The Dance Instructor by Ben Waggoner

~ Please click image to enlarge ~

Family of three Sandhill Cranes ( Grus canadensis ) discussing the finer points of “the dance”.
Text from
Sandhill Crane: Large wading bird with gray body, white cheeks, chin, upper throat, and bright red cap. Bill is dark and eyes are yellow. Legs and feet are black. Direct, steady flight on heavy and labored wing beats. Slow downstroke, rapid and jerky upstroke. Flies in V or straight line formation.
Location: Clermont, Florida
Nikon D40x, Nikkor 55-200 mm at 72 mm
1/80 sec, F4.2, ISO 400
© Ben Waggoner, All Rights Reserved.

If you like The Dance Instructor, you may also enjoy The Choreographer


  • kathy s gillentine
    kathy s gillen...about 4 years ago

    sensational capture

  • Thank you, Kathy! I was excited to happen across these three doing their dance!

    – Ben Waggoner

  • KatMagic Photography
    KatMagic Photo...about 4 years ago

    That is just too funny.. your title is perfect as it really does appear that a lesson is being given to to quite attentive students… and the demonstration is a good one!

    Just a great shot and I’m sure you were pleased to get this…. what were they doing, any idea?

  • Thank you, Kat! =)
    From something I read, the cranes have about five “dances”; two are for acquiring a mate, and the others are to strengthen the bond once the relationship has been established. This picture is of a mating pair with one of their offspring, so I’m guessing that (perhaps) “Dad” is showing the young one, “this is how you impress a girl, son!” =)

    – Ben Waggoner

  • Diane Blastorah
    Diane Blastorahabout 4 years ago

    Another wonderful capture Ben, a ballet lesson perhaps?? :)

  • Thank you, Diane!
    I’m really not certain what they are doing, since it is a breeding pair and one of their offspring. I like to think that Mom and Dad are teaching Junior what he needs to do when he goes out to find a bride…

    – Ben Waggoner

  • Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos
    Konstantinos A...about 4 years ago

    Marvelous action shot, great work Ben!

  • Thank you! I consider that a high compliment, coming from such an outstanding photographer as yourself!

    – Ben Waggoner

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