Today, Dance Data Project® (DDP) is releasing the first-ever Gender Equity Index (GEI) for the U.S. dance industry in specific and performing arts in general. DDP’s GEI is designed to assess how dance companies measure up in terms of commissioning female creators, giving them leadership positions, and fostering a transparent and accountable culture. DDP’s Gender Equity Index is modeled on indices developed by Bloomberg, Equileap, Gender Fair, and ASU’s Women’s Power Index, among others.
Announcements about the Dance Data Project™ including new research, upcoming initiatives, additions to the team, and other exciting news.
Dance Data Project® (DDP) today released its second Dance Venue Leadership & Programming Report. The 2022 Report examines 73 leading ballet/classically inspired dance performance venues in the United States to provide a quantitative analysis of the organizations’ programming and leadership, an increase from 50 venues studied in 2020. This Report expands on DDP’s 2020 Dance Venue Leadership & Programming Report that was produced in collaboration with the Center for Equity, Gender, and Leadership (EGAL) at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.
Today, Dance Data Project® (DDP) announces Raising the Barre: Curriculum for the Next Generation of Leadership in Dance. This free, online leadership curriculum offers creative solutions to properly equip dance leaders of the future with vital skills to strengthen their careers. It is not only for Artistic or Executive Director candidates, but also choreographers, those who are thinking about starting their own companies, and members of Boards of Directors.
Dance Data Project® (DDP) today released its fourth annual Artistic and Executive Leadership Report, tripling the scope of our inaugural Report of this kind to survey 150 total U.S. ballet companies. DDP’s study demonstrates the persistence of a glaring gender-based pay and opportunity gap:
-Only 30% of Artistic Directors at the Largest 50 ballet companies in the United States are women
-Over the past five years, the Largest 50 ballet companies have had more than twice as many men than women in the role of Artistic Director
-In 2018, there were 15 female and 34 male Artistic Directors
-In 2019, there were 13 female and 33 male Artistic Directors
-In 2020, there were 14 female and 33 male Artistic Directors
-In 2021, there were 15 female and 35 male Artistic Directors
-In 2022, there are 15 female and 35 male Artistic Directors
Dance Data Project® (DDP) today released its expanded annual Largest 150 U.S. Ballet & Classically Based Companies & Financial Scope of the Industry. The Report provides a national ranking based on company expenditures. DDP utilized publicly available Form 990s, supplemented by self-reporting and verification from companies directly as well as a bespoke proprietary algorithm gathering data directly from IRS websites for the FY 2020 report. DDP examined a total of 188 companies, a 49% increase from last year’s Report.
“Last year, DDP expanded coverage of the Largest 50 U.S. ballet companies to include the Next 50. In 2022, we have taken our reporting one step further, widening our scope to rank 150 total ballet companies, with the lower-budgeted organizations falling into the Additional 50 category. This is largely due to the help of innovative data scraping tools,” said Rebecca Ferrell, Dance Data Project® Research Lead & Programming Consultant.
Here is an update from our Founder and President Liza Yntema:
On a chorus of very happy notes….
I am absolutely delighted to announce that Rebecca “Becky” Ferrell has joined Dance Data Project® as Research Lead and Programming Consultant. Becky and I were introduced by Greg Youdan, formerly Research Director at Dance/NYC.
Becky will continue to serve in a dual capacity, both at Dance/USA as Director of Programming, and with DDP, with the full permission/blessings of Kellee Edusei at Dance/USA. Pursuing her PhD, while holding down 2 academic positions as well as 2 part-time, but demanding, gigs gives you an idea of the positive energy Ms. Ferrell brings to all of her endeavors.
While we of course miss Michayla Kelly and wish her the best, Becky’s wide network in the dance and academic worlds, and her proficiency with surveys and statistics, are exactly aligned with DDP’s Gender Equity Index project, as well as our 2022-2023 strategic increased focus in the areas of advocacy and programming. Becky and I will be working together to develop substantive online seminars for women interested in becoming artistic directors or assuming other leadership positions. Stay tuned for more on this curriculum as we build it out in response to direct feedback from choreographers, female academics, and other NextGen leaders in the dance world.
