Technology: HootSuite

Social-media dashboard

Not just another social-media task, HootSuite is a tool that can streamline your online marketing efforts by helping you organize posts and better manage your time. After you register, the site creates a personal dashboard that gives you access to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ accounts all at once. Instead of having several tabs open in your browser, you can view multiple social-media platforms on one screen and cross-post to several with one click. You can even schedule posts in advance, which is helpful when you’re planning to leave the studio or you want to save time by scheduling a week of activity in one sitting. Other convenient built-in features include the ability to shorten links, add geographic locations and save drafts. And with its analytics feature, HootSuite tracks your social-media buzz—how many people click on links and “Like” posts.

The site’s biggest downside is contact management. Though you can tag Twitter followers (for instance, “Look for our studio in this month’s issue of @dance_teacher!”), you can’t do so on Facebook. Regardless, HootSuite is an invaluable tool. The standard version is free, with enough features for the average studio owner, but those who want further customization may opt for the Pro version (starting at $8.99 a month). It’s also available as an app for iPad, iPhone and Android.

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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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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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Haruko Photography, courtesy ABT

Gabe Stone Shayer may be American Ballet Theatre's newest soloist, but he never dreamed he'd be dancing with the company at all. Though he grew up in Philadelphia, his sights were always set on international ventures—especially The Bolshoi Ballet and The Royal Ballet.

Even in his early training, he was learning from Russian educators: Alexander Boitsov at Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center, and Alexei and Natalia Cherov, from the Koresh School of Dance. At age 13, he transferred to The Rock School for Dance Education, where he danced until his acceptance to The Bolshoi Ballet Academy at age 14. At 16, Shayer returned to spend his summer in the States and attended ABT's summer intensive—fully intent on going back to Bolshoi to continue his training in the fall. Four weeks in, he was offered a studio-company contract. "I was so surprised," Shayer says. "Having come of age in Russia, I was very Eurocentric. Of course ABT was on my radar, I just never imagined it was for me."

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