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Sally Ryan July 18, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.

Line Dancing, Montgomery, Illinois 2000

Sally Ryan (b. 1976, USA) received her Bachelor of Journalism degree in 1998 from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She worked for several newspapers before launching her freelance career in 2006. Sally is a frequent contributor to national and international publications and also works with a variety of private and non-profit clients throughout the United States. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Spin, Time Out Chicago, Time, Inc., MSNBC.com, The London Times, and The Onion A.V. Club, as well as overseas publications. Sally is currently teaching a graduate level photojournalism class at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Chicago and is is represented by Zuma Press.

About the Photograph:

“Linda Pasetti, a Harley motorcycle owner and Ladies of Harley member, was the featured speaker that night with plans to teach the other ladies the finer points of country-western line dancing. The initial focus of my shoot was on another woman, an ovarian cancer patient I had been photographing for a few weeks, who was also the president of the Fox Valley LOH chapter. Walking into the Veterans of Foreign Wars community room, the plastic musical notes above the wood paneling immediately caught my eye. Hoping a moment would unfold in front of that backdrop, I began photographing the meeting. After the business portion of the meeting concluded, Linda Pasetti walked to the small stage in front of the musical notes and started her line dancing lesson.”

“At the end of the meeting, I sat down with Linda to learn more about her love of line dancing. She began line dancing a couple of years earlier, and said it completely changed her life. Joining the line dancing crowds at local bars, Linda says the activity helped her lose 40 pounds. She also said instead of drinking beers at the bars, she started drinking more water to stay hydrated so she could dance longer. Linda’s photo and story eventually became the first feature in a photo column I wrote for Copley newspapers. Meeting her and learning her story inspired me to seek out other residents of the western Chicago suburbs to feature in the weekly column.”