Dear DDP Family,

Happy New Year, and welcome to the inaugural issue of the Point by Pointe. a seasonal newsletter highlighting DDP's work. The goal of this endeavor is to share the news of our women-in-ballet community on a seasonal basis and to point (pun intended) subscribers in the direction of inclusive projects (programming, books, research, films, etc.). In addition to company profiles, choreographer interviews, and independent OpEds, our newsletter will feature updates on women in ballet—their programs, commissions, publications, awards, promotions, new positions, or other news. We look forward to sharing more of this exciting work with you in the future.

Take care and be well,
DDP's Connecting the Dots - #YesThisIsAnArtsStory Campaign
An ongoing project, which compiles reporting, research, and resources regarding the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on women in the arts.

Through our Connecting the Dots - #YesThisIsAnArtsStory Campaign, DDP aims to bring attention to an issue which thus far has gone largely unrecognized in the arts field, especially in dance. DDP’s campaign follows two parallel stories: the effects of the pandemic on women and the effects of the pandemic on the arts, in an effort to find the intersection, generate conversation and in-depth reporting, and create actionable steps toward a more equitable arts industry so that women can maintain and move into leadership positions in the months to come. A month into the campaign, we are already starting to see major publications reporting on this issue, and we hope that the aid and funding for female artists will follow. There are multiple ways to access and interact with the campaign online. You can search the hashtag #YesThisIsAnArtsStory on Twitter or visit the dropdown #YesThisIsAnArtsStory on DDP's blog, and feel free to comment, like, and share.

Artistic Director of Ballet Hispánico since 2009, Mr. Vilaro also serves as CEO of the company.
In early 2020, DDP Founder and President Liza Yntema brought her Listening Tour to Ballet Hispánico, her last stop before the COVID-19 lockdowns hit. She and Director of Research Isabelle Vail had the opportunity to meet and converse with Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro about the company, particularly the importance of women's roles in choreography and company leadership. Click here to read more about the visit, the conversation, and DDP's Listening Tour.

Some recent news: Having met Eduardo and seen how he interacts with the BH community, it is not at all surprising to learn that he was chosen from 141 nominations, alongside seven other leaders in diverse sectors, as an honoree at the inaugural Compassionate Leaders Awards Ceremony on January 15, 2021. More information about the criteria for selection and the full list of awardees can be found here. We wish Eduardo our most sincere congratulations!
From the Blog
Nicole Haskins writes about the stifling of female dancers and its impact on the industry

As conversations surrounding the lack of females in leadership positions in the ballet world continue to grow, it’s important to look at how the underlying cultural and structural aspects of the world of ballet stifle creativity and leadership in women. The historical approach to ballet - especially for girls - has often been "shut up and dance." Girls are taught to be silent and comply without question, leaving little space for them to discover their own voices and forge their own paths. Just like the widespread realization that many of our cultural representations on stage need to be rethought, it is time we reckon with our methods of teaching ballet to girls and update them for the future of the art form. While it is heartening that many teachers and schools are creating more positive environments and adapting their curriculums, it must be an institutional push to make lasting and substantial change. We must create a culture that does not shame women into silence but inspires them into greatness. 


The DDP team has long admired Morgann's successes from across the Atlantic. We were thrilled to have an opportunity to glean some insight into the career of another woman choreographer for 2021's first DDP Talks To... Join us in learning about Morgann's approach to pitching her work, her creative process, life in lockdown, and how exactly she got started in dance making. To read the full interview on DDP's website, click here.

DDP first came across Stina's name through the English National Ballet, which is one of the few companies in the world to hire a woman in an official, titled capacity as a choreographer. Since then, she has of course become one of the leading emerging choreographers in the field, and we are so thrilled to share this hugely accomplished woman's voice in DDP Talks To.... There is much to which we look forward in following Stina's career as both a dancer and dance maker! To read the full interview, on DDP's website, click here.

The Latest in DDP Research
Published On: 1/25/21 | Dance Data Project® ‘s 2020 Dance Festival Gender Equity Report examines the gender distribution of programming and leadership among 2020 festivals and includes a comparative analysis of 2019 and 2020 findings. Some key findings include:
  • Women choreographed 48% of world premieres commissioned by the festivals that were held in 2020 and sampled by DDP.
  • There were a total of 48 top leaders listed by the 37 festivals that listed a leader, and 65% of them were women in 2020. 57% of festivals had exclusively-female leaders in 2020.
  • The mean Equity Score for the 10 festivals examined by DDP that programmed works in both 2019 and 2020 was .33 (33% of works were choreographed by women). The median Equity Score was .27.
To read the full report, click here.
Published on: 1/6/2021 | 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 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. To read the full mini-report, click here.

