It’s Never Too Late

I think we’re all painfully aware that the number of talented dance students exceeds the professional opportunities that will be open to them as adults. But as many dance teachers point out, a professional career isn’t always the goal. Dance is a character-building activity that prepares a young person for a fulfilling life no matter what they choose to do.

We heartily agree. All of us who grew up dancing have a soft spot in our hearts for it—even if we’re now lawyers and engineers (or editors). That’s why it pleased us so much to learn about DanceWorks, started by Lisa Mara to give adults a chance to perform—especially in New York City, where it’s tough to even find a true beginner-level dance class. In “Reigniting a Passion,” Karen Campbell tells the story of 150 people who leave their desk jobs at 5 pm only to spend the rest of their evening rehearsing for their next show—all for the pure enjoyment of it.

Adult students are a growing population—and by serving them you could be opening a new revenue stream for your studio. Dance fitness, somatics and ballroom classes are all great options for adults. But many want to take hard-core technique class. And teaching them requires a different approach. Take pointe class, for instance. In "On Pointe at Any Age," dancer Julie Diana has tips on how to help your adult students achieve their goals.

If we were to rank our Dance Teacher cover subjects according to their affability, it would be a tough job. We get to work with the smartest, most earnest and truly big-hearted people in the dance field. But Jared Grimes would have to be near the top of the list. Grimes is inspirational not only for his mad tap feet—during our photo shoot, he literally could not stop dancing—but for his persistence. No one has worked harder for recognition, and he’s finally getting what he deserves. The best male dancer in a Broadway musical (per the Fred and Adele Astaire Award 2014 panel) is now starring in the new Radio City New York Spring Spectacular. Candice Thompson has the story, and has the moves (step-by-step video with Grimes).

Don’t forget, National Dance Week is April 24–May 3. Our friend Gregg Russell is teaching the official flash mob routine this year. Check it out at

Photo by Matthew Murphy

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.

Keep reading... Show less
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.

Keep reading... Show less
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."

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.