Our "Twirling into Spring" creative challenge with the children's portrait artist Shari Ford is over. It is now time to present all the participants and reveal the top 10.
48 SPRING TWIRLS ALL OVER THE WORLD :
From the United States, to Japan, Australia, France, the Netherlands, Mexico and as far as Cambodia, thank you to all the princesses who twirled to the rhythm of nature for our contest.
To thank all our dancers, a special award has been granted to each little girl.
Watch our video to discover all the submissions.
TOP 10 :
In pictures and words, meet our top ten twirlers and discover what Shari liked best about each one :
ADELINE FROM TEXAS
Behind the picture : Adeline and I picked this dress for an upcoming wedding. We also had the help of dear Charlotte. Addie was the flower girl! It was such a special, classic dress and the skirt twirls like a dream! We took pictures in our backyard, where we spend most of our time dancing and twirling and being free. Addie gives me the most inspiration—her free spirit and gentle nature are contagious. She dances wherever she goes and lights up the room. We call her our little garden fairy.
If you were a garden/flower : This may be a little silly, but I would have to say our home garden. It is nothing spectacular, but it is our little piece of heaven. We have pots of sweet potato vine overflowing on our back patio and beautiful variegated ginger, indian carnations, and flax lily in our front yard. Our home is our safe place, where you get to be exactly who you were meant to be—for Addie, that means, beautiful, free, and sometimes a little wild.
Addie says : I would be a kitty garden! I really like kitties so much. I would take care of them and give them food.
A favorite Spring tradition : Our favorite spring tradition is probably Easter—its rings in a new beginning, a new fresh start. We serve at church in the morning, surrounded by friends and family, and then eat a meal together. The kids search for Easter eggs and eat melted chocolate all afternoon. It is always a lovely day.
Addie says: My favorite spring tradition is to color a fairy, cut it out and hang it on our wall!
What makes you want to smile and dance the most : My children give me the greatest joy, they are my biggest accomplishment and we are always having dance parties in the living room, outside, wherever we go!
Addie says : I love dancing with my baby sister, Eloise! Dance parties are my favorite!
Your favorite way to spend a mum and daughter moment : Adeline and I love sitting and doing our nails together! It is so fun to pick colors and design our nails. We try to do it twice a month and it is such a special bonding time.
Addie says : I love having a 10 minute time to snuggle together and I love singing with mommy. I really love doing our nails together too.
Busy Toddler is founded by Susie, mum of 3 and former teacher. Her mission is to bring hands-on learning and play back to childhood, support others in their parenting journey, and help everyone make it to nap time.
Kids eat in color gives meal advice and tips for picky eaters.
Shari's opinion on the photo : "What a wonderfully dramatic pose! The drop of her right hand is wonderful, as is her turned leg and pointed toes!"
NEATH CHHUNA FROM CAMBODIA
“Pure happiness is found in nothing but in the precious smile of a little girl. Chhuna loves to dance and twirl her dress. She loves to be called princess and to be surrounded by her family. This photo was captured by her wonderful daddy on one Sunday morning in our front yard.”
Shari's opinion on the photo : "Such a joyful twirl, I can definitely feel the movement in the swing of her tiara crowned hair and the beautiful swoosh of her dress."
BRIANNA FROM OREGON
Behind the picture : We picked this dress for our annual family photo shoot. When we found out there was a twirling contest, I knew this dress would be perfect. I envisioned my daughter Brianna twirling in the Tulip farm here in Oregon among the magical colored tulips with the hot air balloons that often fly by. We have had a lot of rain and got lucky to have a sunny day and beautiful weather when we came out on the farm. I wanted to capture Brianna carefree and young, to freeze the moment in time. We created amazing memories at the Tulip farm which was much needed after years of lockdowns, sadness in the world. Next, to the peonies and lavender destinations… I just love the Beauty of Oregon where it is untouched and we can feel as one with nature.
If you were a garden/flower : I really Love peonies as they bring me calmness and sweet scent. Brianna loves lavender fields for the simplicity, scent and calming color. She loves how it puts her at ease, calms and makes all the worries go away.
A favorite Spring tradition : We enjoy hiking as a family in the spring. We are lucky to have many beautiful hiking trails in Oregon, the perfect getaway from the city.
What makes you want to smile and dance the most : Brianna loves spending time with her family. She also loves fashion and that makes her very joyful.
Your favorite way to spend a mum and daughter moment : Lately, watching Downtown Abbey together. We love talking about the future and making plans together.
An inspiring IG family account : @ani_family. We love how they Love Jesus, spend time together and surround themselves with beauty. It makes me so happy to see a loving family that is growing in kindness.
Shari's opinion on the photo : "So much to love here! The vibrant tulips and her lyrical, sunlit pose are just beautiful! It’s amazing how many colors can be found in a white dress!
ANNA-ALICIA FROM THE NETHERLANDS
Behind the picture : Anna-Alicia laid her eyes on this beautiful ballerina dress. One beautiful Sunday afternoon she put her dress on to dance and twirl among the spring flowers. It was the perfect opportunity to take pictures!
