royalmugshots

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The ongoing story of Royal Dance Works in images and video as seen through the lens of studio photographer Dustin Curtis. Royal Dance Works is a contemporary dance studio located in Phoenix, Arizona USA.

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Coming soon to an email near you! The last batch of pics - Recital and Banquet. Then it’s on to next year.

For those of you who missed out on this year, the year coming up is sure to be one of great memories for your dancer. Stay tuned in the coming weeks to find out how you can have your own Personal Paparazzi for the upcoming dance year.

All the pictures of your dancer from royalmugshots.com delivered directly to your email.

  • Posted 2 days ago
  • July 22nd, 2014

1 Likes & Reblogs

July 20, 2014:
Man landed on the moon for the first time 45 years ago today. But even more importantly, Marley is 9 today. Marley was in Petites last year and is probably out enjoying her summer. 
Happy Birthday Marley!

July 20, 2014:

Man landed on the moon for the first time 45 years ago today. But even more importantly, Marley is 9 today. Marley was in Petites last year and is probably out enjoying her summer. 

Happy Birthday Marley!

  • Posted 4 days ago
  • July 20th, 2014

1 Likes & Reblogs

What the audience doesn’t see:
There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes at Recital. From the wings, backstage, the green room and more. See all the action from the not-so-glamorous but still entertaining side.

What the audience doesn’t see:

There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes at Recital. From the wings, backstage, the green room and more. See all the action from the not-so-glamorous but still entertaining side.

  • Posted 6 days ago
  • July 18th, 2014

1 Likes & Reblogs

July 17, 2014: Sarah is 13 today.

Every year a few dancers make a splash at recital big enough that I really notice them through the lens. What a better time to introduce one of this year’s standouts than on her birthday? Sarah looked good in everything she did. She danced effortlessly in all the styles and wore a beautifully real expression, even when she was obviously tired.  And the teachers must think she looks good too, because every picture here was taken when she was front and center! That doesn’t just happen by accident.

I think she’s just coming into her own, and what a better time to gain confidence in yourself than on your 13th birthday. Happy Birthday, Sarah. I hope you have the best day and that even bigger things lie ahead for you in dance.

  • Posted 1 week ago
  • July 17th, 2014

1 Likes & Reblogs

Could you help me out today?

 We had over 325,000 picture views on royalmugshots from June 1st until now. That’s nearly 7,500 a day! It amazes me how many of you look at the site on a regular basis and those numbers encourage me to keep providing top quality work. I’m looking to find out a bit more about who comes here and you can help me by answering 3 quick questions. Just click to take my online survey. It will take you less than 30 seconds. That’s it, then you can go back to looking at pictures. Thanks a bunch!

Could you help me out today?

 We had over 325,000 picture views on royalmugshots from June 1st until now. That’s nearly 7,500 a day! It amazes me how many of you look at the site on a regular basis and those numbers encourage me to keep providing top quality work. I’m looking to find out a bit more about who comes here and you can help me by answering 3 quick questions. Just click to take my online survey. It will take you less than 30 seconds. That’s it, then you can go back to looking at pictures. Thanks a bunch!

  • Posted 1 week ago
  • July 15th, 2014

1 Likes & Reblogs

Happy Happy Day to Bridgette! July 15th, 2014

Bridgette turns 14 today! I love her headshot above even though it’s about 9 months old. She was actually making fun of this kind of shot, but it turned out really well. The top image is from recital which also turned out really well.

Can I say something?

The term “beautiful inside and out” is one of those overused sayings you see a lot on Facebook these days. But if you are going to use it, use it on this girl…one of the nicest, most caring kids I know.

I hope your special day is really special, Bridgette.

  • Posted 1 week ago
  • July 15th, 2014

1 Likes & Reblogs

Performer of the Month: Mop Up Duty #4

Ms SWAG Herself - Emily V.

Woah! I almost passed this one by because I was confused. There were actually 4 late year Performers of the Month. There was an Emily in Teens that was POM back in August, but that was Emily C. And so after giving Emily a really hard time in yesterday’s post it’s time today to give her the credit she has earned.

Emily is a repeat POM as were the other three dancers featured in the Mop Up Duty series. And like them she deserves this recognition. From my vantage point I see a girl that works very hard to get better and is athletically gifted. She is becoming a powerful dancer and is enjoyable to watch.

And something else for the fun of it. I am a huge Game of Thrones fan and since the day I started watching the show one of my favorite characters has been Arya Stark. And I think a lot of that is because Emily reminds me of her. Not only do they look alike but their personalities are somewhat the same; strong, independent, not overly dainty. The top two pictures are there for comparison. The others images are there for you to see her amazing talent.

Congratulations Emily on another successful year of dance.

