Honors and Awards

Jacqueline Green

The Princess Grace Foundation has announced its grant awardees for 2014. Dance honorees include Jenelle Figgins of Dance Theatre of Harlem; Jamie Scott of the Trisha Brown Dance Company; Elise Drew León of the Limón Dance Company; Jacqueline Green of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; Viktor Usov of Northwest Dance Project; Elena Heiss of the National Institute of Flamenco; and Gemma Freitas of The Juilliard School. Marjani A. Forte and Gabrielle Lamb received awards for their choreography, and Robyn Mineko Williams, Zoe Scofield and Nejla Y. Yatkin were all awarded works-in-progress residency grants. Former Princess Grace awardee David Hallberg (DT, November 2013), of American Ballet Theatre and the Bolshoi Ballet, received a statue award, which honors past grant recipients who have gone on to even greater levels of achievement.

Elise Drew León

These highly selective awards were created to offer scholarships, apprenticeships and fellowships to emerging talents in the field. Individuals must be nominated by either the dean of their academic program or the artistic director of their company. Grants generally range from $7,500 to $30,000 (choreographic fellowship winners receive a set amount of $10,000). Applications for next year will be available starting in January.








Photos from top: by Richard Calmes, courtesy of the Princess Grace Foundation; courtesy of PGF

Allie Burke, courtesy Lo Cascio

If you'd hear it on the radio, you won't hear it in Anthony Lo Cascio's tap classes.

"If I play a song that my kids know, I'm kind of disappointed in myself," he says. "I either want to be on the cutting edge or playing the classics."

He finds that most of today's trendy tracks lack the depth needed for tap, and that there's a disconnect between kids and popular music. "They have trouble finding the beat compared to older genres," he says.

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Courtesy Lovely Leaps

After the birth of her daughter in 2018, engineer Lisa McCabe had reservations about returning to the workforce full-time. And while she wanted to stay home with the new baby, she wasn't ready to stop contributing financially to her family (after all, she'd had a successful career designing cables for government drones). So, when she got a call that September from an area preschool to lead its dance program, she saw an opportunity.

The invitation to teach wasn't completely out of the blue. McCabe had grown up dancing in Southern California and had a great reputation from serving as her church's dance teacher and team coach the previous three years (stopping only to take a break as a new mother). She agreed to teach ballet and jazz at the preschool on Fridays and from there created an age-appropriate class based on her own training in the Cecchetti and RAD methods. It was a success: In three months, class enrollment went from six to 24 students, and just one year later, McCabe's blossoming Lovely Leaps brand had contracts with eight preschools and three additional teachers.

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Courtesy Shake the Ground

Dance competitions were among the first events to be shut down when the COVID-19 pandemic exploded in the U.S. in mid-March, and they've been among the last able to restart.

So much of the traditional structure of the competition—large groups of dancers and parents from dozens of different studios; a new city every week—simply won't work in our new pandemic world.

How, then, have competitions been getting by, and what does the future look like?

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