March 25, 2021 | Northfield, IL | Dance Data Project® (DDP) today announces the release of Global Conversations: From the Ground Up, the fourth round in a series of virtual interviews. Round 4 re-imagines a more sustainable and equitable system for teaching, marketing, and branding ballet and features 10 conversations with a roster of majority women leaders of national dance and presenting service organizations, as well as artistic and executive directors, dancers, and choreographers. As part of the series, DDP will highlight relevant academic articles on the psychology of ballet dancers and feature additional resources for creating a more inclusive class environment on its website.

“Ballet is an art form that is struggling to stay relevant in modern times,” Global Conversations participant Allison DeBona said. “Every time we alienate someone who loves ballet because of aesthetic or superficial reasons, we should expect one less audience member for generations to come. For ballet to continue, we need passion onstage (the dancers) and off (the audience). We need to allow that passion to foster in anyone dipping their toes in our art form.”

Interviews will go live each weekday from Monday, March 29th through Friday, April 9th.

“This is absolutely not the time to wax nostalgic for a system that could be described as fundamentally unsound, on an economic and cultural level, given the systematic exclusion of women from leadership and creative opportunities.” said DDP Founder and President Liza Yntema. “Why not use this period to completely re-imagine what classically-based dance and the performing arts in general can be?”

Round 4 will feature both one-on-one interviews and roundtable style conversations with Yntema turning a critical lens on every aspect of the ballet world from teaching and pre-professional development to how work is commissioned, platformed, branded, and marketed. The roster of participants includes the following list of innovative leaders in dance and the performing arts:

Monday, March 29

Ashley Bouder | Principal Dancer, New York City Ballet | Author, Welcome to Ballet School | Founder & Director, The Ashley Bouder Project

Allison DeBona | First Soloist, Ballet West | Owner & Artistic Director, artÉmotion

Tuesday, March 30

Garrett Anderson | Artistic Director, Ballet Idaho

Nicole Haskins | Resident Choreographer, Mid-Columbia Ballet | Freelance Choreographer | Trainee Program Manager, Ballet Idaho

Eva Stone | Producer & Curator, CHOP SHOP | Choreographer | Instructor, Pacific Northwest Ballet School’s New Voices: Choreography and Process for Young Women in Dance

Wednesday, March 31

Nikki Estes | Presenting & Touring Director, South Arts

Thursday, April 1

Alexei Kremnev | President/Director, A&A Ballet | Former Founding Artistic Director, The Joffrey Academy of Dance | Choreographer

Maddy Falconer | Choreographer | Student, University of Southern California Glorya Kaufman School of Dance

Friday, April 2

Christy Bolingbroke | Founder, Executive & Artistic Director, NCCAkron

Monday, April 5

Emily Molnar | Artistic Director, Nederlands Dans Theater

Tuesday, April 6

Lisa Richards Toney | President & CEO, Association of Performing Arts Professionals

Wednesday, April 7

Susan McGreevy-Nichols | Executive Director, National Dance Education Organization

Thursday, April 8

Trey McIntyre | Founder, Trey McIntyre Projects, FLTPK | Choreographer

Friday, April 9

Kellee Edusei | Executive Director, Dance/USA

Global Conversations: From the Ground Up will premiere the week of March 29, 2021. Episodes will be released every weekday at 12:00 PM/noon EDT on Instagram TV (IGTV)YouTube, and the DDP website.

DDP is currently conducting its annual #DDPHerstory campaign, which highlights the names and stories of women leaders in ballet daily, to honor Women’s History Month in March. DDP’s growing index of women, the Leader Board, is available on the website. DDP will release the Global Choreographic Fellowships/Residencies, Competitions, and Initiatives Guide 2021 this spring and will continue to update the 2020-2021 Season Status Updates resource, as well as the COVID-19 resources available online.