Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tiffany + Tia | Urban Ballerinas

I was beyond excited when Tiffany reached out to me about doing a shoot of her and her sister (Tia) in Panama City. She had always dreamed of having photos taken of the two of them dancing and I was definitely up for the challenge! It was very beautiful watching them not only dance, but interact with each other. Several times I noticed them unintentionally moving in sync with each other and I often felt as though I must be seeing double!

Tiffany and Tia have both been dancing for almost 25 years and have both taught since they were each about 16 years old. Tia now teaches at the Carmel Academy of Performing Arts in Carmel, CA and is the artistic director of Dance Kids of Monterey. She is also the medical director of a very successful Ophthalmology practice. Tiffany taught and danced all through college and law school (Alabama). After graduating law school she took one year off from teaching and hated it! She now teaches at Tonie's Dance Workshop in Panama City and also teaches summer workshops as a guest instructor at different out of state locations. Tiffany now owns her own law practice where she specializes in civil litigation.

"Tia and I have always been pretty inseparable and always grew up sharing a room. Tia was asked once in an interview if she had to move to a deserted island and could take one thing from her room what would it be....she answered "there are a lot of important things in my room but I think I would have to take my sister!"We were never really competitive with each other dancing but we're very competitive with ourselves. We both always ended up doing most of the same roles....I of course did them first because I was older and Tia would usually follow right behind.

The funniest thing was to always see the reactions of an audience when they watched a performance and finally realized that there were two of us....not just one crazy person changing clothes that many times!! We looked so much alike when we were on stage with our hair pulled back in buns that people would think we were the same person having to dance all of the parts!

We both have had leading roles in ballets like The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Giselle, Paquita, Don Quixote, Coppelia, Sleeping Beauty, etc. Also, we have worked professionally with multiple ballet companies and danced as guest artists with multiple companies during college and graduate school. We lived together throughout college until I left for law school and it is tough not seeing each other as often. We just make sure now that the time we spend together gets to be quality. I usually try to get out there at least 3-4 times and year and she comes here about the same." - Tiffany

When asked about how many pair of pointe shoes they have gone through . . .
"We don't go through as many pairs of pointe shoes now that we teach but we are a little odd as teachers...we still wear them pretty regularly when teaching pointe classes. Most teachers would never put them back on for money! However, we used to go through one pair of pointe shoes each per performance and usually one pair a week for classes and rehearsals! Its a good thing the ballet company bought our shoes!!!"


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