Ballroom dance is, in Ariel’s case, an umbrella of nine separate dances each of which require multiple skill sets and sub-disciplines: coordination of body mechanics (Personal Mechanical Discipline), physical and emotional response to the movements and performance of a partner (Partnering), conveying of the feelings appropriate to each dance with respect to its cultural root and capturing the attention of the audience (Performance).
Each competition is a thrilling culmination of many hours of hard work, dedication, and discipline. Ariel’s aim is best defined not just by the judges’ scores, but by reaching her own individual goals. As Mikhail Baryshnikov said, “I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself.”
Photography by Melanie Eve Barocas