News

We've Got the Inside Scoop on This Year's 17 Capezio A.C.E. Awards Finalists

Hundreds of entries. 17 finalists. Only 1 winner. Who will be named this year's Capezio A.C.E. Awards champion?


On Saturday, August 5, (right smack in the middle of our Dance Teacher Summit) Summit) one choreographer will receive $15,000 to go towards a future show of his or her choreography and join the ranks of Martha Nichols, Travis Wall and Al Blackstone. (First and second runner-ups receive $5,000 and $3,000, respectively, to go towards their shows.) Many of these choreographers were finalists last year, and several have been on our minds lately. Click each name to watch the choreography that got them to finalist status—and weigh in on the comments section if you've got dirt of your own on these fabulously talented dancemakers.

1. Rudy Abreu

He's already choreographed a music video for Derek Hough—what could possibly top that?

2. Courtney Barclay

3. MaryAnn Chavez

4. Phil Colgan

5. Mitchel Federan

Federan's Instagram is on point with incredible class combos. Watch and see:

6. Jared Jenkins

7. Will Johnston/Marissa Osato

When Johnston isn't choreographing, he's breaking our hearts with his smooth moves—like in this Tyce Diorio duet:

8. Renee Kester

Remember that video that went viral of a couple dancing on a train platform? Kestler is one half of that duet, so we know she has the dancing chops to go all the way:

9. Erica Marr

10. Maggie Miller

11. Lukas McFarlane

12. Yusuf Nasir

13. Sabrina Phillip

14. Terry Tansey Schulke

15. Akira Uchida

16. Andrea Ward

17. Nick Young

If Young sounds familiar, that's because his tap numbers for "So You Think You Can Dance" have been a big hit. He definitely tells a story with every number he choreographs, like this one:

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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.

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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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News
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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