By Kristen Oelschlagel
A local student has combined his passion for dance and photography.
Jamie Nix, a Grade 12 student at Centennial Secondary School, is showing a collection of his photographs at the Belleville school’s Catherine Glover Gallery.
“I called the collection Reflections because they are a reflection of the photographs I’ve taken over the past two years here at Centennial Secondary School,” Nix said.
A ballet dancer at the Quinte Ballet School of Canada, Nix said most of his photographs are dance inspired.
“I really enjoy the pictures that the lines of the body can create from dance poses. I can capture the emotion of dance in photography,” said Nix.
His dance inspired photographs featured dancers in different dance poses and a variety of scenes. Nix’s collection included photos of dancers on pointe and his favourite photograph of a male dancer posing on a tree stump.
“It’s my favourite piece because it shows emotion, has great texture and accentuates the dancer,” Nix said.
Nix started photography in Grade 11 when he first came to Centennial Secondary School.
Lynne Weinert, the Grade 12 photography teacher at the school, said Nix is not only a great photographer but also a great person.
“He is really well liked. He’s outgoing, creative and hardworking,” Weinert said.
One of Nix’s photographs will also be on display at Quinn’s of Tweed Fine Art Gallery during an exhibition that runs from June 2 to 17.
“Each photography teacher from Catholic and public schools was invited to select one student’s work, so I selected one of Jamie’s,” Weinert said.
Nix has been dancing for nine years, attending dance schools throughout Canada and the United States.
“I got into dancing when I saw some tap dancers performing and thought, I wanted to try that. I started out in tap and moved on to ballet, jazz, hip-hop and contemporary,” Nix said.
Gizella Witkowsky, a ballet teacher at the Quinte Ballet School of Canada, said Nix started his photography project while off from dance with an injury.
“I was so proud and happy for Jamie that he had an injury and instead of being depressed he created this project. While he was injured he gave himself something creative to do and still made a contribution to himself, the school, the arts and to the other dancers,” Witkowsky said.
“You don’t meet a lot of people who have a heart of gold. There’s people with big hearts, there’s people where the sun shines through them but I’ve never met anyone so pure.”
While he was off with his injury, Witkowsky said Nix still showed up to dance class to do his exercises and stayed in the best shape that he could. He also took the time to choreograph a pas de deux (a partner dance usually performed by a male and female).
Witkowsky said as a professional ballet student, dancers are required to be at the school six days of the week. They start at 1:30 p.m. and usually don’t leave until 6:30 p.m.
Nix said you have to work hard to balance schoolwork and dance.
“It was a little tough, sometimes there were really late nights staying up doing homework. But I’ve gotten through it and so have all the other dancers,” Nix said.
He plans to pursue dancing for the first part of his career. When his dancing career is over, he hopes to move into photography or dance photography