Northfield, IL | August 9, 2023 | Dance Data Project® (DDP) today announces its fifth annual study of the Largest US Ballet and Classically Based Companies. This year’s Largest 150 U.S. Ballet & Classically Based Companies Report follows the precedent set by the 2022 Report, ranking the financial scope of the Largest 150 US ballet companies. These companies are divided into three categories: the Largest 50 (#1-50), the Next 50 (#51-100), and the Additional 50 (#101-150) companies for further analysis.

In FY 2021, the Largest 150 companies operated with a combined total expenditure of $441,886,534. This reflects an extraordinary decrease of 31.62% compared to the operating expenses of $646,264,494 in FY 2020. This decline is larger than the 11.07% decrease observed between FY 2019 and FY 2020, underscoring the more pronounced impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on ballet in FY 2021.

“DDP stands as the sole organization offering this data on the dance economy. Since 2019, the scope of companies examined and depth of detailed reporting we have produced have expanded in remarkable ways,” said DDP Founder & President Elizabeth ‘Liza’ Yntema. “We provide these essential findings to benefit the companies that we serve, providing critical information to state and federal policymakers, academics, grant program directors, and journalists. Transparency is the basis of informed decision-making, and it is at the core of Dance Data Project®’s work.”

“We appreciate the many organizations who responded to our call for verification of FY 2021 expenditures as required by IRS regulations. As our work demonstrates, the pandemic posed devastating implications for FY 2021,” said DDP Communications Lead Isabelle Ramey. “This Report underscores the universality of the pandemic’s negative impact on philanthropic giving and earned revenue in the performing arts. Theater, classical music, and opera are not alone in their struggle – the dance economy faced a similar uphill battle to recoup pandemic losses.”

In FY 2021, the Largest 50 companies operated with a total aggregate expenditure of $391,881,659. This represents 88.68% of the combined total expenditure of all surveyed organizations. The Next 50 companies operated with $37,537,748 (8.49% of Largest 150 aggregate), and the Additional 50 operated with just $12,467,127 (2.82% of Largest 150 aggregate).

“Preliminary findings from DDP’s upcoming Season Overview Report indicate that only 14.9% of works presented by the Largest 10 companies in the 2022/2023 season were choreographed by women,” said DDP Research Coordinator Jenna Magrath. “We note that the Largest 10 operated with 58% of the Largest 50’s expenditures but fell far behind in terms of equitable season programming for the most recent performing season.”

In FY 2020, the combined total expenditures of the Largest 50 totaled $584,121,045 (90.37%), and the Next and Additional 50 operated with $43,417,245 (6.72%) and $18,442,617 (2.85%) respectively. Aggregate expenditures of the Largest 50 companies decreased by 33% from FY 2020 to 2021. The Next 50 and Additional 50 companies experienced a decrease of 13% and 32% (respectively) between FY 2020 and 2021. This indicates that the downturn was fairly equally spread in the biggest & smallest tiers, but companies #51- #100 fared relatively well by comparison.

DDP utilized proprietary software to source information directly from publicly available Form 990s on the IRS website for the purposes of this Report. This innovative tool was supplemented by direct verification from companies to account for organizational accounting discrepancies or amended tax returns that were not publicly available at the time of data collection.

To inquire about sources, operational definitions, or further classifications for the Largest 150, or to learn more about DDP’s research in general, please contact Research Coordinator Jenna Magrath at

The Largest 150 U.S. Ballet & Classically Based Companies Report is available on the Dance Data Project® Research Page or by download below.