New York City Ballet Allegations an Unsettling Reminder of the Reality of Our Community

By Isabelle Vail

11 September 2018

On Wednesday, the New York Times published a revealing article detailing the allegations of Alexandra Waterbury, a student at Columbia University and ex-student of the School of American Ballet, against artists of the company, a donor, and the New York City Ballet itself.

Ms. Waterbury dated Chase Finlay, a principal dancer who resigned late last month after it was revealed he was involved in an inappropriate exchange with two other City Ballet principals. The company suspended the other two dancers but did not comment on the nature of the exchange. According to Ms. Waterbury, Finlay, the other dancers, and a donor exchanged nude photos and videos of women, including Ms. Waterbury, who was unaware when such photos and videos were taken.

Waterbury has claimed the company was aware of the “fraternity-like atmosphere” created by Finlay and other male dancers, and is guilty of allowing the substance abuse, inappropriate behavior, and sexual abuse to continue in the ranks of its establishment. The article by the New York Times ends with a disturbing message from Ms. Waterbury; she fears for the young ballerinas skipping off to class, blissfully unaware of the environment ahead.

Dance Data Project is dedicated to informing the community and general public of the issues that hold back women in classical dance. Harassment of any kind, be it sexual or physical in nature, should not be tolerated by any company in our community. City Ballet acted as should be done when the allegations were made known to the public; however, the allegations of the company itself permitting the atmosphere and behavior detailed by Ms. Waterbury are disturbing.

DDP will continue reporting as more information is detailed in the lawsuit.

Read the referenced article in the New York Times.