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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Physical stillness can be one of the hardest things to master in dance. But stillness in the bigger sense—like when your career and life are on hold—goes against every dancers' natural instincts.

"Dancers are less comfortable with stillness and change than most," says TaraMarie Perri, founder and director of Perri Institute for Mind and Body and Mind Body Dancer. "Through daily discipline, we are trained to move through space and are attracted to forward momentum. Simply put, dancers are far more comfortable when they have a sense of control over the movements and when life is 'in action.' "

To regain that sense of control, and soothe some of the anxiety most of us are feeling right now, it helps to do what we know best: Get back into our bodies. Certain movements and shapes can help ground us, calm our nervous system and bring us into the present.

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