DDP and President & Founder Liza Yntema to be Featured in Forthcoming Textbook
In their forthcoming book, Women and Leadership: A Journey Toward Equity, authors Lisa DeFrank Cole and Sherylle J. Tan examine issues related to women and leadership from a variety of perspectives, profiling a diverse group of female leaders, including Marsha P. Johnson, Serena Williams, Dolores
Huerta, Andrea Jung, Judith Heumann, and Greta Thurnburg. Throughout the book, "Leadership in Practice" exercises provide opportunities for readers to hone their leadership skills.

Regarding their decision to feature President & Founder Liza Yntema and DDP, the authors said, “We selected the Dance Data Project® as a nonprofit organization to include in our textbook for several reasons. First, we couldn’t imagine writing a textbook about women and leadership and not including an arts perspective. Second, we are impressed by the entrepreneurial spirit of Elizabeth Yntema and her
team. They are bringing less well known--though absolutely needed--information not only to those in the ballet world, but to those of us who study gender equity.”

Women and Leadership is available for pre-order now from Sage Publishing for release later this month.

A Financial Perspective: What Did We Learn from 2020?


The lessons learned from 2020 are endless, but from a financial standpoint, we realized these two poignant things:

  • Women took the brunt of it. We lost the most jobs and we shouldered the most responsibility at home. That alone may financially set us back years.
  • You need an emergency fund. Not only did it come in handy if you were lucky enough to have one, but you most likely drained it. Saving and investing for that proverbial rainy day is paramount since, as we learned in March 2020, it could start pouring out of nowhere.

So let’s make a few small changes this year.

Let’s make understanding your financial life a priority. You need to Own Your Worth. That means understanding where you stand today and what you want for the future. 

  1. Understand yourself. So many women shy away from financial issues because they “don’t like numbers.” Which is fine. Then understand what you like and how you learn because this stuff is not going away. Take this simple quiz* first. (No numbers in it!) It will help you understand yourself. How do you like to learn? How do you handle risk? What is your experience with money?
  2. Start learning. Just a little bit every day. Check out The Code*. It’s an approachable financial education site that will teach you things like how to manage your credit cards or how to lease a car – with five minute modules! That means you can do them while you’re waiting for your coffee or on the pick-up line when you’re getting the kids from school. Try to find five minutes in your day to educate yourself.
  3. Set some goals. Short term. Long term. Whether you are currently employed or not. Be realistic but reach. Because this pandemic will end and (fingers crossed) you will be working again. And then start investing – like now*. Don’t over think it. If all you can commit to is $10 a week – do it.  

Just committing to those three things will propel your financial situation.

And don’t be afraid to talk about money – with your girlfriends – with your mentors. Women talk about everything from our relationships to the best natural peanut butter to give the kids – yet when it comes to money we clam up.

So start talking. Start learning. Start listening. Whether you subscribe to a financial newsletter or click on a financial news app, start making financial news and information a part of your day.

You can do this. You need to do this – because it will empower you and your future.
Questions? Just email me.

*These links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by the Dance Data Project® of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual. Dance Data Project® bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.

Rena Butler Creates New Works and Explores Film
Rena is a Princess Grace Award-winning choreographer and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (HSDC) dancer and has many exciting opportunities on the horizon. She currently serves as a mentor for PointePeople, a one-to-one mentorship program where some of the very best professional artists in the world help young artists learn how to take care of their bodies and minds, as well as improve their dance technique. She began a teaching residency at New York University earlier this month and is currently working on a new advocacy fellowship with Gibney Company focused on teens interested in choreography, where she also serves as an Artistic Associate.

Below are a list of her current and upcoming commissions and new works:
  • New work for Dance Theater of Harlem and Charlotte Ballet
  • A senior solo for a student at The Juilliard School and another at Princeton University
  • New work for NYU Tisch students premiering in May
  • Her film, A Tale of Two, premiered in October and will be presented and paired with a pre recorded discussion on Arts and Advocacy with youth Advocate Nathaniel Viets Vanlear, co-director Talia Koylass, and fellow HSDC dancer Alysia Johnson at end of this month for InMotion Dance Festival, produced by the Harris Theater x Loyola University in Chicago
  • She is currently in pre-production to choreograph for an upcoming feature film
Atlanta Ballet Features Claudia Schrier and Darian Kane in Upcoming Partnership with Georgia State University
In partnership with the Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State University and GSUTV, Atlanta Ballet will present Silver Linings – the Company’s newest choreographic initiative featuring a variety of original pieces created by Atlanta Ballet dancers on Atlanta Ballet dancers. These two events will be livestreamed to the public via the Rialto Center for the Arts' Facebook channel.

