As we expand our research and look into more and more spaces in which gender inequity persists in the dance industry, we want to share more information faster. To do that, our research team has developed Data Bytes, DDP’s “mini” reports designed to bring the latest customized metrics to our community through brief, easy-to-read formats. Our first Data Byte can be accessed below and provides a snapshot of the leadership transitions announced by organizations in the industry in 2020. Happy reading!
Artistic Director History Data Byte
Published on: 7/22/2021
Dance Data Project® (DDP) presents Data Byte: Artistic Director History, a mini-report providing a breakdown of the gender distribution in artistic leadership among the 50 companies who comprise DDP’s 2021 Largest 50 US Ballet Companies. The data for the mini-report was sourced from company websites, news articles, and press releases and is the first Report from DDP to examine gender distribution in US ballet companies as far back as company foundings.
Leadership Changes 2020
Published on: 1/6/2021
While more data is needed to draw comprehensive conclusions about universal hiring practices in the industry, DDP’s inaugural Data Bytes report, 2020 Leadership Changes – Our End of the Year Mini Report on Comings and Goings in the Industry, provides a snapshot of the hiring trends among a cohort of dance organizations that have announced the departures or new appointments of leading staff in 2020.
Information in this document was sourced from Courtney Escoyne’s monthly articles for Dance Magazine entitled “News of Note: Everything You Might Have Missed in [Month, Year].” The articles include a section of announced Comings & Goings, which DDP recorded, verified, and aggregated to develop the metrics shared in our first Data Byte.
Top 50 Affiliate Ballet Schools 2020
Published on: 2/8/2021
How many students attend ballet school in the United States annually? At the ballet schools affiliated with the largest 50 ballet companies in the country, DDP estimates that 35,950 students are in attendance, vying for an ultra-competitive spot within leading company ranks.
This study breaks down DDP’s preliminary research on the 45 schools affiliated with these companies. The figures display the gender distribution of school directors as well as titled faculty and faculty without titles at these 45 schools. DDP also provides an analysis of the schools based on their size (largest to smallest annual expenses). DDP sources information from ballet school websites and publicly-released Forms 990 obtained via the ProPublica Nonprofit Explorer for this latest Data Byte.
Global Resident Choreographer Survey 2021
Published on: 3/2/2021
DDP’s annual Global Resident Choreographer Survey comes in the form of a mini-report this year. As always, our team has focused on the gender distribution resident choreographers at leading domestic and international ballet companies. This year, we examined 64 resident choreographer positions at 75 United States and 68 international ballet companies for a total of 143 companies. Want to see the year-to-year comparison? Download our Notes and Limitations document for some additional context and insight.
Please be advised that DDP reviewed the current status of some of the positions included in aggregate calculations following the publication of this report. The Data Byte and Notes and Limitations reflect the amended findings as of March 31, 2021.
AN EXAMINATION OF FELLOWSHIP RECIPIENTS
In late 2020, Dance Data Project® (DDP) joined a Consulting Projects Course for the Center for Equity, Gender, and Leadership (EGAL) at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. MBA Candidate James Allwein, Bing Gao, and Megan Reichert joined DDP in an examination of the career trajectories of men vs. women who have participated in prestigious choreographic fellowship programs.
Research indicates that due to the scarcity of men at the more junior levels of dance, men face less competition for lead roles and have more leeway to pursue the creative aspects of dance over the more technical aspects. The applicant pool of fellowships is not transparent to the general public and historical data on fellowship recipients was not readily available, therefore more research is needed to gather data and study the career “funnel” of ballet artists and choreographers. The team produced a final presentation of findings, available below.
THE SEASONS BY NUMBERS
|Total by Men:||520||369|
|Total by Women:||109||87|
|% Works Choreographed by Men:||81||79|
|% Works Choreographed by Women:||17||19|
|% Programs Choreographed by Men Only:||70||62|
|% Programs Choreographed by Women Only:||4||6|
|% Programs Choreographed by Both:||26||32|
|% World Premieres Choreographed by Men:||65||62|
|% World Premieres Choreographed by Women:||34||38|
We collect our information independently from public sources like company websites and press releases. Fiscal data is derived solely from Forms 990 obtained via ProPublica’s Nonprofit Explorer or from company-released annual reports and financial audits.
We verify data, wherever possible, by reaching out directly to company representatives with the information we have sourced for a given report.
Originally founded as a project to research current and recent choreographic works, DDP grew into a 501(c)(3) nonprofit operating a database that houses over 2,300 records of choreographic work (and counting!). Since our official launch in 2019, we have also expanded our research to include dance festival repertoire and leadership, choreographic fellowships/residencies, ballet competitions, summer intensives, ballet schools, musical compositions that accompany dance works, production staff, boards of directors, and initiatives by companies to promote an equitable environment.
Our team is constantly engaged in data mining in these areas of study (and more), and we regularly publish reports of our findings (see above).
