Upload Your Best Choreography Video for a Chance to Win $15,000!

A moment from Talia Favia's 2014 A.C.E. Award-winning piece

It’s getting close to that time again—time for our Dance Teacher Summit, this year to be held in Long Beach, California (mmm, beach), July 28–30. And if you’re a perennial Summit attendee—or if you’re a budding choreographer—you know that one of the most important parts of the Summit is the Capezio A.C.E. Awards. Fifteen finalists, selected from an initial pool of hundreds, get to present their choreography and compete for a $15,000 production budget to stage their own show. (Runners-up receive $5,000 and $3,000 to go toward their own show.)

Last year’s winner, Talia Favia, will have her show—The Difference Between Actions & Words—on July 21 at The Center Theater in Long Beach. And the list of past award-winners reads like a dream: Erica Sobol, Melinda Sullivan, Al Blackstone, Peter Chu, Travis Wall.

So what are you waiting for? We know you’ve got a piece you’ve been honing, the one you’re really proud of. Submit your video here before June 1 to compete. Check out our rules and regulations first, but then get to it—we can’t wait to see your submission! (You can check out every 2015 A.C.E. Award entry that’s been uploaded here.)


Photo by Kyle Froman

Teacher Voices
Getty Images

I often teach ballet over Zoom in the evenings, shortly after sunset. Without the natural light coming from my living room window, I drag a table lamp next to my portable barre so that the computer's camera can see me clearly enough. I prop the laptop on a chair taken from the kitchen and then spend the next few hours running back and forth between the computer screen of Zoom tiles and my makeshift dance floor.

Much of this setup is the result of my attempts to recreate the most important aspects of an in-person dance studio: I have a barre, a floor and as much space as I can reasonably give myself within a small apartment. I do not, however, have a mirror, and neither do most of my students.

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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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