Northfield, IL | August 11th, 2022 | 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.

“Historically, women are reluctant to even apply for Artistic Director positions due to their lack of access to pipeline jobs that create a compelling resumé for leadership roles,” said Rebecca Ferrell, DDP Research Lead & Programming Consultant.

Each installment of the series will be accessible on the DDP website, with no paywall, and will be accompanied by a checklist or other resource. Viewers can watch and rewatch each episode – utilizing the assets to compile a robust toolkit to build their careers or provide a more informed perspective to problems around culture, budgeting, crisis communications, and models of management.

Raising the Barre is modeled on other successful leadership training programs in the performing arts designed to increase the number of minority and female candidates. DDP has also sourced programming in the for-profit world. Liza Yntema, President & Founder of DDP noted, “We are laser focused on providing the practical skills that women will need to successfully apply for leadership positions and then steer through a challenging economic landscape. This series is based on conversations with decision makers, applicants, and donors to ensure that the dance world benefits from the most diverse, talented and qualified group of Next Gen leaders.” She continued, “What has been so fun, and rewarding, is that everyone we have asked in the dance field has said ‘yes’ enthusiastically, and then offered brilliant ideas to further strengthen this multi-year curriculum.”

Annual DDP research shows the persistent inequities in dance leadership, with women representing only 30% of Artistic Directors of the Largest 50 U.S. ballet companies (Artistic and Executive Leadership Report 2022). Raising the Barre will serve to expand the skill sets of capable future leaders and further remove barriers women face in achieving leadership positions.

Raising the Barre launches today as a pre-recorded series, with the goal to expand to include live interviews in 2023 and a fully formed Raising the Barre Leadership Cohort in late 2024.

FALL 2022 Pre-Recorded Series Schedule:

  • Dance Company in a Box- Documents and Practical Advice to Starting a Company, a Festival, or a Touring Production – Lauren Cramer (August 2022)
  • Understanding the Search Process, From First Round Through Final Selection- How To Build a Compelling Portfolio – David Mallette (September 2022)
  • Learning How to Read a Balance Sheet – Dacquiri Baptiste and Harris Ferris (October 2022)
  • Teamship: Navigating the Choreographer and Manager Relationship – Helen Pickett and Kristopher McDowell (November 2022)

In this first interview, Dance Data Project® President and Founder Elizabeth Yntema and Lauren B. Cramer, partner at the New York law firm of McLaughlin & Stern, discuss the processes and documents vital to starting a dance company, a festival, or a touring production. Dance Company in a Box documents are provided alongside the interview for public use.

Future episodes will focus on contract negotiations, both for overall better compensation and for an exit package, why media and crisis trainings are so important, how to program a season, and different models for successful Board, CEO/Executive Director, and Artistic Director collaboration across companies.

Patrick Crocker, DDP Board Chair, and Erica Edwards, DDP Board Vice President, both noted the importance of making this “leadership library” completely free. Crocker noted, “Part of DDP’s mission is to bring the most important information and materials to everyone without a paywall or membership requirement – this is the best way to ensure a level playing field and a diverse candidate cohort.”

Access the first episode of Raising the Barre on the DDP website here.