background photos -  Max Bekker '25; Outdoor photos - Sydney Sundt '25

Photography students pivot to work with dancers

Photography 2 students had just started a unit on studio photography when dance teacher Mrs. Cara Reynolds approached photography teacher Ms. Amy Haskell ‘91 with the idea of collaborating. The dancers wanted photos. “It’s one of the great things about TGS,” Ms. Haskell said. “Because of our size and flexibility, I was able to quickly pivot from my original plan and have my students work with the dancers.” It was a perfect fit: The experience provided the Photo 2 students with a real, meaningful application of what they were learning and the dancers got the photos they wanted.

“It was so much fun to see the dancers so excited,” Mrs. Reynolds said. “They were saying, ‘sign me up for a shoot, Mrs. Reynolds! Don’t forget!’ They worked really hard to prepare and they discussed and practiced their poses with each other ahead of time.”

The collaboration also highlights the role individual students can play in leading their peers and sharing their passions and knowledge in a Gregory School classroom. “The photography department was so lucky to have Sydney Sundt ‘25 in the Photo 2 class,” Ms. Haskell said. Sydney, who is a dancer outside of school, was able to talk to her photography peers about what it’s like to be a dancer being photographed. “Her insights were incredibly helpful to the photographers to learn just how particular a dancer could be over the position of a knee or the bend of a wrist,” Ms. Haskell said.

While the dancers practiced their poses and planned what they would wear, Photography 2 students practiced in the studio and different environments, using Sydney as a model, getting ready for their big day with the dancers. Each photographer approached this process as though the dancers were clients and they needed to produce final commercial images, which the dancers plan to use for social media and auditions. 

During the shoot, photography students also learned to pivot within the project. A few students had cameras that were down, so they stepped into the very different, much-needed role of being photo assistants.

“It was really nice working with the photography students,” dance student Melayna Matheson '26 said. “It was more fun working with another student because we both got to learn from the experience and because I got to hear their creative ideas for poses. The photos are really nice and look professional, and my mom was really excited to have those pictures.”

3231 N. Craycroft Road, Tucson, AZ 85712
Phone: (520) 327-6395
Fax: (520) 327-8276
The Gregory School is an independent, private,
non-profit 501(C)(3), coed day school for grades 5-12.