  • Posted 1 week ago
  • July 11th, 2014

1 Likes & Reblogs

Performer of the Month: Mop Up Duty #3:

On Ashley Being Swag and also it Being Her 14th Birthday Today!

I think Ashley was the earliest of the last three performers to be announced but I put her last for 2 reasons. #1, TODAY IS HER BIRTHDAY - WOOHOO HAPPY BIRTHDAY ASHLEY!!! and  #2, I needed to do some research, because when I was interviewing her about POM back in May someone told me that one of Ashley’s unfortunate traits is that she wasn’t SWAG, or had no SWAG, or something to that effect.

This fellow dancer (I won’t identify her by group or name) also told me that I definitely had SWAG and, of course the fellow dancer also believed that she herself was SWAGworthy, but somehow Ashley was not. And I just had to find out for myself how you would objectively come to such a conclusion.

So, on to the Urban Dictionary I went, which by the way is often a place you should avoid when researching such things. 

All I got from there was definitions posted by people using vulgar language to describe how basically SWAG is a term used by teenage girls to tell the world they are cool but it actually is an idiotic term. And those who use it are stupid. I actually thought the definition better described the people writing the definitions who probably actually thought they were SWAG by pointing out how dumb teenage girls can be. And I thought that made me more SWAG to recognize that. But what about Ashley?

So, I found this out: SWAG was a termed coined by American men in the 1960s that stood for “Secretly We Are Gay”. With the world changing as it is today there is less and less need for that term, especially in America. And that certainly did not apply to Ashley. Then it was defined as an acronym for “Super Wild A** Guess”, a term coined by the military in World War II and one I have personally heard used while doing business in Texas (Yee-haw!) That could have applied to Ashley in the past when she was acting uber-goofy and I would ask her dad what she was doing and he would say “I think she is trying to communicate with us, but that’s just a SWAG”.

Of course she has matured quite a bit from when she was 6 or 7 (yes she has been around the studio that long), so today that definition also would not apply. Then found this definition:

SWAG is slang word originating from Shakespeare’s use of the word “swaggering” in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” It is not used in the same manner, but that’s the first time it appears in the English language. The word “swagger” was made by Scandinavians as early as the 1530s, but Shakespeare’s use of the word gave it a new meaning (as early as 1590).

Wow! Shakespeare must have certainly had megaSWAG, as we still read his books today almost 500 years later. I don’t think anyone will be reading this in 500 years and I supposedly have SWAG myself, according to the fellow TEEN dancer who shall remain nameless.

So, my conclusion is that to be SWAG is to be COOL and now that I have verified that we can look more closely at Ashley to see if she does or does not have it. And since she is a Performer of the Month and I a photographer, let’s look at it from that perspective, through images, starting with the bottom picture above. This is Ashley in a contemporary dance and she is riding high on shoulders, looking straight at the audience with a look that is very intense. And look at those feet. They don’t get much sWAGgier than that. So far, so good for Ashley.

The middle two pictures show how she can look “word” in Hip Hop and how she can really look the part in ballet. I believe in Russia they call that SWAG! (pronounced SHVAUG) No kidding! Looking even better for Ashley. Now let’s go to the top picture.

As with all the above pictures it was taken at Recital just a couple of weeks ago. I knew I would need recent proof to fend off the naysayers. If my proof was a few years old someone would have said Ashley may have has SWAG then, but have you seen her lately? I wasn’t going to chance it.

So, the top picture is of Ashley and a group of fellow TEENS standing in front of a prop used in the Ensemble Dance ‘School Daze”. The girls posed in front of the prop that pronounced the last day of school to be 4-20-2014. Now you don’t have to be SWAG to understand the significance of 4-20, which was removed at the girls’ request. It honors the use of a leafy substance that is only legal in Colorado and Washington and understanding that I should not exactly tie them into an image that might make them look like they are condoning that whole 4-20 thing makes all the girls in the photo a little more SWAG. But Tony “the choreographer” Suski’s reasoning for putting the date on there is that it also signifies the date of the Columbine High School shooting. The double meaning for the subject of this dance shows incredible artistic SWAG on Tony’s part. The girls didn’t know that. Less SWAG.

But what about Ashley and whether SHE is or has SWAG? 

Look closely at that top pic. She is staring down the camera and making a statement with her eyes. In this photo she owns the photo, she owns the moment and she owns the group of dancers around her, including the girl on the left, who is indeed the girl that accused Ashley in her presence of having no SWAG. THIS GIRL SHALL REMAIN NAMELESS. I looked again at the pic and decided that Emily (oops) was right, she, Emily, does have SWAG and so do I. But so do ALL the girls in the pic, especially Ashley because she was not only a POM last year, as was Emily, but the day the image is released to the public, today, just happens to be her Birthday!

And your birthday is the one day you have SWAG no matter what!

