Youth Ballet Memphis member to be featured in new book supporting our National Parks

Sydney Hall, Ballet 7 and Youth Ballet Memphis member, has been selected to appear in an upcoming book entitled Dance Across the USA by photographer Jonathan Givens. Hall is featured at Cumberland Falls National Park in Kentucky. Givens is traveling to all 50 states to raise awareness and funds for our National Parks. 

From the artist's website:


The idea behind this project is to showcase the variety and beauty of both our country, and the dancers that live within it.  We want to be able to promote dance as both a wonderful career and lifestyle, as well as a great benefit to the development of children.  To do this, we are going to drive to all 48 contiguous states, (and fly to Alaska and Hawai'i) to photograph a dancer at a national park, national historic location, or state park.  These images will be cataloged on this website, and will be eventually combined into a book which will be sold to benefit the national parks and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Dance as an activity benefits children and adults in a variety of ways.  There is the obvious physical benefit, but the goodness doesn't stop there.  There are documented benefits in self-esteem, social interaction, and even improvement in education and general learning.  Dancing with others fosters lifelong friendships, and gives people great joy by being able to dance.  

Another benefit of this project is to remind us of America's majesty.  Our country covers a wide variety of ecosystems, great history, and beautiful scenery.  With the recent rise in popularity of dance in the public eye, ranging from television show like Dance MomsSo You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars, to films (Black Swan, Billy Elliot, the Step Up series) and of course Broadway, we can help the interest in dance to foster a rise in interest in our national parks and historic sites,  With almost a 20% drop in visitation per capita since 1993 (source - Declining National Park Visitation, by Stevens, More, and Markowski-Lindsay 2014), our citizens are focusing more and more on electronic media, which forgetting about the physical experience of our national history and beauty.  

We believe that by photographing talented dancers in these nationally significant locations, we will both increase the interest in dance, as well as expose people to the accessibility and majesty of our country.  The end result of this project is to create a photo book with all the images created on the journey.  Once complete, a portion of the proceeds will go to benefit the national parks, as well as a National Endowment for the Arts. Thanks for being a part of it!