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The Story Behind Those Dance Photography Instas You're Obsessed With

Photo by Jessica Zollman (@jayzombie) via #CamerasandDancers

If you're like us, your Instagram feed is probably oversaturated with gorgeous dance shots of your favorite performers. (Not complaining!) But search for "#CamerasandDancers," and you'll find dance photography that stands out from the crowd.

#CamerasandDancers in Washington Square Park, PC Dave Krugman (@davekrugman)


That's because #CamerasandDancers founder Jacob Jonas has created a one-of-a-kind Instameet (an in-person gathering of Instagram users) where dancers and photographers collaborate on shots that expand their craft and produce breathtaking results. Two years and 30 events later, Jonas has built a huge following for his own troupe, Jacob Jonas The Company—and given dance huge visibility within the Instagram community.

His magic formula? A talented dance company (he's worked with Paul Taylor Dance Company, The Royal Ballet, Pilobolus and other top troupes, and often uses his own company), strong photographers with large social followings, and a gorgeous setting—like Jacob's Pillow, the Santa Monica Pier or the Kennedy Center. They shoot for three or four hours, and then distribute the content they've created on Instagram.

Behind the scenes of #CamerasandDancers in Philadelphia, PC Bastiaan Slabbers (@bastiaan_slabbers)

Not only is #CamerasandDancers giving dance more visibility and providing dancers with unique shots for their portfolios, but it's helping institutions sell tickets: Sometimes Jonas partners with the venues (like The Music Center and Jacob's Pillow) who are presenting the company he's working with, helping to push ticket sales by reaching online audiences that the institutions and companies themselves may not have access to.

It's a win-win for everyone involved, but especially Jonas, who has managed to propel his fledgling company into the spotlight and establish himself as a bonafide Instagram influencer.

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