As part of the program, the work of two women choreographers will be featured - Claudia Schrier's Pleides Dances and Darian Kane's Dr. Rainbow's Infinity Mirror.

About Claudia: A Princess Grace Award recipient and Harvard University graduate, Schrier has choreographed for dance, opera and film across the U.S. and internationally and has been praised for her distinctive choreographic voice, which fuses neoclassical technique with a contemporary vocabulary. In addition to her extensive choreographic works, she is also the Artistic Director of Claudia Schrier & Company, which since 2015 has presented several full-evening performances of her choreography featuring dancers from New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Miami City Ballet and Dance Theatre of Harlem, among other leading companies, and collaborations with composers and musicians.

About Darian: Hailing from Northern California and a member of Atlanta Ballet for three seasons, Darian is in her first year choreographing. She has been drawing for as long as she has been dancing, so she imagines her dances as fluid sequences of individual drawings in which any one moment could stand alone. Influenced by pop composer Joe Hawley and film composer Danny Elfman, and by film directors Wes Anderson, Tim Burton, and Quentin Tarantino, she begins with her classical dance training and builds upon it, imbuing her pieces with the whimsy and quirkiness of her cinematic influences.
Stephanie Batten Bland's Upcoming Premiere with Baryshnikov Arts Center
Stephanie Batten Bland (SBB) is a Jerome Robbins awardee and interdisciplinary global artist who interrogates contemporary and historical culture and situates her work at the intersection of dance-theatre and site-sympathetic installation. She created Company SBB in Paris in 2008 and established it in New York City in 2011, when she was in residency at Baryshnikov Arts Center and began her current residence at University Settlement. Regularly produced by LaMama Experimental Theater, she premiered her latest live work "Look Who's Coming To Dinner" at LaMama in fall 2019 for FIAF's Crossing the Line Festival. Known for her unique visual and movement aesthetic, SBB served as movement director for Eve’s Song" at the Public Theater (Forbes 2018 Best Theatre) and is currently Casting Creative & Movement Director for the 2021 immersive production Life & Trust by Emursive. She also directs dance cinema films. SBB received her MFA in interdisciplinary arts from Goddard College, is Assistant Professor at Montclair State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance, and lives in SoHo with her family. She has had numerous 2020 commissions, including Current, Mondays at Two, and Unnatural Contradictions.

This spring, Baryshnikov Arts Center will present: Kolonial (Digital World Premiere), a film by Stefanie Batten Bland and Jean Claude Dhien coming May 3-17, 2021. It is a collaboration between SBB and installation artist Conrad Quesen. The work is inspired by colonial exposition parks of Europe, North America, and the Caribbean during the 1810s-1940s. The dance cinema work interrogates systems of overharvesting, exploitation, and oppression, examining behaviors of self and community through transparent COVID barriers of isolation. Read the full announcement of Baryshnikov Arts Center's season here.
Premieres by Hope Boykin and Lauren Lovette to Headline ABT Studio Company Winter Festival
World Premieres by Hope Boykin and Lauren Lovette will be presented over two evenings during the ABT Studio Company Winter Festival on Tuesday, February 9 and Wednesday, February 10 at 7 P.M. on American Ballet Theatre’s YouTube channel. Featuring 14 exceptionally promising dancers, this two-night virtual festival, hosted by ABT Studio Company alumni Isabella Boylston and Calvin Royal III, also includes the work of Amy Hall Garner, Marius Petipa, Alexei Ratmansky, Brendan Saye, Antony Tudor, and Rostislav Zakharov.
Lauren Lovette, a principal dancer with New York City Ballet, has choreographed La Follia Variations for eight members of ABT Studio Company. Set to music by Francesco Geminiani, recorded by East Coast Chamber Orchestra, La Follia Variations was created in March 2020 in the final days before the Covid-19 pandemic forced the studios to close. La Follia Variations, set for its World Premiere on Tuesday, February 9, is Lovette’s second work for ABT Studio Company following Le Jeune in 2017. “The progression of steps is one of my favorites among the classical ballet style,” said Lovette. “These dancers give me hope for the future of dance, and this piece of choreography is a celebration of that hope.”
In her first work for ABT Studio Company, recently retired Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater leading dancer, choreographer, and creator Hope Boykin has created For What Is It All Worth? The piece uses a pallet of sound created and inspired by Stephen Stills’s classic For What It’s Worth, featuring renditions of the song by the Voices of East Harlem, Bill Laurance, and Billy Porter, with original spoken word by Boykin. With costumes styled by Boykin, For What Is It All Worth? was choreographed for 14 dancers during ABT Studio Company’s bubble residency in Fall 2020 at Kaatsbaan Cultural Park. “During a time of uprising and protest, declaration and independence, For What Is It All Worth? explores the rights and freedoms of today’s youthful voices,” said Boykin. "For What Is It All Worth? gives
permission to the young artist to shout: 'It is for me!’"

