The Break the Floor dance company, which is co-founded by Douglas Stroithamer, has announced Travis Wall as its current star with, as yet, no public statement on the future of its engagement with the Atlanta-based dance star who became a sexual assault and abuse accuser via social media in 2018.
Wall has denied that the incident ever took place, and resigned from his role as lead dancer at the Tharp Street Dance Company in Houston in 2016 after several accusations of sexual assault against him.
My experience in Travis Wall’s ‘safe space’ at Breaking the Floor Read more
Since the start of the year, the Wall affair has returned to the headlines with allegations made by Braxton Terry and Jessica Thomas about sexual abuse of a child under age 17.
Wall’s Hall of Fame Break the Floor company was nominated for its third consecutive Yearlong Guggenheim fellowship, and received national media attention for its upcoming Coachella performance this weekend.
But recently, Wall’s former colleagues have come forward to share stories of harassment and assault during his tenure at Break the Floor, the company his father founded.
In a statement, the Break the Floor team members say they stand with the women who have reached out and share, “Our mission is to lift people up and care for those in need. The women we are empowering today could not imagine we could become powerful enough to support them – the opposite of what Travis Wall has done to these women.”
Stroithamer’s company issued a statement on Tuesday night that said, “We have reviewed the work Travis did for us and our investigation has come to light that we were not comfortable making public.”
Travis Wall performs on Saturday. Photograph: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
Stroithamer added, “We are disappointed that we were unable to bring him home with us this weekend and we are actively pursuing a mutually satisfying resolution. Travis will not dance on Break the Floor World Tour or any other projects with us in the future, though all other members of our performing company, dancers and advisors remain committed to our goal to support and mentor dance artists.”
Stroithamer recently told the New York Times that he was “ashamed” of Wall but that he was “never taken advantage of in any way whatsoever”. He told the Times that he brought Wall to Break the Floor with the express purpose of raising him to a top level of training.
However, media reports of the accusations – which have now gone national on the website Radar – have noted that Wall’s first break with the company came in 2003, after being accused of sexual harassment.
In a similar vein, British choreographer David Bintley, whose company The Like Movement has staged work with Travis Wall, said that he was “proud” of his work with him and that there had been “never any problems whatsoever”. Bintley told the Times that he was “mortified by the allegation”.
Break the Floor is a multi-disciplinary group of dance-makers, not a solely dance company. The artistic director of the company is Steve Wood, an American choreographer and dancer. The company has a portfolio of dance-maker and project partners that include andropònic, Church of All Nations, Limerías, and Nederlands Dans Theater.