Updated: Aug 21, 2021
I was at the studio for 11 years. In that time, my peers and I suffered greatly and experienced a wide range of trauma. However, it didn’t occur to me until years later that what went on was not okay. Due to the fact that I am still processing and unpacking this trauma, I am going to be brief.
The artistic director would regularly manipulate, gaslight, and interfere with me and my then-boyfriend’s relationship. This included in-depth discussions about our sex lives, among other things. We were both minors. He involved other students and it affected my mental state so badly. I was gaslit so badly I didn’t know what reality was within that relationship and I spent years attending therapy and taking medication.
If we wanted weed, we went to the artistic director.
At one point, for some reason the artistic director had given his phone to a student and she saw explicit, pornographic images of the artistic director and the artistic director being intimate with his wife.
Yes, the bullying and harassment and verbal abuses were still rampant but, for me, these issues stand out the most.