Scene from Her Notes, Choreography by Jessica Lang
Courtesy of American Ballet Theatre;
Photo by Rosalie O’Connor

Dance DATA Project Research Release Schedule


Topic Details Time of Release
AD/ED Salary Details the salary differential for male v. female Artistic and Executive Directors Feb 2019
Self Report Survey Responders Details which companies did and did not respond to our request to partake in the Self Report Form Mar 2019
Choreographic Initiatives & Fellowships Breakdown Includes a coherent guide to initiatives for choreographers wishing to apply & create (will feature name of initiative/competition, app deadline, opportunity date, payment/benefits, and how to apply/parameters. Apr 2019
Staff Composition Details the gender differential for senior staff members of Top 50 companies (salaries where available for male v. female on payroll) Jun 2019
Board of Directors Breakdown Lists percentage of male v. female board chairs (& possibly percentage amongst overall members) Jul 2019
Festival Breakdown Women Choreographer inclusion, distribution of gender in their boards of directors and artistic directors Aug 2019
Venues Breakdown Details the inclusion of female v. male created pieces in the choreographic programming (main stage v. blackbox setting & full length v. single act); details AD and ED gender Sep 2019
2018-2019 Season Report Details the distribution of male v. female choreographed pieces in seasonal repertoire (main stage v. blackbox setting & full length v. single-act) of top 50 domestic companies *future DDP reports will break down fall v. spring seasonal repertoire Oct/Nov 2019

Our Methodology

We collect our information independently from public sources like company websites, dance publications, and Guidestar nonprofit reports. Fiscal data is derived solely from Form-990s or from company annual reports. To ensure the most accurate data collection possible, DDP has developed the Self Report Form, an 80-question survey honed to obtain fiscal, operational, and personnel data directly from companies willing to share. Learn more about this aspect of our methodology here.

Current Data

Originally founded as a project to research current and recent choreographic works, DDP grew into an organization with pending nonprofit status and a database housing over 2,300 records of choreographic work. The project has also expanded to house records of ballet festival repertoires and leadership, choreographic fellowships, ballet competitions, summer intensives, musical compositions that accompany dance works, production staff, boards of directors, and initiatives by companies to promote an equitable environment.

Our team is presently engaged in the documentation of the salaries of artistic and executive leadership of the top 50 domestic ballet companies (ranked in order of largest to smallest expenditure). Statistics detailing these leaders’ compensation will be made public in early February 2019, followed by the release of research steadily over the coming months. Details and specific months of release can be found in the statistical calendar seen below.

While our database is confidential, our published findings give the community a snapshot of the data we are collecting, and our website is frequently updated with DDP announcements and ballet community news.

academic inspiration

Below, see several articles that serve as inspiration and support for our own studies 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.

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.

DDP also supports the mission and methodology of the Center for Open Science. To that end we honor requests for the viewing of our database as well as specific research inquiries.

We strive to maintain the highest possible levels of accuracy. For that reason, in addition to utilizing publicly available documents (such as the IRS Form 990), internet searches and direct contact, we are also encouraging companies, festivals, venues, schools, competitions and all others we survey to complete our Self Report Form (see below). This is intended to not only double-check our work, but also to be used as an avenue to communicate new initiatives and programs of interest to the world of classical dance.


To learn more about our Self Report Form, follow the link below