Basel“Climate of fear” and eating disorders – allegations at the ballet school partly confirmed

After the ballet school Theater Basel was sharply criticized by former students in October last year, some of the allegations have now been confirmed by an independent investigation.

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Humiliation, panic attacks, eating disorders – many of the former students still suffer from the experiences at the ballet school years later. The hostile circumstances have now been confirmed in an independent investigation.

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The announced, independent investigation of the allegations by the ballet school Theater Basel (BTB) confirmed many of the allegations.

The announced, independent investigation of the allegations by the ballet school Theater Basel (BTB) confirmed many of the allegations.



“A climate of fear” and pressure to lose weight were the most serious allegations confirmed by the investigation.


At the end of October, the Ballet School Theater Basel (BTB) made negative headlines. Among other things, former students were humiliated, teachers behaved lewdly towards them, and many students stopped menstruating. “We were broken and everyone was watching,” said one of the former students. Many would still suffer from eating disorders and panic attacks and take antidepressants today.

The scandal had strong consequences. The board of the BTB association applied to the Basel Department of Education (ED) for the closure of the Federal Certificate of Competence (EFZ) area at the end of the 2022/23 school year. The independent investigation into the allegations made by former students of the Basel Theater Ballet School (BTB) in the «NZZ on Sunday» (Paid items) and at bajour expressed is now complete.

Climate of fear in the ballet school

On Friday, the BTB published a media release on the findings of the independent investigation into the conditions in the ballet school. The allegations of the former and current learners at the dance school were re-examined and examined.

According to the BTB, some of the allegations were confirmed in the course of the investigation. The director of the BTB did not sufficiently observe the duty of care. “Specifically, this means that some of the female learners surveyed were subjected to disparagement in the training of dancers in the EFZ area.” In addition, the study found that “with regard to weight reduction, pressure was exerted on learners”. The director of the ballet school “intimidated some of the students with her behavior and created a climate of fear for them”.

Suspended principal allowed to teach again

The consequences of these findings are as follows: Although the director mentioned had already been suspended, she is now allowed to hold her post again until the ballet school closes in the summer of 2023, but under certain conditions and a completed “coaching.” However, she is no longer allowed to teach alone, but only “in the presence of a second adult”.

Some allegations could not be confirmed by the investigation. The investigation rejected the allegation that there was an existing harassment problem in the ballet school. Allegations in this regard relate to a teacher who has not worked at the BTB for a long time. Also the points that there is a problem of discrimination “when assigned roles, film recordings or stage performances” in the ballet school and that there is no lack of caution or insufficient handling of physical complaints from students.

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Deborah Acker

I write epic fantasy; self-published via KDP. Devoted dog mom to my 10 yr old GSD, Shadow! DM not a priority; slow response at best #amwriting #author.

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