Jennifer has worked on Dance Magazine since graduating from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in dance and journalism. A former senior editor of Pointe, she has also written for The Atlantic, Runner's World and other publications. As a dancer, she performed with California's Peninsula Ballet Theatre, Israeli choreographer Gali Hod and for Cirque du Soleil's 25th-anniversary celebration.
We had a feeling that our ambitious list of "The Most Influential People in Dance Today" in celebration of Dance Magazine's 90th anniversary would turn some heads. But it's gotten even more attention than we'd expected.
It's not often that a magazine compilation of "movers and shakers" can be celebrated in the literal sense. But when the publication is Dance Magazine, that is of course the case.
The story mentions Dance Magazine's 1927 beginnings under the name The American Dancer, and highlights how our July issue tackled the idea of "influence" from many angles.
Thank you Adweek for the shoutout and the happy anniversary wishes!
As soon as we started putting together a list of the most influential people in dance today, we knew two things. By the very nature of the topic we were tackling, our final list was going to be:
1. Entirely subjective, and
2. By no means comprehensive.
We wanted to get your input and hear who else you felt should be on the list. So we asked you who we missed, and here's what you told us through email, Facebook and Twitter:
For Dance Magazine's 90th anniversary issue, we wanted to celebrate the movers, shakers and changemakers who are having the biggest impact on our field right now. There were so many to choose from! But with the help of dozens of writers, artists and administrators working in dance, the Dance Magazine staff whittled the list down to those we felt are making the most difference right now.
Click through the links below to find out why they made our list.
Q: Why donate millions to The Juilliard School and Ailey, plus an undisclosed sum to launch University of Southern California's new Glorya Kaufman School of Dance?
"I wish everyone would turn on the music and dance. It helps in so many ways to make life happier and more interesting."
Q: Do you feel the role of the philanthropist has changed in today's political climate?
"I believe that giving to humanity in any way that is beneficial is what the world needs now."
Not only has Larissa Saveliev made competition "acceptable" for ballet students, but her blockbuster Youth America Grand Prix has given those students a chance to measure themselves against peers from across the world—and be seen by directors. More than 450 YAGP alums are currently dancing in professional companies around the world.
Through his New York City Dance Alliance conventions, Joe Lanteri has inspired thousands of kids, mentoring them and setting them up for successful careers. Even better, his seven-year-old NYCDA Foundation has awarded over $22 million in college scholarships to more than 400 dance students.
Gilda Squire got her first lessons in branding at the investment firm Goldman Sachs. Today she manages ballet's most visible star: Misty Copeland. Squire's approach to Copeland's endorsements and outside commitments, carefully crafted with the ballerina, has established a new professional framework for dancers, one that straddles a range of media platforms and opportunities.
The Joyce Theater remains a second home for mainstream dance lovers in New York City, and executive director Linda Shelton's choices of whom to present (made along with director of programming Martin Wechsler) hold remarkable power. Saying your company has landed a week at The Joyce is basically another way of saying you've "made it."
Prior to becoming the Joyce's executive director in 1993, Shelton was general manager of the Joffrey Ballet and managed tours for companies like the Bolshoi Ballet. She's served on panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, been on the jury of Russia's prestigious Benois de le danse, and is a nominator for the Tony Awards.
For her work, Shelton has been appointed Chevalier of France's Order of Arts and Letters and was given the 2015 "Ernie" Award for her work behind the scenes within the infrastructure of the dance field.