Anita Mann, co-founder of the new Dance Hall of Fame (photo by Susy Miller, courtesy Wicked Creative)

There's a Dance Hall of Fame Launching in L.A.

With so much dance in pop culture these days—from TV shows like "Fosse/Verdon" and "Pose" to the resurgence of movie musicals to movement-rich music videos—it's not surprising that the entertainment industry has decided to tip its hat to dance.

This week, plans for an L.A.–based Dance Hall of Fame were announced.

The organization, helmed by Emmy-award winning director Louis J. Horvitz and Emmy-award winning choreographer Anita Mann, will recognize its inaugural Hall of Fame members at a live televised gala in fall 2020. (Given our ongoing lament that the Tonys doesn't air the presentation of its Best Choreography awards, we're delighted to hear that dance will be getting dedicated airtime. Finally!)

According to a press release, the Dance Hall of Fame will honor "dancers, choreographers, dance-related film directors, dance teams, dance visionaries and others who have made an indelible mark in the industry."

Though its founders are based in the entertainment industry, the honorees won't necessarily be limited to those who work in TV and film. The release states that the Dance Hall of Fame will "embrace and recognize all forms of dance, including ballet, hip-hop, tap, ballroom, jazz, contemporary, ensemble and solo dance for both stage and screen." The founders also confirmed that concert dance will be a consideration.

While we're certainly excited to see another platform celebrating dance, it's important to note that this isn't the first hall of fame for all genres of dance. The National Museum of Dance, based in Saratoga Springs, New York, houses its own Dance Hall of Fame, which has been recognizing past and present figures since 1987.

In addition to its awards gala, the L.A.-based Dance Hall of Fame has inherited a video archive from Kurt and Melinda Soderling. According to the organization, the Soderlings have provided thousands of hours of never-before-seen footage, including interviews and glimpses behind the scenes with legends and younger artists alike.

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A Letter from the Editor in Chief

Hi, dance friends. It is a strange time to be a person in the world, and an especially strange time to be a dancer. As the dance community faces the coronavirus crisis, a lot of you are coping with closed studios, canceled performances and competitions, and a general sense of anxiety about how your world will look going forward.

Yes, dancers are super resilient, and there's been a lot of inspiring community-building happening. #LivingRoomDances and Instagram dance parties and virtual ballet classes with the pros are wonderful. Dance can, and should, be a bright spot in the darkness. But that weird, empty feeling you have? It might be grief. The loss of the certainty of daily class, the loss of the promise of that big end-of-year performance—that's real. The dance studio has always been a safe place; it's especially hard not to have that outlet now, when you need it most.

We're here for you. We—and our friends at Dance Magazine, Pointe, Dance Teacher, The Dance Edit, and Dance Business Weekly—are doing our best to document the hurdles facing the dance industry, and to advocate for dancers in need. We're developing more online content that will help you maintain and improve your technique while you're at home, and process the mental and emotional fallout of all this upheaval. (You can keep up with the latest stories here.) And we're still making our print magazine. We have issues planned and shot, full of great dance stories and beautiful photos. We're not going anywhere.

We want to hear from you. Talk to us. Or dance to us. Or both. We won't stop moving, and you shouldn't, either.


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