Photography book of Pittsburgh dancers during the pandemic

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book of photography highlighting Pittsburgh dancers

“Waiting in the Wings – Pittsburgh Dancers Experiencing the Pandemic” features photos of 30 dancers from eight Pittsburgh dance companies. A portion of the proceeds will support mental health initiatives for dancers.

Pittsburgh, PA (April 7, 2022) – After more than two years in the making, “Waiting in the Wings – Pittsburgh Dancers Experiencing the Pandemic” featuring the photography of Anita Buzzy Prentiss is available for purchase. The book is a collaboration between Prentiss and Kathleen McGuire Gaines, the founder of Minding the Gap, a social good company that seeks to see mental health regarded with the same seriousness as physical health in dance culture. “Waiting in the Wings” features 30 dancers from eight Pittsburgh dance companies. Included with the stunning images are quotes from the dancers on the challenges they faced and what they learned dancing through the pandemic.

Prentiss and Gaines were scheduled to have a first-time meeting just days after the Covid-19 pandemic shut Pittsburgh down in March of 2020. After a few months passed, they realized that they both lived in Pittsburgh’s Swisshelm Park neighborhood and began taking frequent walks together. The topic of discussion for these walks quickly became how they could help dancers, shuttered out of the studio and the stage, as they managed the pandemic. They imagined a book that would highlight the beauty and diversity of Pittsburgh’s dancers and support their mental health.

A portion of the proceeds will support Minding the Gap’s mental health programming for dancers. “The importance of mental health has never been clearer than it is now,” says Gaines. “Dancers must surmount incredible mental challenges every day, often with little or no mental health resources, but the impact of the pandemic has been staggering. It warms my heart that Anita has chosen to support the dancers in this way.”

“These photos that I was so honored to create with the dancers while they were off stage during the pandemic show them as the confident, strong, graceful people they are. Sticking with what they love during this challenging time was so inspiring to me and this book is a tribute to them," says Prentiss.

April 16, 2022 at Attack Theatre studios, Buzzy Photography and Minding the Gap will hold a book release party. The event will take place at Attack Theatre Studios from 4pm – 6pm and registration is not required, though appreciated. Attendees can purchase a book, meet the photographer, and mingle with the dancers. Light bites and drinks will be provided. Masks are required when not actively eating or drinking.

You can purchase “Waiting in the Wings – Pittsburgh Dancers Experiencing the Pandemic” on the Buzzy Photography website. Or at the release party on April 16, 2022 from 4pm – 6pm at Attack Theatre Studios – 212 45th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15201.

About Buzzy Photography

Buzzy Photography is a portrait studio that has been in business since 1996. Anita Buzzy Prentiss is an expert photographer who is guided by her intuition to bring out the best in each subject. She is also a former dancer and loves creating impactful images for dancers for their portfolios.

About Minding the Gap

Minding the Gap was founded in 2018 by former dancer, writer, and nonprofit development professional Kathleen McGuire Gaines. After more than a decade of writing about mental health challenges for dancers in Dance Magazine, Pointe, and Dance Spirit magazines, Kathleen shared her own experience with depression in a Dance Magazine article titled “Why are we still so bad at addressing dancers’ mental health?” The article went viral online overnight, becoming one of the most read in the magazine’s history.

Stunned by the response, Kathleen left her position as the director of development at the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy to become the founder of Minding the Gap LLC. Kathleen works under the expert consultation of Brian T. Goonan, Ph.D. and Leigh A. Skvarla, Ph.D. Minding the Gap seeks to lead dance culture to value the importance of mental health through advocacy, research, resources, and solutions.

Kathleen McGuire Gaines




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