The Most Influential People in Dance Today

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.


Michelle Dorrance

Benjamin Millepied

Katherine E. Brown

Sydney Skybetter

Marc Bamuthi Joseph

Liz Lerman

Monica Bill Barnes

Justin Peck

Linda Shelton

Alastair Macaulay

Ohad Naharin

Gilda Squire

Christy Bolingbroke

The Actors Fund

International Association for Dance Medicine & Science

Michael M. Kaiser

Misty Copeland

Maria Kochetkova

Lil Buck

Ryan Heffington

Robert Battle

Pamela Tatge

Lourdes Lopez

Andy Blankenbuehler

Alexei Ratmansky

Amy Fitterer

Gina Gibney

The Harkness Foundation for Dance

Joe Lanteri

Larissa Saveliev

Glorya Kaufman

Nico Muhly

Max Richter

Joby Talbot

Who did we miss? Send us your suggestions. We'll be publishing a Readers' Choice companion to this story.

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Cheryl Fox, courtesy W Publishing

Laurieann Gibson's New Book Is the Blueprint Dancers Need to Achieve Their Dreams

Emmy-nominated choreographer, director, producer and now author Laurieann Gibson proclaims she's an "unstoppable" force, and it shows. After taking a bus to New York City as a young dancer to train at The Ailey School, Gibson climbed her way to the top of the dance, film and television industries, choreographing and directing world tours for icons like Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj. Now, with the release of her first book, Dance Your Dance: 8 Steps to Unleash Your Passion and Live Your Dream, Gibson—a 2020 Dance Magazine Award honoree—uses her story to inspire dancers on their own journeys of harnessing their unique gifts.

To celebrate the release of Dance Your Dance, Gibson took to our Instagram for a live masterclass and Q&A with Dance Magazine editor in chief Jennifer Stahl.

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February 2021