What My Teacher Taught Me: Hubbard Street's Jacqueline Burnett

Burnett in William Forsythe's Quintett

As a performer with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Jacqueline Burnett must make intricate and densely packed choreography look fluid and easy. She credits her ballet teacher, Marius Zirra, with helping her find this skill by investing fully—physically and mentally—in every moment.

“He would laugh at us when we would drop our carriage on our walk away from the barre or the middle of the floor to put on our ballet shoes. He’d say, ‘What are you doing? You look so frumpy. There’s more to you than you’re letting on when you move that way.’ For him, every moment had meaning. I use those ideas all the time now—really being present in each moment and living in each part of the choreography, not getting ahead of myself and not worrying about what just happened.”

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago performs at the Harris Theater in Chicago, June 11–14.

Photo by Cheryl Mann, courtesy of Hubbard Street

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.

Keep reading... Show less
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

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.