Last weekend I once again was the official photographer at the annual STOMP charity dance event and as always it was both an amazing group of people that put together an amazing show for the people that attend.
For those of you that don’t know what I am talking about, STOMP was the brainchild of a gentleman named Mark McEwen created after the tsunami on boxing bay in 2004 with the first STOMP in 2005 where it raised money for the fishing boars in a small Sri Lankan fishing village that was wiped out.
It initially started out as an Adhoc event but has since transformed into one of Canberra premiere annual Latin dance event. For more information about their history check this link out.
Since that time STOMP has raised over $150,000 towards their selected charities, here each year they select a few different charities to sponsor. One of the main charities they do sponsor is the local Rotary group with most of the money raised going to them.
One of the great things for me as a photographer is that each year has a theme and EVERYONE dresses up in that theme, which I must say is very unique given people come from over 300km away to be there and a range of locals. I can only put it down to that because this is a dance event that the dance community just love to dress up and they are super supportive of each other and enjoy being a bit flamboyant. Either way its always a surprise of what theme the will come up with and something that I always look forward to photographing and being part of.
The event typically runs where people show up at around 6:30 pm to relax with a few drinks from the bar and find their seats. They have about 1 hour of dance performances which are performed by dance studios both from there and Sydney which I think is just amazing. After the performances, they clear the hall and set up two rooms each with their different theme where people can move around as they see fit. Each room has its own personal DJ with the main hall having all sorts of cool lighting that brings out the heritage-listed architecture of the building.
I am not sure what the thinking is behind each performance but what I can say having seen many years of them, they are always just amazing. Its a mixture of both professional and beginners that want to just have a go and perform for the pleasure of others.
One of the great things I love about STOMP is the people…. The people that give up so much of their time to support and give back to others. While I have been photographed all sorts of dance the Latin dance (not be be confused with Latin that is related to ballroom) is the most open and friendly of them all. They give back and in all the years of photographing this style, I have never, ever heard anyone be bitchy or backstab anyone which unfortunately is rare given I have sooo much all-access to all-areas I hear a lot of things. Not from these people.
Most of the night is filled with social dancing and a great chance for me to capture people interacting without them knowing I am there so they are more natural than any staged shoot I could ever do. 🙂
All in all, it was a fantastic night.
So the figures are in and for that night they raised $10,600 which an amazing feat. Here are their official results
* Pets In The Park ($2,120 / 20% of funds).
* Kelvin Davies 4 the Rainforest ($2,120 / 20% of funds)
* Karinya House ($2,120 / 20% of funds)
* Rotary Club of Canberra Burley Griffin local community programs ($4,240 / 40% of funds).
If you want more information about the event you can touch base from their facebook page their website
I do have a special mention is to 303 Industries where they come up with a white backdrop allowing them to project all sorts of lighting stuff on there. Truly a great idea and it really worked as you can see.
While his website sucks arse the ability to light up a room in a special way is just fantastic. Here is some of his work of his website and in that page, you can see a link to the background and lighting I am talking about. NOTE: If you look closely at the super bright moon in the middle it’s my bald head reflecting off the light. hahahahaha
As I do at the end of every STOMP I look forward to next year. 🙂
If you want to see my other posts about STOMP you can find them here