Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2024

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Teacher Leadership


Department of Educational Leadership

Committee Chair/First Advisor

Dr. Keneisha Harrington

Second Advisor

Dr. Dasha Chapman

Third Advisor

Dr. Jen Wells


Much research has been done in other fields about the relationship of gender and race to the success of mentors to increase student confidence to pursue additional training or a career in certain fields. The purpose of this study was to articulate formally the importance of the relationship between Black ballet students and a mentor who has lived a similar life experience, having navigated the ballet industry as a Black ballerina. This research sought to answer the questions of what value do Black ballet students perceive in having a Black ballerina as a mentor and how white ballet teachers can serve as mentors for Black ballet students. Following a qualitative case study methodology, the results of this study suggested an increased focus on impactful mentoring programs and additional strategies that white ballet educators can employ to better support diverse students.