Every year, one of the most prestigious companies skills of world dance attracts millions of youth with the possibility of make your dreams of movie stardom come true, television or the stage. But behind the lights and the sticky beatSome said they had been sexually abused by the founder of the company as well as teachers and choreographers, according to a survey by The Associated Press and the Toronto Star.
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The problems date from the very foundation of Breaking Ground Productionsa dance company based in Angels whose leaders, according to current and former students and teachers, they perpetuated a culture of sex and silence.
Breaking the ground is famous in show business and some of his alumni have gone on to careers in music, television and social networks. The company’s teachers and alumni have danced at Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Oscars and Super Bowl concerts. Its instructors have participated in television programs such as “Dancing with the Stars”“Dance Moms” and “So You Think You Can Dance”.
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When the pandemic arrived and they had to be canceled face-to-face courses, Break the Floor hired the network star Charli D’Amelio, whose TikTok account has more than 10 million “likes”to record instructional videos.
The company was founded 22 years ago by a charismatic dancer named Gil Stroming, who in the 1990s rose to fame performing in the musical “Hit the Dogs” of the off-Broadway circuit.
Today break the ground attracts approximately 300,000 dance students each yearsome as young as 5 years old, in hotel ballrooms across the United States and Canada for workshops and competitions.
But in January, as the AP and Star investigated the allegations of sexual abuse in Breaking the Ground, Stroming announced that he was resigning from the management of the company.
The new owner, Russell Geyserassured that heToday’s society has nothing to do with those accusations and that the accused they don’t work there anymore. He added that in your first 10 days In the building four people were made redundant.
The scandal erupted in October last yearwhen the Toronto Star reported complaints of sexual harassment and the predatory conduct of Break the Floor instructors.
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A teenager born in Toronto denounced that a famous choreographer, what hee suggested having sex just a few hours after evaluating her in a competition in 2012. A dancer from Ottawa who worked as an assistant in the company, he denounced that the same choreographer had groped him in public.
A joint investigation by the AP and the Star disclosed allegations of sexual abuse dates back to the early years of the company and they include Stroming himself.
Stroming has been involved in a series of inappropriate relationships with the students of the dance program that he headedaccording to several former students and former teachers.
Four of these plaintiffs they say stormed used to go to parties or events with female students, whom he presented as his girlfriends. seven of whistleblowers they say that they saw Stroming interact with students from intimate or inappropriate manner. A teacher claims that on one occasion Stroming showed him a nude photo of one of the students.
All sources spoke on condition of anonymity. for fear of reprisals or that their careers will suffer.
A dancer claims to have met Stroming when she was 16 and went to a Break the Floor event with her parents.
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Adam Rodriguez is a gearhead at heart and a journalist by trade. As a writer for Run Down Bulletin, he provides in-depth coverage of the latest and greatest in the world of automobiles.