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I'm Ali Rae and I love building brands.
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I would say a person is most beautiful when she is doing what she loves the most. It’s easy to tell that Isha comes alive when she is dancing!
Her love for dancing started when she was living in DC. She was dancing with a team there, but when she got married she moved to Fredericksburg to live with her husband. Once she was in Fredericksburg, she realized how much it had become a part of who she was. It was impossible to make the drive to and from DC as often as she needed to in order to remain part of her DC dancing group, but that wouldn’t stop her from doing what she loved.
Her passion evolved into a project. That project is now a nonprofit organization named Semilla Cultural, a group that celebrates and practices the Puerto Rican dance form called bomba. It is a unique dance form because rather than the dancer dancing to the rhythm of the music, the musicians create a beat to match the rhythm of the dancer. The longer the musicians and the dancers practice together, the better the musicians can anticipate the moves and rhythm of the dancers.
When Isha began Semilla Cultural, she said she had no idea how quickly it would take off. They are five years strong now and participate in events in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Within their first year of existence, they were asked to perform at the Library of Congress! Talk about an amazing stage!
Their next workshop is July 13th in Chesterfield, Virginia, followed by a performance at the Lincoln Memorial on August 2nd, if you would like to go out and support them! In addition to performing, they also offer classes and workshops for all those wanting to learn and understand bomba!
When Isha contacted me and told me her vision for our session, I was so stoked. It was something I hadn’t really done before, but we were combining creative forces to document a beautiful dance form. As we were driving to meet one another, we were texting between stoplights because the sky looked quite ominous. Once we arrived at the Chancellorsville Battlefield where Isha would be dancing her heart out, we both received a tornado warning on our phones.
Thankfully, Isha is also a meteorologist. Her coworkers were the ones that were distributing the warnings…how crazy! She assured me that the “shelf cloud” was far enough away that we could shoot part of the session before we got drenched. We shot then took a break for about 15 minutes to let the storm pass. She is such a trooper that she put her shoes and skirt (handmade of beautiful silk, by the way) and continued dancing!
We got in some more formal headshots as well to round out her session. But I cannot get over the beautiful colors of the sky that the storm provided us. I feel like both of her passions—weather and bomba—perfectly convened to create the ideal session for Isha!
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