If you were a garden/flower : 'A butterfly garden' and as a butterfly garden my wish would be freedom for all, just as free as a butterfly is.
A favorite Spring tradition : Having our Sunday family walks with my sons and husbands. We like spending time outdoors together.
What makes you want to smile and dance the most : The smiles and happiness of my 3 children, I automatically dance and smile along!
Your favorite way to spend a mum and daughter moment : Going out together and spending some time shopping in our nextdoor favorite shops. Combined with getting an icecream treat.
We also love taking a stroll in the parc nearby to smell the fresh flowers.
In meantime we have our precious mother & daughter conversations. Which we will for always treasure!
Shari's opinion on the photo : "The back lighting on her dress and hair is magical, as is the wisteria arbor! I love the way her bow frames her face and her graceful hands."
CHARLOTTE FROM FLORIDA
Behind the picture : This photo is from the beach where we spend a little bit of time on and off during the winter. It’s one of our “happy places” and Charlotte has been going since she was 8 weeks old so it’s like home to her. A place we are never quite ready to leave.
To be honest, I had not “picked” the dress for this particular reason! We wear these beautiful dresses quite often, for everyday wear as well as special occasions, and it was truly just a morning at the beach and I had my camera out! But, I absolutely love the blues together. This is one of my favorite pictures!
A favorite Spring tradition : We love planting flowers around Mother’s Day and I hope to have our own beautiful garden someday!
What makes you want to smile and dance the most : As you can see, the sunshine, ocean and fresh air makes Charlotte smile and dance the most!
Your favorite way to spend a mum and daughter moment : We love to go for a walk or bike ride in beautiful weather and reading together.
An inspiring IG family account : @maryahafner She is a mother and blogger from Dallas.
Shari's opinion on the photo : "How wonderful it is to dance on the beach in a lovely dress! This is just perfect with her sweet profile and the wind blowing her hair and dress as she twirls!"
EVELYN FROM GEORGIA
Behind the picture : Evelyn's favorite thing to do is "twirl," so when I saw the contest I knew I had to enter her! We chose to take pictures in front of her great-grandmother's flowers. They were born exactly a century apart (1918 and 2018). We feel very fortunate that they were able to meet before Great Grandma passed away at age 100. When I was a little girl, she used to sew dresses for me. My mother (her daughter) was also a seamstress, so I grew up appreciating beautiful garments and embroidery. I chose a dress for Evelyn that I felt was classic and would be one that her little sisters and, one day, her daughters can inherit. I believe Great Grandma would be proud!
If you were a garden which one would it be : Marie Antoinette's peasant hamlet garden at Versailles, or one of the many beautiful private estate gardens in the American South.
A favourite Spring tradition : My favorite Spring tradition is picking blackberries! In early Spring, they are beautiful white flowers, right now they are green fruit, and in another week or so they will be ripe to pick. They grow wild where I grew up, and I used to pick them with my father when I was a little girl. Now my little girls get to pick blackberries from the same bushes. We will make ice cream, cobbler, and pie with all the berries we pick.
Your favourite ways to spend a mum and daughter moment : Dancing, playing on the beach, dressing up for "fancy" occasions, and exploring the woods.
Shari's opinion on the photo : "Evelyn knows how to have fun! Such a great action shot in this beautiful garden. The halo of sunlight on her hair is stunning!"
CATE FROM CALIFORNIA
Behind the picture : This dress is one of our favorites from the spring Charlotte Sy Dimby collection. I love the light blue with Cate’s pale blue eyes, and she loves how it twirls! We chose pink shoes and a pink bow to complement the delicate smocking and coordinate with the spring flowers in this local garden (Gamble Garden).
If you were a garden/flower : I adore, and hope to take Cate, to the Tuileries in Paris! From the beautiful springtime floral beds to the tree-shaded walking paths, to the iconic green chairs where one can rest while having a coffee to the children playing with sailboats in the fountain, there’s something there for everyone to enjoy on a lovely spring day.
A favorite Spring tradition : As soon as it’s even close to being warm enough, we love starting to go swimming!
What makes you want to smile and dance the most : We’re hoping to attend some outdoor summer concerts this year, which we’re very much looking forward to!
Your favorite way to spend a mum and daughter moment : Cate loves her swing in our backyard (and having me push her as high as she can go!).
An inspiring IG family account : I love Jamie Oliver’s - such a delightful mix of delicious food and easy recipes, and he often gets his kids involved.
Shari's opinion on the photo : This pose is just so sweet! I love this little one’s hands and the point of her toe and she begins her twirl! Her blue dress with pink embroidery is lovely with her pink bow and shoes and the pink roses of the garden!"
ELIZA FROM TEXAS
Behind the picture : We took our twirling pictures at the Bayou Bend Gardens. These gardens are serene, and Elizabeth loves to go there to play and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you. It is located in the center of the city, but you feel transported to the countryside. She had so much fun twirling in her dress, and there were quite a few falls from being dizzy. We would laugh and laugh when she got too dizzy, and she would say she needed to take a break.
