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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.

News
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Sponsored by Harlequin Floors
Left: Hurricane Harvey damage in Houston Ballet's Dance Lab; Courtesy Harlequin. Right: The Dance Lab pre-Harvey; Nic Lehoux, Courtesy Houston Ballet.

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In Memoriam
A flyer showing Alberto Alonso, Fernando Alonso, Benjamin Steinberg and Alicia Alonso. Photo courtesy the author

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My father, the late conductor Benjamin Steinberg, was the first music director of the Ballet de Cuba, as it was called then. I grew up in Vedado on la Calle 1ra y doce in a building called Vista al Mar. My family lived there from 1959 to 1963. My days were filled with watching Alicia teach class, rehearse and dance. She was everything: hilarious, serious, dramatic, passionate and elegiac. You lost yourself and found yourself when you loved her.

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In 2017, as a result of a growing list of letters from audience members, to New York City Ballet's ballet master in chief Peter Martins reached out to us asking for assistance on how to modify the elements of Chinese caricature in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker. Following that conversation, we founded the Final Bow for Yellowface pledge that states, "I love ballet as an art form, and acknowledge that to achieve a diversity amongst our artists, audiences, donors, students, volunteers, and staff, I am committed to eliminating outdated and offensive stereotypes of Asians (Yellowface) on our stages."

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