Hiring Part 3: The Corona Season

What are the hiring practices of the top 25 American ballet companies?

Our Instagram – @datapointes

We have broken down hiring patterns in the top 7 American ballet companies in past posts (Part 1 and Part 2).

This season, we have data on a whopping 25 companies where we can track the movement of dancers between, into, and out of these companies.

Hiring during a pandemic

For the Season 2019 – 2020, there were 1050 dancers employed (excluding guests, second company members, and New York City Ballet apprentices) in the top 25 American ballet companies (by domestic budget during the 2018 – 2019 season):

  • New York City Ballet,
  • San Francisco Ballet,
  • American Ballet Theatre,
  • Houston Ballet,
  • Boston Ballet,
  • Pacific Northwest Ballet,
  • Joffrey Ballet,
  • Miami City Ballet,
  • Pennsylvania Ballet,
  • Ballet West,
  • Kansas City Ballet,
  • Atlanta Ballet,
  • Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre,
  • Washington Ballet,
  • Cincinnati Ballet,
  • Dayton Ballet,
  • Ballet Arizona,
  • Texas Ballet Theater,
  • Colorado Ballet,
  • Sarasota Ballet of Florida,
  • Ballet Austin,
  • Charlotte Ballet,
  • Tulsa Ballet,
  • Richmond Ballet,
  • and Oregon Ballet Theatre

915 returned (87.1%) and 135 left (12.9%, moved out of the top 25, retired, or fired).

993 were employed by those same 25 companies in Season 2020 – 2021.

75 promotions happened between those seasons:

  • 23 apprentice to corps
  • 10 apprentice to unranked
  • 2 corps to demi soloist
  • 7 corps to second soloist
  • 9 corps to soloist
  • 2 demi soloist to soloist
  • 5 second soloist to soloist
  • 3 soloist to first soloist
  • 14 soloist to principal

90 (9%) hiring events happened between those seasons:

  • 78 were new to the top 25 companies
    • 7 went to the affiliated school and second company
    • 12 went to the school but not the second company
    • 15 did not go to the school but went to the second company
    • 29 did not go to the school or the second company (not affiliated)
    • 15 had no data on whether they attended the school or second company
  • 12 moved between companies in the top 25

The top 7 companies (New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Houston Ballet, Boston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Joffrey Ballet) employed 45.8% of all dancers in the top 25 (455 dancers)

  • 17 of 78 were new to to the top 7 companies
    • 2 went to the affiliated school and second company
    • 11 went to the school but not the second company (this could be inaccurate due to changes in second company reporting)
    • 0 did not go to the school but went to the second company
    • 4 did not go to the school or the second company (not affiliated)
    • 0 had no data on whether they attended the school or second company
  • 1 people moved between companies in the top 7 (Chunwai Chan @chunner!)
  • 2 dancers originally in companies outside the top 7 companies hired into the top 7 (Ao Wang @aoaboutfashion and Simone Acri @simon_acri!)

With 18 dancers total being hired by the top 7 this last season, this is a large reduction in the number of dancers hired for the 2019 – 2020 season (59 dancers; 18 of 59 = only 30.5% of last season’s hires).

Stay tuned

Data Pointes is looking to grow and put out more data this upcoming season! Keep an eye for future posts breaking down the above data even more and the role of competitions in dancer’s careers. Until then! – J

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