Former Prominent Figure in the Dance Community and Employee of Break the Floor Facing Sexual Misconduct Allegations


Members of Mpact Dance Project after a class with New York choreographer Chelsea Thedinga.

Studio owners and alumni of Mpact Dance Project gather for a picture.

For many people, dance is more than a hobby but a lifestyle. It gives many individuals a way to express themselves and escape the ever-encroaching world. Dancers of all kinds, from every corner of the world, have come together to create a community where people feel safe to be who they are and exist vulnerably. However, rumors spread like wildfire, and destroy everything in their path.
When a prominent and trusted dance community member was accused of sexual misconduct, this sacred space was left in ruins. Travis Wall, an Emmy award-winning choreographer and a former staff member of Break the Floor productions, was charged with sexual misconduct from 8 students and mentees. The most shocking fact, however, is that Break the Floor productions knew about the allegations and did nothing to stop it.
“At their core, dance conventions are meant to be a resource to help young dancers on their journey to becoming a professional dancer, through the use of experienced dancers teaching and working with the young dancers. And Break the Floor has morphed this into a gateway for their teachers to use their power to manipulate these dancers into doing whatever they [the teachers] want.” says an ex-employee of Break the Floor who we will call Maggie.
Dance conventions are a reasonably new addition to the ever-evolving dance world. These events were created with the original intent for young dancers to be taught by experienced, more successful mentors with extensive resumes and a great deal of knowledge about their craft. In theory, this would have been a great opportunity, but in reality these so-called “teachers” have allegedly abused their powers to cloud the minds of their students and manipulate them.
One account of alleged misconduct comes from former Break the Floor Staff and Student Myle Lavallee. Wall worked very closely with Lavallee and eventually became his mentor. Lavallee reports that several inappropriate events were initiated by the teacher when he was a mentee to Wall. “It is easy for these people to get away with such things, because for the kids it almost like your talking to a celebrity, instead of thinking ‘why is this grown man giving me so much attention, this is weird’ they think ‘Oh my god, he just talked to me that’s so cool!’” says Lavalle in a quote from The Star.
Fellow dancers in the community, specifically ones related to the Aurora space, have been affected by this news as well. The ripples of these accusations have left numerous young adults, children, and families who placed so much faith into this business feeling scared and betrayed.
“The biggest thing that scared me about this whole situation was the fact I have spent close to seven years working and taking classes from these people that have been accused of sexual misconduct,” says another anonymous source who we will refer to as Jacky, “That I like so many others have been at the disposal of these disgusting people”.
The severity of this situation being brought to light has made many question the studio’s integrity, staff, and the world of dance as a whole. Moreover, everyone connected to Break the Floor is concerned for their loved ones and their well-being, along with if they were affected by Wall’s misconduct.
“It’s important to note that Break The Floor is a business. They are here to make money, and they have succeeded… The fact that Break the Floor has known these awful things yet the only time that they will take action is when they are going to lose money if they don’t,” says Maggie.
The thought of possibly endangering one’s children is sickening to the stomach; for parents, it’s perhaps their worst nightmare knowing they could have potentially put their kids in harm’s way. But for the kids, the actual dancers being in these situations, their feelings are disregarded, and their passion for their sport holds despite these allegations and their effects on the community.
“I hate the fact that Break the Floor is giving the dance world a bad reputation because that’s not what the dance world is,” says an anonymous source who will call Alex. Moving on and growing from these “alleged” incidents is not a simple task, but the people in the community desire justice. The world beyond this sport recognizes the twisted systems within it, and the fact is that individuals like Wall must be held accountable for their alleged actions.