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Ana Sophia Scheller, principal dancer from San Francisco

What was your childhood like?

I was very athletic since I was very young . I actually started to do field hockey at the age of 6.

How did you discover ballet?

I was very lucky that the mom of Julio Bocca, Nancy Bocca, a very famous former principal dancer of American Ballet Theater came to grade me every year and she said to my mom that I had very good qualities to be a dancer. So at the age of 9 my mother asked me if I wanted to do it professionaly. And I said yes.

Ana Sophia Scheller - photo by Zarely, ballet blog Ana Sophia Scheller - ballet dacerInterview with Ana Sophia Scheller

Who inspired you the most as a student? Who inspires you the most now?

As a student Paloma Herrera inspired me. She was as well from Argentina and she had an amazing career. Now there are many dancers that inspired me in different roles.

What are you most proud of in your life?

Coming back from injuries stronger.

What keeps you inspired in your career, especially when you have the same show night after night?

That every day is a different day and a different you. Even if you are doing the same show that you did yesterday you can always dance and feel different.

interviews with ballet dancers Ana Sophia Scheller

Zachariah Epperson, photographer from San Francisco

How’d you get started in ballet photography?

The full story of how I started photographing ballet is too long for this Q&A, so I'll keep it short and sweet. I was influenced by a friend in the beginning of my photography path. She was a dancer and loved ballet photography. 10 years after this seed of influence was planted it finally sprouted when I moved to San Francisco and had the chance to work with some of the most amazing dancers in the world. I am truly blessed to have started dance photography with San Francisco Ballet.

What is the main difference between shooting dancers and other people?

Well dancers are people too, just extraordinarily talented ones. Humble, artistic creative, and very generous. I work as a commercial / editorial photographer and I use to photograph weddings, the chance I have to work with dancers is very refreshing and inspiring.

ballet dancer - Ana Sophia Scheller is stretching Ana Sophia Scheller

Do you have a special ritual preparing to work with a dancer?

I'm not one for rituals... I guess I just go through my check list, (Camera, changed batteries, memory cards) The car ride to the shoot always good music, some times classical, sometimes rap, sometimes Bon Iver just depends on my mood that day.

Do you remember the day when you decided to develop yourself as a dance photographer?

I do remember that day very clearly, I found myself on Instagram scrolling through photo after photo of amazing ballet photography. And I just knew this is what I wanted to do... but I didn't think after 3 years that this would become my life, my passion. My love.

Are you following the social media of the dancers you shoot?

I always follow dancers I photograph, out of respect and out of interest and most of the time they're my friends too.

Ana Sophia Scheller - photos by ZACHARIAH EPPERSON
Ana Sophia's Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/anasophiascheller

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