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I am very excited to be a part of DIYdancer and to chronicle the production of my documentary film, Strength and Beauty. This film follows three ballerinas for a year to portray the ebb and flow of their lives. Before we get into the nitty-gritty of independent filmmaking I thought I should give a little background on the film.



My films often incorporate dancers as characters and/or topics. Beyond dance I am also very interested in female characters and the struggle that women face in being portrayed both in front of and behind the camera. Dancers must be super conscious of how they look: their career can conflict with their desire to have children, they are idealized, and often stereotypes are cast upon them. I believe that by documenting the life of the ballerina I am not only humanizing an icon, but also examining the struggles all women face.

North Carolina Dance Theatre in Charlotte, NC, welcomed me with open arms to film my documentary. The very first rehearsal I filmed was with one of the dancers in the film, Alessandra Ball, her partner, and Patricia McBride. Afterwards, Patty came up to me to chat and she was so sweet and kind-hearted you would never think she was a world famous personae. Most often, all she wants to tell me about is how brilliant the dancers are at NCDT.  This really set the stage for my experience at NCDT, where they truly value artistry over all else, even when it comes to an independent filmmaker who constantly had a camera in their faces!

Next week I will begin to introduce you to the three ballerinas in the film; if your curiosity is piqued please visit the documentaries website or learn more about North Carolina Dance Theatre, here.

Written by Chelsea Wayant

Chelsea Wayant

Chelsea Wayant is an independent filmmaker and educator living and working in the Southeastern American town of Greensboro, North Carolina. She graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a BFA in film production and from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a terminal MFA in film and video production.

Throughout her career she has worked in all three forms in her field: the narrative, the documentary, and the experimental film. Regardless of the form her work has always explored the portrayal of women both in front of and behind the camera. Thematically her films most often involve women as central characters and often explore the visage of a dancer.