Strange Wildlife Sightings this summer

Photo by Gene Rodman Part of the cover to the calendar that will raise funds for the Red Lodge School of Dance.

All summer long locals and tourists alike have been hiking to their favorite fishing hole, or up at the pass ready to ski, and have seen an unusual site; a mother carrying a suitcase, and a girl dressed in tights and a tutu.  Ballerinas have been appearing in meadows, at brooks and waterfalls, and in the snow on the mountains for the past few months.  Red Lodge produces strong and adventurous ballerinas.   So who is responsible for Red Lodge ballerinas standing on rock ledges, hanging from 100 year old trees, and balancing on hay bales? The idea for this project was developed by Gene Rodman and Tracy Shaw of Montana Photographic Arts after attending the Red Lodge School of Dance recital “Kaleidoscope”. Impressed by the local advanced dancers and their amazing abilities on pointe, Rodman knew he had to photograph them. Rodman and Shaw had been moved by “The Ballerina Project” which started in Hawaii and has expanded primarily to New York, Boston and Chicago.  Professional ballerinas are photographed in cityscapes and outdoors in unusual locations and positions. Rodman felt that local landscapes and the local ballerinas would be perfect for their project.   This summer Rodman has photographed all of the advanced dancers of the Red Lodge School of Dance in and around our beautiful town.  The pictures will be made into a 13 month calendar.  Rodman has graciously donated his time and is splitting the profits with the dance studio.  The funds raised will be used for various studio improvements and the educational outreach fund that helps our dancers to receive additional dance education.  We hope that the beauty of this calendar will benefit the community, our dancers, and their families.   As a mom involved with this project the experience has been fun and exciting.  I have seen my daughter stand on pointe at the gate up on the pass, while skiers walk past her.  I have hiked to two different waterfalls and held my breath hoping my beautiful girls would not fall on slippery rocks as they pose in front of some of nature’s most beautiful landscapes.  The pictures that Rodman has taken are truly breathtaking, and I am so thankful that we have been blessed to be a part of this once in a lifetime opportunity.