Tiny Dancer.....

Years ago when I worked for the local paper in Helensburgh one of the highlights of the year was the BATD Annual Stage Dance Festival in the Victoria Halls. Over the space of a week hundreds of kids from all over Scotland would come to the seaside town to take part in the competition. The picture potential was always good and you were virtually guaranteed a spread of your pictures and a byline in the next weeks paper, so I loved covering the Festival. I say 'love' and in fact that's where I found 'love'. The organiser of the event was a particularly attractive young woman (with a great pair of legs) called Kirstine Cameron. The first time we met we didn't actually see eye to eye, if fact our first conversation was more of an argument really. As she was the event organiser I had to ask her permission to take pictures and we had a bit of a disagreement about where and when and how that was going to happen. The main stumbling point seemed to be about using flash photography, try as I may to convince her that I didn't want to use a flash anyway as it would kill the atmosphere, she didn't seem to trust me! Well readers this story has a happy ending, I got my pictures in the end and, in spite of our first meeting starting with an argument, this July will see us celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary! Kirstine doesn't teach dance anymore but our daughter Kimberley is a talented dancer and this week she was taking part in the Margaret Rose School of Dancing's annual display. So for the first time in many year I was back in the very same halls where I met my wife and where I took many a good picture. 25 years on I'm please to say that the photo opportunities are still as good, although using a Nikon D3 makes it a lot easier to capture those magic moments than when using a battered old FM2 and a roll of HP5. This picture made me laugh as I took it. I had set up a small studio back stage to photograph some of the kids in their costumes during the dress rehearsal. The 'babies' are always the best for pictures as they just do what they want to do, sometimes that's 'I'll do the dance and look cute', sometimes it's 'I'm gonna stand here and wave to my Mum in the audience' and sometimes it's 'NO - I'm not doing the dance and that's that'! Anyway, whatever they do they always steal the show!

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