Let’s hear it for DDP Team member Hayley Weber, who has stepped up to help coordinate our ongoing research reports and data bytes, reporting both to me and to Becky.
To deepen and broaden our research capacity, while saving staff time, DDP has also been lucky enough to work with Andrew Hoekstra as a Data Engineering Consultant. A colleague of Advisory Council member Preet Gill, Andrew is consulting with DDP, using AI to automatically scrape financial data from the IRS, thereby initiating cost savings, as well as eliminating consultant/time and errors as we prepare our June ranking and compensation reports, which serve as the basis of our research calendar. With Andrew’s help, we can expand to cover more ballet/modern & contemporary companies within the US and reduce human error in calculations. I would note that the use of big data and AI has been generally acknowledged to be one of the most important trends and advances in current philanthropy. Andrew also serves as the Executive Director of Deos Ballet in Grand Rapids, which was the subject of our 19th Listening Tour visit.
Bailey Walker, originally hired as an intern through Professor Danielle Sheather at Southern Utah University, then promoted to Special Project Consultant, will now be tentatively listed as Archivist & Subscriptions Editor. It is Bailey’s job to review national and international publications, and maintain the database of promotions, new commissions, and hires in the dance world that underpins much of DDP’s expanding global coverage including our Global Resident Choreographer and our Global Artistic Director reports. Realizing that this aggregated information is invaluable, we are starting “Bailey’s Blog” on our website, which will offer all of Bailey’s collected information that she produces for us on a regular basis. Dance fans, academics, and journalists will have an easy update or “one-stop shopping” resource of the latest key comings & goings – more of our “do more with less” and “plug a gap, fill a need” philosophy.
We are thrilled that Nyla Silmon, who joined us this past summer as an intern, through the kind offices of DDP friend and choreographer Stephanie Batten Bland, has been promoted from Intern to Research Consultant based on her consistent, accurate, and excellent research work. Her writing is also currently featured on our website.
Sehaj Gill is our newest intern. She is actually Advisory Council member Preet Gill’s recruiter, as she overheard Andrew and her dad discussing our planned Gender Equity Index and convinced her father to loan DDP his invaluable “big data” and survey creation skills. Sehaj has done a great job working on compiling a spreadsheet of all gender equity indices, for comparison as we plan out our own DDP Index.
We’re so excited to be welcoming this talented new cohort of team members!
Dance Data Project® today announces the third annual report of dance festival leadership and programming. DDP’s 17th report since February 2019, the 2021 US Dance Festivals Report examines gender equity in dance festival performance programming and leadership, finding that female-led festivals program, on average, 49% works choreographed by women, while male-led festivals program only 38% works choreographed by women. Festivals run by women are simply more equitable.
Festivals present an opportunity for new choreographic works to be tested and presented. The most prized and prestigious commissions are world premieres. Of the 2021 festivals examined, DDP finds that 36% of world premieres were choreographed by women, compared to 47% choreographed by men, with the remainder created by gender expansive choreographers or by co-choreographers of different genders.
Dance Data Project® today announces the release of its Collegiate Dance Programs Faculty & Administration Report. This Report expands DDP’s widely-cited body of research on the dance economy into the realm of academia. This research analyzes the faculty and administrators of 173 degree-granting collegiate dance programs at public and private institutions in the United States.
DDP Research Lead Michayla Kelly notes, “This Report, our 16th since February 2019, analyzes over 1,600 dance faculty positions at institutions of higher education. Academia hosts a significant number of jobs and opportunities for dance professionals – it is an important aspect of the field, and an avenue which can provide dance professionals with long-term job stability and benefits.”
Dance Data Project® today announces its Global Resident Choreographers 2022 Data Byte. This mini-report analyzes the gender distribution of resident choreographers at ballet and dance companies worldwide, examining, in a greatly expanded study, who holds these influential and frequently lucrative posts.
Dance Data Project® today announces its 2022 Research Calendar. Since its first published Research Report in January of 2019, DDP has produced 15 full Reports and 6 mini Data Bytes. The following is a projected timeline of extensive research– due to the nature of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on dance organizations, this is subject to change.
Reach out to us to learn more about our mission.
- Student/Dancer Safety
- Financial Literacy & Budgeting
- Professional Checklists
- Other Resources