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Making their Mark: The Dance Influencers of Today

During Black History Month, we’ve lifted up dancers who have made an impact on dance history - and we want to highlight those who are just beginning to make their mark. Learn more about the extraordinary talents of six exceptional dancers: Christian Burse, Kamala Saara, Ashley Green, the Manzari Brothers, Les Twins, and Amari Marshall. Each of these dancers brings their creative uniqueness to the dance floor, contributing to the vibrancy and diversity of the global dance scene.


Christian Burse

Christian Burse, a formidable dancer associated with Complexions Contemporary Ballet, stands out for her versatility and expressive prowess. As a member of Complexions, known for its innovative and boundary-pushing choreography, Burse embodies the company's commitment to redefining the language of contemporary dance. Her ability to seamlessly blend athleticism with emotional depth has earned her acclaim, contributing to the legacy of Complexions as a trailblazer in the contemporary-ballet dance world.



Kamala Saara

Kamala Saara, a dancer with the Dance Theatre of Harlem, represents the rich tradition of blending classical ballet with contemporary influences. As a member of this historic company, Saara contributes to its mission of promoting diversity and inclusivity in ballet. Her grace, strength, and artistry showcase the evolving landscape of ballet, breaking away from traditional norms and celebrating the fusion of various dance styles within the ballet genre.


Ashley Green

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, renowned for its fusion of modern dance, jazz, and African dance influences, has produced exceptional talents, including Ashley Green. Green's dynamic and expressive performances exemplify the spirit of Ailey's legacy. As a member of this iconic company, she contributes to the continuation of Ailey's vision of using dance as a powerful means of storytelling and cultural expression.


The Manzari Brothers

The Manzari Brothers, John and Leo, are a dynamic duo in the world of tap dance. With roots in the tradition of tap but an eye on the future, their performances are a fusion of classic and contemporary tap styles. The Manzari Brothers showcase the enduring appeal of tap as a vibrant and evolving art form, demonstrating that the rhythmic resonance of tap transcends generations.


Les Twins

Identical twin brothers, Laurent and Larry Bourgeois, known collectively as Les Twins, have taken the hip hop dance world by storm. Renowned for their intricate choreography and mind-bending synchronization, Les Twins have become global ambassadors for hip hop dance. Their contributions extend beyond the dance floor, as they've collaborated with major artists and even won the World of Dance competition, solidifying their status as hip hop dance icons. They can currently be seen on tour with Beyoncé.



Amari Marshall

Amari Marshall, a rising star in the hip hop dance scene, has garnered attention for her creative technique and compelling performances, with roots in West African-style movement. As a young dancer making waves in the industry, Marshall represents the next generation of talent pushing the boundaries of hip hop dance. Her ability to convey emotion through movement and her commitment to artistic exploration make her a standout presence in the dance world. Marshall is currently dancing on tour with Beyoncé, and has also choreographed for the likes of Janet Jackson, Rihanna, Ciara, and Pharrell Williams.



Alicia Graf Mack

Alicia Graf Mack, a prominent figure in the realm of contemporary dance, has captivated audiences with her extraordinary talent and mesmerizing performances. Emerging as a distinguished dancer, Mack stands as a beacon of the new wave of artistic brilliance in the industry. Her profound capacity to express emotions through fluid movements and her unwavering dedication to artistic innovation establish her as a remarkable force in the world of dance. Alicia Graf Mack is not only a seasoned performer but also a trailblazer, pushing the boundaries of contemporary dance and leaving an indelible mark on the evolving landscape of the art form. She is the current Director of Dance at The Juilliard School.



Christian Burse, Kamala Saara, Ashley Green, the Manzari Brothers, Les Twins, Alicia Graf Mack, and Amari Marshall are shining examples of the diversity and innovation present in contemporary and hip hop dance. As these dancers continue to make their mark on the global stage, they inspire and shape the future of dance, contributing to the ongoing evolution of these dynamic and expressive art forms.

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