The DDP Team


Our Founder

Elizabeth Yntema is the Founder of the Dance Data Project™. She is a member of the Joffrey Ballet Board of Directors as well as WTTW and a member of the Advisory Board of the Trust for Public Land in Illinois. Liza was graduated from the University of Virginia in 1980 and is 1984 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, where she was awarded the annual prize for Outstanding Contribution to Social Justice. Ms. Yntema is a past member of numerous organizations in the Chicagoland area, including the Hubbard Street Dance Company, Women’s Bar Association, Winnetka Board of the Northwestern Settlement House and the Children’s Home and Aid Society and the Junior League of Chicago, where she was named as Volunteer of the Year for her work advocating for homeless women and children.  Named to the 2018-2019 cohort of The Philanthropy Workshop, Liza will spend a year as part of a global network of 450 program graduates designated as "the next generation of strategic philanthropists" with modules in London, Cambodia and San Francisco.

Ms. Yntema has underwritten ballets for both the Joffrey Ballet and Hubbard Street Dance company, including those by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa (World Premier of Mammatus) Stephanie Martinez, Penny Saunders, Robyn Minenko Williams, Nicolas Blanc and Christopher Wheeldon. Liza was lead sponsor of Crystal Pite’s work Solo Echo as part of the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Hubbard Street Dance Company. In May 2018, American Ballet Theatre announced the launch of its ABT Women’s Movement, a multi-year initiative supporting the creation of new works by female choreographers for the company. Ms. Yntema, along with the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation and Rockefeller Brothers Fund, was announced as principal sponsor of the Movement.


Isabelle Vail

Director of Research & Development

Vail began working for DDP while studying as a Presidential Scholar of Dance at Wake Forest University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Psychology and French. A lifelong ballet dancer, Vail’s understanding of ballet, its repertoire, community, and technique is extensive. Ms. Vail manages the efforts of companies recorded in the database and record of repertoire on AirTable and from this calculates statistics to reveal inclusion tendencies amongst companies.

In addition, Vail oversees the release of the Self Report Form, a means of obtaining operational data from domestic ballet companies, expanding the database, and coordinating the communication of DDP™ findings with our collaborators.


Susan West

Project and Research Consultant

Susan West is an active supporter of the arts and an advocate of diversity in the workplace. She joined the Dance Data Project™ in 2016 as Lead Researcher, now serving as a research and project consultant.

Susan has spent her career working for and with higher education institutions. She is an Associate in the Higher Education Strategy & Operations practice at Huron Consulting Group where she leads a discussion group on women in the workplace and engages in numerous efforts to support, promote, and recruit women in higher education consulting. Prior to joining Huron, Susan was Associate Director, Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO), at Yale University. While at Yale Susan served as Co-Chair of Yale’s LGBTQ Affinity Group from 2013-2015 and co-founded the organization Women in IT (WIT) @ Yale in 2013.

Susan holds an M.A. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from The Ohio State University and a B.A. in Communication Studies from Furman University.


Jetta Boschen

Media Relations

With an extensive background in Promotions/Marketing garnered at some of the world’s leading Consumer Product Companies,  Ms. Boschen expanded her niche into the publicity arena representing an array of private and not-for-profit clientele. Boschen’s philanthropic endeavors are quite extensive, mainly focused in the cultural arts sector including The Joffrey Ballet and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.


Jason Smith

Technology and Digital Lead

Jason has over ten years of project management, design, and software development experience, overseeing digital and design project for small start ups. He arrived at his current position through a circuitous route through studying literature, working in publishing, literary magazines, and other such ventures. 


emma palumbo

Research Associate

A graduate from the University of Hartford, Emma recently received her Bachelor of Arts in Filmmaking. She has worked on a variety of video projects such as short films, experimental films, and even a music video featuring two student dancers. After a semester-long History of Women class that coincided with the rise of #MeToo and the Time's Up movement, Emma developed a stronger passion for examining and eradicating gender inequality in the arts. Emma is excited to join the DDP team!

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Elliana Given


Elliana is a third year Echols Scholar at the University of Virginia pursuing a double major in the Distinguished Majors Program in Media Studies and Politics. While her academic focus is in the effect of mass media on American policy, she has dedicated much of her extracurricular and professional time to the arts. As a longtime artist, an outspoken feminist, and an eager student, Elliana is excited to be working with DDP in building out their database and promoting women in leadership roles in the arts.