Winning Works

2013 winner Ma Cong's "Impulse Within"

The three winners of the Joffrey Ballet's third annual Choreographers of Color Award--Justin Allen, Norbert De La Cruz III and Stefanie Batten Bland--premiered the work they set on the Joffrey Academy of Dance trainees on March 1, at Millenium Park's Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Chicago. The Choreographers of Color Award was initiated to offer up-and-coming minority dancemakers the chance to create and produce diverse, innovative works. Each choreographer received a $2,500 stipend, at least 30 hours to rehearse with the Joffrey Academy trainees and the rare opportunity to work with Joffrey Academy artistic directors Alexei Kremnev and Anna Reznik.

Here's some fun rehearsal footage from Allen's Interconnect:


Photo by Herbert Migdoli, courtesy of the Joffrey Ballet

Courtesy Meg Brooker

As the presidential election approaches, it's a particularly meaningful time to remember that we are celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment, when women earned the right to vote after a decades-long battle.

Movement was more than a metaphor for the fight for women's suffrage—dancers played a real role, most notably Florence Fleming Noyes, who performed her riveting solo Dance of Freedom in 1914 to embody the struggle for women's rights.

This fall, Middle Tennessee State University director of dance Meg Brooker is reconstructing Dance of Freedom on 11 of her students. A Noyes Rhythm teacher and an Isadora Duncan scholar, Brooker is passionate about bringing historic dance practices into a contemporary context.

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Teaching Tips
Justin Boccitto teaches a hybrid class. Photo courtesy Boccitto

Just as teachers were getting comfortable with teaching virtual classes, many studios are adding an extra challenge into the mix: in-person students learning alongside virtual students. Such hybrid classes are meant to keep class sizes down and to give students options to take class however they're comfortable.

But dividing your attention between virtual students and masked and socially distant in-person students—and giving them each a class that meets their needs—is no easy feat.

Dance Teacher asked four teachers what they've learned so far.

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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.

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