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Maks and Val Chmerkovskiy. Photo courtesy Dance With Me

Listening to Maks and Val Chmerkovskiy riff together makes it crystal-clear why each has mastered the art of partnering in the ballroom—they've long been doing this dance in real life as brothers and business partners.

Along with their "Dancing with the Stars" pedigree (and a combined three mirror-ball trophies between them), Maks and Val (and their father, Sasha) also run Dance With Me, a dance company hosting six ProAm Dancesport competitions annually and running 14 brick-and-mortar studio locations across the U.S.

Last year, the pair launched an online component, Dance & Co. The online video platform offers beginner through advanced instruction in not only ballroom but an array of other styles, as well as dance fitness classes from HIIT to yoga to strength training. "DWTS" fans will recognize such familiar faces as Peta Murgatroyd, Jenna Johnson, Sharna Burgess and Emma Slater, along with Maks and Val themselves.

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Courtesy Oleson

American dance educator Shannon Oleson was teaching recreational ballet and street-dance classes in London when the pandemic hit. As she watched many of her fellow U.S. friends pack up and return home from their international adventures, she made the difficult choice to stick with her students (as well as her own training—she was midway through her MFA at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance).

Despite shutdowns and shelter-in-place orders, she was able to maintain a teaching schedule that kept her working with her dancers through Zoom, as well as lead some private, in-home acro classes following government guidelines. But keeping rec students interested in the face of pandemic fatigue hasn't been easy.

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Chloe Hamilton, Courtney Schwartz

The first time Courtney Schwartz assisted choreographer Talia Favia at a dance convention, Favia didn't even want her onstage, according to Schwartz. Favia was convinced she didn't need an assistant that week, and had told Artists Simply Human convention staff that Schwartz was welcome to take class from the floor.

Somehow, the message wasn't relayed to Schwartz, who stepped onstage at the top of class and was met with a sharp look from the choreographer. Puzzled, she soldiered on in her standard assistant role, learning the combo for the first time with the class. Then, she heard Favia announce to the students that they should turn their attention to the stage to watch Schwartz do a run-through to the music.

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From left: Joseph Gatti, Zoica Tovar and Andres Estevez of the United Ballet Theatre Academy. Javier Vladimir, Courtesy UBT

Injuries can be a turning point in any dancer's career, but for Joseph Gatti, it was the catalyst for creating his own ballet company, United Ballet Theatre. Since its launch in 2018, UBT has been centered on cultivating "athletes of art," with an emphasis on daily cross-training and physical therapy to prevent injuries and increase career longevity. Now, Gatti is expanding that mission further with the launch of United Ballet Theatre Academy, which opened February 1 in Orlando.

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Keerati Jinakunwiphat. Photos by Jayme Thorrnton

Between her distinctive presence as a dancer in Kyle Abraham's A.I.M and her own creative vision as a choreographer, Keerati Jinakunwiphat was a natural fit for Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch" list this year.

Now, you can take a free online class with the cover star of Dance Magazine's January issue through Dance Media Live! On February 11, at 12 pm ET, Jinakunwiphat will teach a 45-minute movement class, followed by a short Q&A with participants.

Her class will begin with combinations using the floor to discover a sense of groundedness, tactility and mobility, and to start playing with shifts of weight. As the class continues, movement will grow bigger as you explore different planes. Throughout her teaching, Jinakunwiphat focuses on how dancers can stay present as they take up space.


Click here to register for free, and submit any questions you'd like to ask her.

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