I chose the Peach Rose Netti Smocked Dress because I love the soft color, and it has embroidery of little blue flowers which is Elizabeth's favorite color. This dress reminds me of an innocent princess. It's so dainty and sweet.
If you were a garden : I would be the gardens at Chatsworth located in the Peak District of England. This is my favorite place on earth. The beauty is indescribable, and it feels as if you are on a movie set with painted backdrops. I often look at the photos I have taken there and cannot believe they are real.
A favorite Spring tradition : We love having weekly picnics in the park. Elizabeth loves to take her shoes off and run around in the grass. Watching how innocent and carefree she is makes me burst with pride.
What makes you want to smile and dance the most : What makes me want to smile and dance the most is simply the joy that it brings to my daughter. We love to dance together, and hearing her laugh and watching her smile is the absolute best thing in the world. She will tell me, "you are the best Mommy in the whole world!" and there are no words to describe how I feel when I hear those words from my 3 year old.
Your favorite way to spend a mum and daughter moment : To hold her in my arms and tell her how much I love her. We give each other kisses with our noses, and then she circles my face with her hand in the same way I do to her when I tuck her in bed. It's the sweetest and simplest moments that can bring the most joy.
An inspiring IG family account : One of the most inspiring Instagram family accounts I have come across is @mrsakins05 This account is owned by a mother of 5 children that lost their father and husband to cancer. I love seeing pictures of all their travels and how they honor their father.
Shari's opinion on the photo : "Such a dainty little curtsy twirl! Her little hands are darling and the dappled sunlight on the garden is beautiful!"
MARIA ELISA FROM MEXICO
Behind the picture : Where we live it is difficult to find spring nature, but the photographer searched for days and found a beautiful place with tiny white flowers and mountains in the background. It was perfect. We chose the Elisa dress, precisely because it bears the name of our little girl and is very special to us.
If you were a garden/flower : One filled with pink roses.
A favorite Spring tradition : Easter day is our favorite tradition, we decorate the backyard, collect easter eggs and eat cake with bunny details. It has always been a beautiful moment year after year.
What makes you want to smile and dance the most : María Elisa always invites us to dance, she has many songs that she likes, we do it constantly and seeing her so happy when sharing those happy moments always makes us smile together.
Your favorite way to spend a mum and daughter moment : Being together cuddled up and laughing is always my favorite moment when we wake up.
Shari's opinion on the photo : "I love how the swirl of her dress is echoed in the swirl of her hair. Such a sweet face! The color of her dress is beautiful against the green of the field."
CARLY FROM FLORIDA
A little bit about the dress : We selected the Ballerina Fouetté Pink Embroidered Dress (from the Celebrate The Art of Ballet collection) for the spring contest, because it holds a very special meaning for Carly. This Spring, Carly was presented with a role in Mount Dora Ballets’ performance of La Fil Mal Gardée. We (Mum and Dad) wanted a special way to celebrate Carly’s wonderful achievement, and knew right away that we would surprise her with a piece from the Celebrate The Art of Ballet collection. There is no more beautiful way to say congratulations than with a Charlotte Sy Dimby dress that is truly fit for a Princess. The stunning dress is Carly’s very first Charlotte Sy Dimby piece. For her, an aspiring ballerina, the design and special details (like the hand embroidered elegant ballerina) could not have been more perfect.
A little bit about the location : Carly’s photograph was taken during our family holiday in Thomasville, Georgia, USA. Thomasville is known as the "City of Roses,” and hosts an annual Rose Show and Festival each April. One of our favorite places to visit while there is the Thomasville Rose Garden. Below I share special details about the garden.
The Thomasville Rose Garden is situated near Cherokee Lake Park on 5 acres of land and provides astounding beauty and a fragrance beyond compare for thousands of visitors each year with over 1500 rose bushes. The garden is planted to include four themed beds: Heroes, Holidays, Love & Cherish and Famous People. (Photo and description provided by ExploreGeorgia.com)
The answers below are those of Carly
If you were a garden/flower : I would be The Rose Garden in Thomasville, because roses are my favorite flower.
A favorite Spring tradition : Dancing and performing on stage. Ballet is my absolute favorite thing in the world!
What makes you want to smile and dance the most : Being on stage with my friends always brings a smile to my face.
Your favorite way to spend a mum and daughter moment : I love to bake with my mum. A chocolate cake is my favorite thing to bake together!
An inspiring IG family account : Samantha Varvel is beautiful! (mum)
Shari's opinion on the photo : "Roses are the perfect background for this graceful pose! Her hands are lovely and the turn of her head is very pretty! The sunlight plays beautifully across her delicate pink dress highlighting her bow and hair. "
This contest would not have been possible without our jury. Thank you to Sally, Laura and Lauren for their input.
Sally Gates is a famous classic pastel children’s portrait travelling all over the United States to paint little girls. With decades of experience, her opinion was extremely valuable.
Laura is a talented photographer based in Alabama. She specializes in photographing newborns, maternity, babies, children, families and seniors. She was the perfect judge to evaluate the quality of the photos.
Lauren is the founder and curator of Splendour in the South. She is quite the expert in styling and decor. Her unbiased eyes exterior to the world of childhood were just what we needed.