Mary Evans Picture Library Collection of the week: Jeanette Jones

Feathers. Low angle view of a ballroom dancer's feathered hem. This photograph was featured in the exhibition 'The Ballroom Spy' in collaboration with artist Jack Vettriano which transferred from Heartbreak, London to the Royal West of England Academy in Bristol in 2011.

If you’re a Strictly fan, you’ll know this Saturday marks an important stage in the annual competition as the remaining contestants take to the floor of the iconic Tower Ballroom in Blackpool.

It therefore seems a good moment to share a more specialised collection; the ballroom dancing images of Jeanette Jones.

An accomplished dancer herself, Jeanette’s photographs record the intense and intoxicating competition environment of the dancing world in the late 1990s and early noughties, mixing candid backstage scenes with magical moments of couples in the spotlight as they perform Latin and ballroom dances under the critical gaze of the judges.

Given rare access to the dancefloor during competitions, she was able to gain the trust of dancers and take photographs of split-second moments in routines performed by some of dance’s most talented figures.

Her photographs show championship competitions at various venues but most notably at the Royal Albert Hall and, naturally, at Blackpool’s famous Tower Ballroom.

In 2011, Jeanette exhibited her work in collaboration with artist Jack Vettriano in the exhibition, ‘Ballroom Spy’, which was shown in London and Bristol and paired Jeanette’s black and white photographs with a series of interpretative paintings by Vettriano.

Mary Evans also represent a number of photographs taken at Henley Royal Regatta during the warm summer of 1995.

Mary Evans are delighted to give Jeanette’s archive its own moment in the spotlight.

Her images reflect not only the timeless glamour of ballroom, but also the nerve, hard work and grit required to achieve success at high level competition.

For examples of the tantalising tango, the raunchy rumba or a cheeky cha cha cha, click here to enjoy Jeanette’s superb portfolio of work.

Picture credit: Feathers. Low angle view of a ballroom dancer’s feathered hem. This photograph was featured in the exhibition ‘The Ballroom Spy’ in collaboration with artist Jack Vettriano which transferred from Heartbreak, London to the Royal West of England Academy in Bristol in 2011.© Jeanette Jones/Mary Evans Picture Library