Ballet is something that not everyone can learn to do overnight. It requires years of training and discipline. That’s why people would always think highly of ballerinas. They gracefully perform on stage with extravagant costumes and beautiful sets.
Kelly Pratt, a photographer who started a project with her husband, Kreidich, wanted to break down that wall between ballet dancers and other people. She was hoping for people to see that these ballerinas are also just like the rest of us.
So Kelly reached out to Stray Rescue of St. Louis, a shelter that takes in any kind of stray dog regardless of their condition or breed. Because stray dogs have had a hard life, some are sick, malnourished, or abused, making it harder for them to get adopted.
This inspired the couple to photograph the pups with ballerinas from the St. Louis Ballet as a creative way to raise awareness. The project was called The Muttcracker, which is a part of their photoshoot series called Dancers and Dogs that started in 2017.
They featured dogs and cats from the shelter together with ballet dancers. Kelly thought these rescue dogs deserve to be shown in a fun and whimsical way because of how great these pooches are. They are hoping that their photos would help them find their forever homes.
This project also aimed to show the other side of ballet dancers who are known to be serious in their training for ballet performances. The photographers said that having cute puppers on set made the mood light and fun because they never know what may happen next.
The Muttcracker grew in just two weeks and got viral in 2018 when the video was uploaded and reached 41 million views on social media. Today, they also sell Dancers and Dogs merchandise composed of apparel, calendars, and books to continue to inspire people around the world.
Video Credit: This Dog’s Life