Elliana Walmsley by Eva Nys

Elliana Walmsley by Eva Nys


So many dancers are becoming (or have become) models, that I ought to start recognising them – or at least the ones that seem to have staying power. The merging of rôles is natural: the Russian girl models do it in reverse, by all taking dance/gymnastics classes as part of their model preparation – so they are quite often snapped in leotards. Dancers are used to performing under scrutiny – being criticised, advised, judged: and they are used to their bodies being appraised, appreciated or denigrated. Further, they’re used to long days doing repetitive activities, while adults decide what to keep, change, reject.

One big difference is the associated fandom and hysteria that the American prime-time TV dance shows have generated – modelling by comparison is relatively slow-paced and unpredictable: I’m not sure if most dancers have the patience to wait while a modelling career develops – or maybe go the Jordyn Jones route and do dance, modelling, acting and singing all at the same time, hoping one career at least pans out. The girl in this shot is nine-year-old Elliana Walmsley, snapped by Eva Nys (see Instagram image links below for both): great use of that unfailing wardrobe standby – a tutu, the light from the cupcake dispenser, and the genius idea of having her en pointe  while mundanely pressing automat buttons (tho’ the usual literalist-moms criticise her on Instagram for being on pointe while a couple of years under the recommended age of eleven, probably imagining this was a shot from a bizarre training session – in fact she even had to borrow the tutu…..).

Elliana studied at the Joffrey in Chicago – despite being Colorado born, and currently home-schooled in LA – but her big success has been in series six of Dance Moms. She’s a bit like Maddie Ziegler (and unlike Jordyn), in that she needs quite a lot of careful staging and makeup to be attractive enough to be a model as well as a dancer, tho’ she can count on her extreme popularity on Instagram (very nearly 150,000 followers – see below, and also the YouTube video): if that actually means anything….

Here are some of her images from Instagram – generally backing up my contention that once you get past the astonishing flexibility, movement and physical grace, you tend to get a heap of images of a girl in a leotard incongruously posed on a stairwell, over a train track, in a doorway, lying on a rock, etc., etc.:























…..everyone says what a sweet girl she is, how humble and friendly: and believe you me, those are important characteristics in child modelling as well – prima donnas don’t get recalls……

If they don't like you for being yourself, be yourself even more. ~Taylor Swift #inspiration#competitionday#herewego

A post shared by Elliana Walmsley (@ellianawalmsley_) on


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