Diane always keeps busy, from teaching classes at her studio, Ringstar, to instructing private lessons at other locations. She always finds the time to practice her art. I watched her stretch in positions that I did not know were humanly possible, as she tried to perfect her split. Later, she showed a few of her students some of her silk skills. Her form was beautiful, twisting and rolling out of the brightly colored silk. Her enthusiasm shines through her body movements and continuous persistence. What amazes me is that she is mostly self-taught, watching YouTube videos and mimicking the art of professional performers.
I followed her to a silks class she teaches at a local elementary school. The kids were very enthusiastic and jumped right into learning. Diane very straight to the point and knows how to control her hyperactive, energized class. She gives individual attention to each of the eager students. Later on this week, I photographed a contrasting class, of middle-aged women who were learning poi spinning, which will eventually lead to fire poi spinning. The woman were there for their “ladies day out,” half scared of the fire, but loving every minute of the rehearsals.
After a long day at work around 9 pm, I followed Diane home to photograph her nightly routine. Diane and her fiancé, Chris made dinner while watching a Lord of the Rings special effects video. Because they do a lot of stage combat and archery, the use of CGI and stunt men is very interesting to them. Diane stretched while watching TV, while Chris lifted some weights. After, Diane cleaned knives while Chris sharpened them. They have a wide collection of weapons and knives and I was able to see a few of their favorites. After the house was warm enough from the wood heater, they further let their guard down and allowed me to capture their naturalistic lifestyle. They were comfortable with me following them into their nightly routine of showering, brushing their teeth etc. It was really interesting to see Diane’s dynamic day, from teaching and practicing, to going home and relaxing, (if you call more stretching relaxation).
- Nikki Horowitz