5 dancers allege sex abuse by Las Vegas dance instructor, Boston ballerina wife

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BOSTON — Three more dancers have come forward to allege that a Las Vegas dance instructor and his ballerina wife sexually abused them.

The five dancers claim instructor Mitchell Taylor Button and his wife, former Boston Ballet principal dancer Dusty Button, “exploited their position of power and influence in the dance world to sexually abuse young dancers across the country.”

The Buttons, of Las Vegas, deny the allegations.

The suit claims the Buttons used their well-known positions in the dance community to sexually abuse young dancers across the country since as early as 2007. The alleged assaults came when the plaintiffs lived in Somerville, Mass., Bedford, N.H., and the Tampa, Fla. area.

The original suit was brought by two dancers and named only Mitchell Button.

An expanded federal lawsuit filed last week in Nevada adds three new plaintiffs and expressly names Dusty Button as a defendant.

The lawsuit also says Mitchell Button has used various names over the years, including “Taylor Button,” “Mitchell Moore,” and “Taylor Moore.”

Attorneys said Button used the name Taylor Moore while teaching dance to girls as young as ten years old at Centerstage Dance Academy in Tampa, Fla. around 2006. The lawsuit claims he sexually abused at least five of his students at that school, including at least one over the course of three years.

The lawsuit claims the Buttons worked together to groom young victims for abuse and were emotionally manipulative and controlling. Other claims stem from alleged incidents with young dancers in other cities, including one aspiring dancer who claims she was forced to drink alcohol and was raped while Dusty Button held a gun in her hand.

The alleged attacks continued into 2017 when Dusty Button was a principal ballerina with the Boston Ballet, according to the lawsuit.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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