  • Posted 2 weeks ago
  • July 10th, 2014

1 Likes & Reblogs

The List is OUT!
Yes! It is that time of year when the new list comes out. How will the Performance groups look for the coming year?!??. The days leading up to receiving this list in the mail are tense for you and your dance friends. Sometimes that mailman or that email just doesn’t come fast enough. The hours tick by……so………. slowly…………
Then it’s here! But there is a nervousness about opening it up. This is as exciting as Christmas morning, but somehow way more scary. Then, where do you show up on the list, who is in your group with you, why aren’t some of your friends the list. Aren’t they coming back?? A rush of emotions, then the calling and texting starts. Some happy beyond belief, most getting what they expected, a little disappointment here and there.
But within a week or so it’s all accepted, the new groups are what they are and we get ready to move on with another year. The groups are always different from last year, new challenges are ahead, new bonds form, new successes and fond memories result. And there is a final acknowledgement amongst dancers, friends and parents that once again the faculty got it right!
I see it every year. It always works. So, wherever you end up, give it all your effort and enjoy the upcoming season with all your heart. Enjoy every bit of it because it all goes by so quickly. Just ask the graduating seniors from last season who are not on the list, and didn’t even get one for the first time in many years.

The List is OUT!

Yes! It is that time of year when the new list comes out. How will the Performance groups look for the coming year?!??. The days leading up to receiving this list in the mail are tense for you and your dance friends. Sometimes that mailman or that email just doesn’t come fast enough. The hours tick by……so………. slowly…………

Then it’s here! But there is a nervousness about opening it up. This is as exciting as Christmas morning, but somehow way more scary. Then, where do you show up on the list, who is in your group with you, why aren’t some of your friends the list. Aren’t they coming back?? A rush of emotions, then the calling and texting starts. Some happy beyond belief, most getting what they expected, a little disappointment here and there.

But within a week or so it’s all accepted, the new groups are what they are and we get ready to move on with another year. The groups are always different from last year, new challenges are ahead, new bonds form, new successes and fond memories result. And there is a final acknowledgement amongst dancers, friends and parents that once again the faculty got it right!

I see it every year. It always works. So, wherever you end up, give it all your effort and enjoy the upcoming season with all your heart. Enjoy every bit of it because it all goes by so quickly. Just ask the graduating seniors from last season who are not on the list, and didn’t even get one for the first time in many years.

  • Posted 2 weeks ago
  • July 9th, 2014

1 Likes & Reblogs

Shootin’ in the Duce Part 2: 2014

The Senior Shoot tradition was 5 years old this year and did we find just the right place. The Duce is the place to be if you want a cool, retro, funky place to eat, dance and…..do a photo shoot. It’s just south of downtown at 525 S. Central Avenue and sliders are their specialty. They have about 10 different kinds. The restaurant was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives so I won’t elaborate on the menu too much.

The second year of our Senior Shoot was also in the Duce, the name for the old warehouse district south of the ballparks. It’s named for the produce processing buildings that saturated the area up until the 1980s. So returning there for Part 2 was fitting.

I call the series of images above "Who Run the World?" You can see the rest of the shoot in the Galleries section.

  • Posted 2 weeks ago
  • July 8th, 2014

1 Likes & Reblogs

Performer of the Month: Mop Up Duty #2

Runner Up Performer of the Year for 2014: 

Sarah Nolan

Sarah is our next honoree for late year Performer of the Month. She was also a repeat recipient of the award. For Sarah, it’s her last hurrah. Now that nationals are over, her dance career at Royal also comes to an close. She was a graduating senior and has really done a good job of entertaining us over the past several years.

She ended strong and was awarded runner up POM. A great honor indeed! I’m sure everyone at Royal will agree when I say Sarah, we wish you well in your life ahead and thanks for all the memories you were a part of here at Royal Dance Works.

  • Posted 2 weeks ago
  • July 7th, 2014

1 Likes & Reblogs

Two of our finest are going under the knife this week to fix the injuries they suffered during last season. Taylor from Juniors is having knee surgery for a torn meniscus that she incurred just two days prior to recital. Hannah from Teens is having shoulder surgery for an injury that has plagued her for several months.

Taylor had to watch all of recital from the sidelines and I know it was hard for her to do. But parents and students rallied round a bought her a big plushy gift to make the whole thing more, dare I say, bearable! Let’s wish her a speedy recovery so she can get back to what she is getting good at.

Hannah won’t be returning to Performance next year choosing instead to concentrate on her high school life. Let’s also wish her well as she deserves it. Hannah has become a pretty durn good dancer over the past few years and is one of the nicest girls I know. And we don’t like to see the nice ones suffer.

Good luck to you both in your rehabs.

  • Posted 2 weeks ago
  • July 6th, 2014

1 Likes & Reblogs