A few is lifting spirits this holiday getaway time by photographing adoptable animals with ballet dancers dressed in festive costumes

A couple is lifting spirits this holiday season by photographing adoptable animals with ballet dancers dressed in festive costumes
A photograph from Dancers & Dogs’ “Muttcracker” series.Dancers & Pet dogs
  • Dancers & Dogs was designed in 2017 by photography duo Kelly Pratt and Ian Kreidich as an experiment that brought canines and dancers with each other.
  • Now, the couple generates a holiday break model of the project each year — dubbed the “Muttcracker” collection — that functions adoptable animals posing future to St. Louis Ballet dancers in festive costumes.
  • Talking to Insider, Pratt stated the getaway task is all about having exciting and raising recognition for animal adoption.
  • Natalie Thomson of the Stray Rescue of St. Louis, which offers the animals each individual 12 months, included that the photos create an “extraordinary” effects that has resulted in highlighted animals staying adopted.
  • This report is portion of a series titled The Doers.

Some shelter animals go their complete lives devoid of a everlasting place to simply call home. But dance photographers Kelly Pratt and Ian Kreidich are serving to to alter that for some animals in Missouri.

By means of their images task, Dancers & Canine, the few joins cute canines with skilled ballet dancers for amazing pictures. And throughout the getaway season, they acquire their undertaking a phase further by photographing adoptable animals with dancers dressed in festive costumes for a collection called the “Muttcracker.”Insider spoke with Pratt about Dancers & Dogs’ mission, helping animals get adopted, and spreading joy during a tumultuous 12 months with the support of some ballerinas and furry close friends.

A couple is lifting spirits this holiday season by photographing adoptable animals with ballet dancers dressed in festive costumes
A distinctive-demands pet poses with a dancer dressed as the Sugar Plum Fairy.Dancers & Canine

Dancers & Canine began in 2017 as a ‘random experiment’

At the time, Pratt believed it’d be fascinating to have puppies pose along with some of the St. Louis Ballet dancers that she and her spouse have usually worked with due to the fact 2014.

“We were just striving to see if we could make any shapes or interactions that seemed exciting,” Pratt informed Insider. “But then it really caught on from there and we went with it.”


Their initially picture shoots went so properly that Pratt and Kreidich established a objective to photograph 100 dancers and 100 canines, turning their little idea into a enormous job that extended out of St. Louis. Now, the duo has surpassed their target – so considerably so that they’ve misplaced keep track of of how a lot of dancers and pet dogs they’ve photographed.

https://www.youtube.com/look at?v=msYHlNrGRMk

Luckily, Pratt and Kreidich have been capable to obtain dancers and portrait-completely ready puppies just about all over the place they go.Somewhere around a person-third of the dogs highlighted in the image project are owned by the dancers they pose with, in accordance to Pratt, and other people are community animals that are snug remaining in unfamiliar environments.

“If we go to New York or a little something like that, we will display screen for canines that are properly trained to do shots, or canine that are just ready to sit, continue to be, and be comfortable in the sort of environment we are in,” Pratt explained. “It is really not for every one canine. They are not all snug currently being in a studio with strangers.”

A put up shared by Dancers & Canines (@dancersanddogs)

3 years back, Pratt and Kreidich commenced a getaway part of the task playfully dubbed the ‘Muttcracker’

“A single thing we usually wished to do with Dancers & Dogs is incorporate animals who are up for adoption,” Pratt advised Insider. “We preferred to give again, and we’re huge supporters of rescue animals, so we required to figure out a way to do that.”

Pratt came up with the thought to have their dancer buddies pose in festive costumes from “The Nutcracker” when interacting with canine. And for a heartwarming twist, they’d function animals from the Stray Rescue of St. Louis as their 4-legged products.

A couple is lifting spirits this holiday season by photographing adoptable animals with ballet dancers dressed in festive costumes
This marks the third year of the “Muttcracker” undertaking.Dancers & Canines

According to Pratt, customers of the St. Louis Ballet “volunteer their time for this task just about every yr.” The Stray Rescue of St. Louis, on the other hand, provides adoptable animals that they know will be relaxed close to studio lights and tools. From there, absolutely everyone “just attempts to have entertaining,” Pratt claimed.

“It truly is seriously uncomplicated,” Pratt additional. “These usually are not as associated as our usual photographs – we do not have the dancers do insane moves or anything at all like that. It is really just genuinely to build some sweet interactions and have enjoyment.”

Natalie Thomson, the director of advertising for the animal rescue, extra that a further target of the “Muttcracker” challenge is to “enable people recognize that adoption is genuinely the finest solution” when bringing an animal into your everyday living.”These beautiful, healthy, satisfied animals are waiting in shelters across the place for a loving household to give them a likelihood,” Thomson explained to Insider. “And this photo shoot does a superb position of conveying this critical information.”

Pratt mentioned each individual animal highlighted in the “Muttcracker” picture shoots of 2018 and 2019 was adopted – most in just a matter of times. And these showcased in this year’s photos are on track towards the very same fate, according to the photographer.

A couple is lifting spirits this holiday season by photographing adoptable animals with ballet dancers dressed in festive costumes
The pics usually direct to animal adoptions.Dancers & Puppies

Of study course, the 2020 photograph shoot was a bit diverse as a outcome of COVID-19 and other occasions that created for a rocky yr. However, Pratt, Kreidich, and all other individuals concerned understood that their getaway job was as well critical to their fans – and the highlighted animals – to skip.

“All people just desires some thing favourable in 2020, so we actually just had to do it again,” Pratt claimed of the image shoot.

Thomson included that when the Stray Rescue of St. Louis is “always thrilled” to be showcased, those people operating for the donation-centered business knew that “this 12 months would be more important than ever.”

Pratt says she’s particularly very pleased of the simple fact that Dancers & Dogs can set a smile on people’s faces, even through tough situations

“We have people today now, our followers, who truly glimpse forward to it,” Pratt explained to Insider. “It is a single of people warm and fuzzy assignments that can make people pleased and provides them a smile.”

And it is not just viewers who are happier as a final result of this undertaking the featured animals are benefiting just as much, if not far more.

“We have featured some animals that have distinctive requirements and may possibly have a more difficult time acquiring a house that’s appropriate for them,” Pratt explained, including that they’ve showcased a canine with a wheelchair, as nicely as two pet dogs who have problems with their back again legs. “They are entitled to to have a pleased house, and I imagine they do now.”

Thomson agreed, and described the impact of these image shoots as almost nothing less than “unbelievable.”

“We seek out out and get in those people who no other business will aid, or would simply euthanize mainly because they are way too pricey to heal,” Thomson explained of the Stray Rescue of St. Louis. “We rescue the deserted, crushed, bred, fought, injured, terrified, defeated, and betrayed.”

A couple is lifting spirits this holiday season by photographing adoptable animals with ballet dancers dressed in festive costumes
The Stray Rescue of St. Louis has been majorly impacted by these images.Dancers & Pet dogs

“The minute animals enter our doorways, we glance in their eyes and promise them all the second likelihood they are entitled to for well being, residence, determination, and love, no make a difference the time or cost,” she ongoing.

Lots of of the animals in the pictures had been pulled from dying row, recovered from gunshots, survived doggy fights, and extra,” Thomson mentioned. “To see them in this stunning way truly exhibits just how beautiful and courageous they definitely are.”