These fantastic dance portraits came from a collaboration on Shapr
New York City-based artist Roshaknie Hayes believes that collaboration is at the heart of all artistic endeavors. His philosophy is one that is shared by the team at networking app Shapr: no human is an island, and we could all use a little inspiration to get the creative juices flowing.
Roshaknie, or Ros for short, moved to New York City from Wisconsin three years ago to train with the prestigious Joffrey Ballet School. Now, he’s a professional dancer, model, and photographer, as well a coordinator at Ammon Carver Studio. He loves being both in front and behind the camera, and seeks out projects that will stimulate his myriad interests.
“I kind of hate to label myself as one thing,” Ros tells us. “I do a wide variety of things, and I love meeting people with different skill sets.”
His disparate passions made Shapr a perfect match for Ros’ search for collaborators. Shapr users can pick up to ten interests to help match them with relevant people such as #photography and #dance. Ros says that he appreciates the opportunity to find people with complementary passions, and not just get pigeonholed into one profession on the app.
“It’s really nice to match on Shapr, because you’re just sort of over the awkward first message,” Ros says. “You’ve matched based on interests, so you already know you have something in common. People on Shapr often don’t want to chat too much [in the app], they just want to get coffee right away, or I tell them to meet me right at my studio.”
Through Shapr, Ros has met several collaborators including photographers who hope to use him as a model and models open to working with him on his own projects. One of his meaningful collaborations to date includes a series of works he shot with fellow photographer AJ Sharma and vocalist/model/muse Helen Denham, both of whom he met on Shapr. Parts of the series are now live on Instagram, and the trio plan to create several works of art together in the future.
The above photo is from one of their collaborations, captioned “You keep me safe, I’ll keep you wild.” The photo and the caption are meant to represent the beauty of exploring different sides of yourself, and the ability of inspiring people to bring out different facets of your identity.
“Looking at a photo you may not understand someone’s whole story,” Ros says. “That quote is about artists helping each other and growing, we’re always learning. Even though you might be a vocalist or model or whatever you identify as, you may have many other talents that come together in this one photo.”
Ros credits Shapr with bringing them all together, and connecting artists with fascinating collaborators in a stress-free, purely businesslike manner.
“There are a lot of networking apps out there, but I really love Shapr,” Ros says. “It’s strictly business, which is really nice, and it’s connected me with such amazing people.”
Check out Ros’s work on Instagram — @roshaknie