Details and specific months of report release can be found in our Research Calendar. For more information on the confidentiality of DDP’s data and accessibility, please see “How to Access Our Data” at the bottom of the page.
Below, see several articles and studies that serve as inspiration and support for our own research and advocacy.
Published by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), the following article, by four female academics, Vicki W. Kramer, Alison M. Konrad, Sumru Erkut, and Michele J. Hooper, details the benefits of including women on corporate boards of directors: Critical Mass on Corporate Boards: Why Three or More Women Enhance Governance.
Another by Professor Sumru Erkut, the following research was conducted to examine why there are so few women leading theaters in America: Women’s Leadership in Resident Theaters. The article brings to mind a recent headline in the Houston Chronicle, Houston theater companies are producing titles with more women and women of color. Important progress needs to be made to bring women to the helm of companies in both theater and dance.
Published in the New York Times, the following OpEd by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant discusses the inadmissible silencing of women when they attempt to give feedback, act as leaders, or voice opinion in many professional situations: Speaking While Female.
Currently undertaking a research project that looks beyond funding, Melanie Doerner seeks answers to deeper questions of sustainable business model for arts organizations. Doerner is a trained attorney, advocate for change, and proven arts leader with 16 years of nonprofit experience. She is currently studying the habits and business practices of arts organizations in an attempt to identify and understand the sustainable business model(s) for regional theatre and ballet companies.
The Harvard Business Review, similarly, published Professor Catherine Tinsley and Robin Ely’s insight on misinterpretations of differences between men and women and perceptions of both in the workplace: What Most People Get Wrong About Men and Women.
Also from Harvard, this time from the Law School, the special report Real Leaders Negotiate: Understanding the Difference between Leadership and Management breaks down gender differences in negotiation styles. Professors John Rizzo of Stony Brook University and Richard Zeckhauser of Harvard University asked a group of young physicians about their reference groups and salary aspirations and found that men often compare themselves to those of a reference group with higher salaries than the groups women to which women compare themselves. More of the study’s findings and comparable studies can be found here.
During the 2012-2013 season, Amy Seiwert and Joseph W. Copley highlighted the lack of female choreographic work featured amongst leading companies via a cross-reference of GuideStar fiscal profile data and public data available on company websites. Their work, published in a simple table (see image) led the Cincinnati Enquirer to publish the numbers. The disproportionate amount of male work that season shown in the study of 24 companies did not make national news, unfortunately, but serves as inspiration for what we research every day at DDP. See the study here: Study of choreography by women in companies with budgets over 5 million.
Commissioned by the Australian Council for the Arts, Associate Professor Elaine Lally and Professor Sarah Miller of the University of Wollongong in New South Wales published a report entitled Women in theatre: A research report and action plan for the Australian Council for the Arts. The professors’ work “gathers together quantitative and qualitative information on the continuing gender disparities, and attempts to identify structural barriers and potential levers for addressing entrenched inequalities.” Their study is available here.
By Dr. Stacy L. Smith, Marc Choueiti, Angel Choi, and Dr. Katherine Pieper, Inclusion in the Director’s Chair: Gender, Race and Age of Directors Across 1,200 Top Films from 2007 to 2018 reveals some remarkable metrics (as well as graphics that beautifully capture the team’s findings) related to diversity and inclusion in film. The team assessed the C-suites, boards of directors, and executive teams of samples across 300 of the highest-grossing films within their studied time-frame. Particularly interesting to DDP were the positions in which gender and diversity proportions fell “below the line” – that is to say those positions were largely filled by white men. Read the full study here.
Artists and Other Cultural Workers: A Statistical Portrait, a study commissioned by the National Foundation for the Arts, “Builds a cohesive statistical summary of artists and other cultural workers in the United States. In doing so, it complements the National Endowment for the Arts’ regular measurements of two other key segments of the arts ecosystem: arts industries and organizations, and levels of arts participation nationwide.” Its key findings include highlight the importance of pay equity and support for the artistic workforce: “Artists are 3.6 times as likely as other workers to be self-employed,” and they are also “becoming a larger share of the U.S. labor force.” Armed with this knowledge, the ballet industry must prioritize equitable practice to support the large proportion of its workers who are independent contractors living without stable income.
Submit Your Organization’s Data
Be our partner in building a more equitable and transparent ballet industry. For more information, follow the link below.
How to Access Our Data
Dance Data Project® houses the majority of our archival data on AirTable, while report data, used in real-time, is stored and analyzed on Microsoft Excel. The research team is in the process of transitioning all data into a single master list using the latter application.
While access to the archival database is private, we will share information from our research through our regular reports (detailed in the calendar) and by request from legitimate publications, companies, or other entities within our community.
Tell Us About Your Company/Project
Dance Data Project® encourages organizations to submit information about programming and initiatives that promote gender equity in classical dance. Help us promote you! Send us your latest news, photos, videos featuring female artists and we’ll feature them on the site. We are also looking for guest writers on our blog, so if you would like to write a piece for us, let us know!