Dance Data Project® (DDP) today announces the Global Ballet Leadership Report. This research is the first of its kind, expanding the work of DDP’s annual Artistic and Executive Leadership Report to include 175 ballet companies from 56 countries worldwide.

Globally, only 33% of major ballet companies are led by women artistic directors. This report shows that the U.S. is not unique — within the largest 50 U.S. ballet companies, 29% are run by women artistic directors. Of the artistic directors at the largest 26 ballet companies globally (each with 75+ dancers), 35% are women.

“This global data almost exactly mirrors DDP’s previous research findings in the U.S. Not surprising, as ballet is a global industry with artistic directors moving from small towns to international companies,” noted DDP Research and Project Lead, Michayla Kelly.

The Report also analyzes leadership changes at major ballet companies worldwide. DDP found that the probability of an artistic director having a female successor is approximately 29% while the probability of having a male successor is approximately 71%.

“We are positioned to make real change in the dance world going forward, but the favoring of men in leadership permeates the hiring process — even today. Important conversations are happening, largely due to the data DDP has collected and presented, but it means nothing if we continue to shut women out of new leadership opportunities,” says DDP Founder & President, Elizabeth “Liza” Yntema.

This Report represents a significant expansion of DDP’s research footprint. It required additional investigation into language differences, how companies are structured, what information is accessible online, and how DDP might accurately compare companies by size, given many are state-operated within umbrella organizations.

DDP has initiated this research, especially the Appendix, which examines transitions in artistic director positions globally. DDP will continue to track these changes, and provide longitudinal research over time, to gather additional data points and more clearly outline overall trends.

“To bring equity to this international industry, DDP believes that both transparency in the hiring process and accountability through specific protocols in company management are critical,” says Yntema. “These two areas will guide DDP’s focus in 2022-2023.”