Click here to read the full ABT Studio Company Winter Festival announcement and to learn more about Lovette's and Boykin's work.
Cincinnati Ballet Premiering Majority Women Choreographer New Works Series
As part of their pivoted 2020-2021 virtual season, Cincinnati Ballet continues its "CB at Home" series this February with The Kaplan New Works Series, an ambitious collection of world premieres that includes five new works, four of which are choreographed by women. The program explores the theme of "Unheard Voices." Audiences can look forward to thought-provoking new works that reflect this unprecedented moment in time. Cincinnati Ballet’s Resident Choreographer Jennifer Archibald and choreographers Dana Genshaft and Helen Pickett will share their personal perspectives through movement. The digital program also features new choreographic creations from Principal Dancer Melissa Gelfin De-Poli. New Works will be recorded at the Aronoff Center’s Jarson-Kaplan Theater with multiple cameras for an immersive, intimate production you’ll enjoy from the comfort of your own home.

Notably, Archibald and Pickett were also interviewed last year for our Global Conversations series. You can view all the interviews and see more information about upcoming rounds here.

The Kaplan New Works Series will stream free the weekends of Feb. 25-28 and March 5-7 at Click here for more information about the program.
Upcoming Richmond Ballet Virtual Series Features New Works by Nishihara and Ferguson
Extraordinary dancing for extraordinary times, the Richmond Ballet's ongoing Studio Series performances feature Richmond Ballet favorites presented in new ways, paired with new works that reflect current times – all designed to awaken and uplift the human spirit.

Studio Series: February will feature new work choreographed by two women - company dancer Eri Nishihara and Virginia Commonwealth University/Staff Foster Dance Alum Sarah Ferguson. In addition, new works by company dancers Marty Davis and Ira White will be performed. ounding out the program is Val Caniparoli’s Stolen Moments and the wedding pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty.

The program has both virtual and in-person options available and will run from February 9 - 21, 2021. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit the Studio Series: February page.
The View from Allied Fields

Want to keep up with what our peer fields are talking about?

  • The American Alliance of Museums | CEO Laura Lott was featured in Politico in December, noting that "significant shifts in the world of philanthropy, and they will have deep and lasting effects on nonprofit organizations, especially in the world of arts and culture. 

Most issues, we'll highlight members of our team
and the exciting things they're up to.


A senior in high school at Cyprus Bay Academy in Weston, Flo., Jenesis Williams is passionate about equality and the arts. She has studied classical ballet at the International Ballet Company for six years, and she has performed in excerpts from The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Coppelia, and more. She attended various ballet summer intensives, including a program at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. She joined DDP as an intern in 2019. 

Jenesis was recently accepted to Columbia University in New York City. While she’s unsure of what she’ll be studying yet, she hopes to take advantage of Columbia’s extensive archives of dance history and research, opportunities in international human rights education and research, and programs that will allow her to explore her interests in scientific and lab research. 


Katherine is a high school senior at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. There, she continues her 12 years of training in concert dance with a specific focus on ballet. She currently serves as a Head of the Dance Program and Captain of the varsity-level dance performance ensemble, in addition to having previously directed and choreographed for numerous productions. She recently investigated the role of racial fetishism and cultural appropriation in concert dance as a CAMD Scholar, a summer research fellowship program and is dedicated to instilling equity in the performing arts. 

Katherine is currently directing a dance production using the dreamscape to explore female sexuality and the cyclical nature of patriarchal systems. 


Lee is a senior at Lane Technical High School in Chicago, Ill. She has studied classical ballet for 14 years and is currently a senior member of the Joffrey Ballet Exelon Stobel Program, a rigorous scholarship program offered to promising high school students through Joffrey Ballet's community engagement program. Participants train in ballet and contemporary to perform at events around the city of Chicago with the purpose of serving the community.

In January, Lee joined the DDP team as an intern and notes she is thrilled about the opportunity to work toward gender equity in the dance world.
Edited by Ellen FitzGerald
Header Artwork by Elliana Given