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Resilience in Black Ballerinas: The Impact of family support 

Racism has been a persistent problem within the ballet industry since its inception. Despite concerted efforts to make the industry more diverse, performers of color continue to be underrepresented and often encounter significant obstacles such as stereotyping, discrimination, and a lack of opportunity for advancement. 

This study aims to explore the lived experiences of Black female ballet dancers and how they navigate the ballet world. It seeks to understand the impact of family support on their resilience, motivation, and determination to pursue a career in ballet.


​Study volunteers must meet the following criteria:

  • Identify as Black or African American

  • Female

  • Professional ballet dancer (current or former); freelancer, or currently auditioning for ballet companies

  • Age 18+

  • Currently living in the U.S.

  • Has at least one family member willing to participate in the interview process

​Participants (ballet dancers & family members) must sign an informed consent form and complete a demographic survey before participating in the study. 

Interview process:

Each participant will engage in two interviews (individual and joint) with the researcher. Interviews will be conducted via Zoom or in person (depending on the participants' geographical location). Please use the booking link to schedule interviews.


  • Ballet dancer (approx. 60 mins): This interview will entail a detailed discussion of your lived experience as a ballet dancer, an exploration of the obstacles you have encountered in the world of ballet and how you have overcome them, the type of support that has helped you most along your journey, and your motivations for continuing to pursue a career in ballet. 

  • Family member (approx. 30-45 mins): This interview will discuss your perspective regarding the process, the type of support you have provided, and any challenges you have encountered. 

  • Joint (ballet dancer & family member. Approx. 30-45 mins): This joint interview encourages both participants to share stories and any challenges faced as a family regarding the process.

Instructions: Please thoroughly read and sign informed consent and complete surveys.

  • Ballet dancers: Please complete the ballet dancer survey.

  • Family members: Please complete the family member survey.

Informed Consent

Ballet Dancer Survey

Family Member Survey

Ballet Dancer

Do you want to participate!?

Thanks for submitting!

Are you a Black female ballet dancer who wants to share your story? Do you have a supportive family who encourages you to follow your passion? If so, you may be eligible to participate in a voluntary research study that explores the challenges and impact of family support of Black women in ballet. Please complete the form below for questions or interests regarding this study.

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