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5 Books Every Dance Teacher Should Own

American Dance: The Complete Illustrated History

by Margaret Fuhrer

Voyageur Press; 288 pages; $45

Legendary dancers and choreographers like Fred Astaire, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Martha Graham jump off the pages of this beautiful coffee-table book on the history of American dance, by Dance Spirit editor in chief Margaret Fuhrer.


Being a Dancer: Advice from Dancers and Choreographers

by Lyndsey Winship

Nick Hern Books; 200 pages; $20.95

Get guidance from some of the world's brightest stars like Carlos Acosta, Wayne McGregor, Hofesh Shechter, Darcey Bussell and Tamara Rojo. Advice ranges from the poetic ("Every Romeo needs a Mercutio." —Carlos Acosta) to the practical ("There's always another job."—Adam Garcia).

Dance to the Piper

by Agnes de Mille

NYRB Classics; 368 pages; $17.95

Twentieth-century choreographer Agnes de Mille is famous for her ballets and Broadway works, including Rodeo, Oklahoma! and Fall River Legend. In her 1951 memoir, now released in a new edition with an introduction by dance writer Joan Acocella, de Mille tells her story with humor and candor.

The Art of Movement

by Ken Browar and Deborah Ory

Black Dog & Leventhal; 304 pages; $37.27

Get your dance photo fix with these gorgeous images of dancers from American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The Royal Ballet and other companies. There are also inspirational quotes from the featured dancers and a foreword by ABT principal Daniil Simkin.

What the Eye Hears: A History of Tap Dancing

by Brian Seibert

Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 612 pages; $35

The New York Times dance critic Brian Seibert delivers an illuminating history of tap dance, including its origins in jig and clog dancing; hoofers like Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, the Nicholas Brothers and John Bubbles; and how stars like Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly took it to the silver screen.

Teachers Trending
All photos by Ryan Heffington

"Annnnnnnd—we're back!"

Ryan Heffington is kneeling in front of his iPhone, looking directly into the camera, smiling behind his bushy mustache. He's in his house in the desert near Joshua Tree, California, phone propped on the floor so it stays steady, his bright shorty shorts, tank top and multiple necklaces in full view. Music is already playing—imagine you're at a club—and soon he's swaying and bouncing from side to side, the beat infusing his bones.

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Teachers Trending
Evelyn Cisneros-Legate. Photo by Beau Pearson, Courtesy Ballet West

Evelyn Cisneros-Legate is bringing her hard-earned expertise to Ballet West. The former San Francisco Ballet star is taking over all four campuses of The Frederick Quinney Lawson Ballet West Academy as the school's new director.

Cisneros-Legate, whose mother put her in ballet classes in an attempt to help her overcome her shyness, trained at the San Francisco Ballet School and School of American Ballet before joining San Francisco Ballet as a full company member in 1977. She danced with the company for 23 years, breaking barriers as the first Mexican American to become a principal dancer in the U.S., and has graced the cover of Dance Magazine no fewer than three times.

As an educator, Cisneros-Legate has served as ballet coordinator at San Francisco Ballet, principal of Boston Ballet School's North Shore Studio and artistic director of after-school programming at the National Dance Institute (NDI). Dance Teacher spoke with her about her new position, her plans for the academy and leading in the time of COVID-19.

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News
The author with Maurice Hines. Photo by Anthony R. Phillips, courtesy Hopkins

In March, prior to sheltering in place due to the coronavirus outbreak, my husband and I traveled from New York City to Miami to screen our award-winning documentary, Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back, at the Miami Film Festival.

Our star, Tony Award–nominated dancer and choreographer Maurice Hines joined us in Miami for the festival—stepping and repeating on the opening night red carpet, sharing anecdotes from his illustrious seven-decade career with local tap students, and holding court at a cocktail mixer with lively female fans.

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