(Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that Wall was not cut from Break the Floor’s tours, but suspended pending investigation.)
Emmy winning choreographer Travis Wall has been suspended from Break the Floor dance company’s traveling tours amid an investigation into an accusation of sexually inappropriate behavior made against him in a story published by the Toronto Star.
As a result of the story, Break the Floor is bringing in a third party to launch an investigation into the accusation made against “So You Think You Can Dance” alum Wall.
“Travis will not be traveling with BTF until we’ve had the opportunity for a third-party to look into these allegations,” Break the Floor said in a statement shared in the dance company’s Instagram Stories Friday. “We take this very seriously and will take further action if necessary.”
The Toronto Star’s story, which was published Thursday, detailed widespread sexual harassment and predatory behavior at the North America-based Break the Floor.
Per the Star, “Eight former staff and students allege BTF employees, famous in the dance world, initiated sexual conversations, propositioned them for sex, sent them nude photos, sexually harassed them at work or engaged in sexual relationships with them.”
One of those students, Myles Lavallee, accused Wall of beginning to groom him when Lavallee was 16 and Wall was around 20. Lavallee, who says he became Wall’s dance assistant in 2008, says Wall made sexual advances on him when the two were staying overnight at Lavallee’s parents house in Arizona while teaching a dance course nearby.
Lavallee told the Star that Wall gave him ecstasy that night, and “we were doing hand massages, which just creeps me out now.” Lavallee told the Star he invited a friend to come over to diffuse the situation, and a few months later, Wall cut off communication with Lavallee, which Lavallee believes was a direct result of him avoiding a sexual relationship with Wall.
Representatives for Wall and Break the Floor did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment Saturday. According to the Star, Wall told the outlet through his publicist that “the accusations against me are false,” in response to the Star’s initial story, but did not comment on being cut from Break the Floor’s tour as a result of the accusation.
“The dance community has long dealt with issues of inappropriate power dynamics as well as overt unacceptable behavior,” Break the Floor said in a statement posted to Instagram Thursday. “In the past, Break The Floor’s policies and procedures did not focus on these issues as closely as they could have. In light of this, over the last 18 months, we have made substantial strides to ensure BTR is a better and safer environment for everyone. During this time we have received training from Youth Protection Advocates in Dance, have introduced new tools for faculty education, have worked with Wade Robson on implementing a revised faculty and staff code of conduct, and have updated company policies and procedures — all with a focus on safety at our events. We are committed to being a serious voice in this conversation and will continue our diligent efforts to positively impact the dance industry.”