American Ballet Theatre principal Misty Copeland and soloist Alexandre Hammoudi. "Other people's words are very powerful," Copeland told photographers Deborah Ory and Ken Browar for their project. "You can't let them define you. Take what you think is going to help you and don't let it beat you down."
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater dancers Michael Jackson Jr., background, and Sean Aaron Carmon. "I have always had long arms, which often made me embarrassed and self-conscious," Jackson said. "Dance taught me to embrace and use them to speak the words I could not say."
New York City Ballet principal Ashley Bouder. "My biggest fear is getting injured and not being able to dance the same way, even though I've had major injuries before," she said. "I'm the only dancer in the world who's missing an ACL, which is basically impossible. I'm a medical anomaly."
American Ballet Theatre principal Daniil Simkin. "Dance is, of course, comprised of many fleeting moments, but photography can address the evanescence of dance and preserve those moments that would otherwise be just a memory," Simkin said.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater dancer Fana Tesfagiorgis. "I wish more people knew what it felt like to actually dance," Tesfagiorgis said. "When your most-focused mind, your most-moldable body and your truest spirit all intertwine at their highest level. It can literally feel like flying."
Lar Lubovitch Dance Company dancer Barton Cowperthwaite. "Dancers who get stuck emphasizing only the athletic aspect of dance seem to have only one note they strike repeatedly," company founder Lubovitch said. "It's the difference between yelling and singing. Barton sings."
New York City Ballet principals Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild. "I wish I had known to take care of my body when I started dancing," Peck told the photographers. "Dance is an extremely physically demanding career, and it is really important to be good to your body, because it is your instrument."