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Vincent Paradiso with New York City Ballet
Paul KolnikVincent Paradiso with New York City Ballet

Former NYCB member Vincent Paradiso says dance inspired him to launch a start-up

Written by
Gia Kourlas

Have you ever fantasized about booking a private jet? Vincent Paradiso certainly has. For the former New York City Ballet member, life is about going Dutch. Sharing means everything to him and his partner, Debora McCleary, who have just launched their website Du+ch. Think of it, he says, as a community marketplace that allows people to team up to cover the cost of an experience. Here’s a luxurious example: “Let’s say you want to book a private jet from New York to Miami,” Paradiso says. “This is going to run you $20,000, but if you had a way to find 11 other people to share the cost, suddenly it’s not nearly as expensive. It’s a way for people to pull their funds together to pay for group experiences.” 


The mind reels when one start to consider the possibilities: yoga retreats, extreme sports, bottle service at a club, spa packages, cooking classes, winery tours, surfing lessons…. The website works a bit like Airbnb, which Paradiso readily admits has influenced him. Experiences are free to list; a 10 percent fee is then added to the price of the event, which is split among the participants. “I really think the ballet world really got me ready for the sharing idea,” Paradiso says. “When we would go on tour, a bunch of us dancers would essentially do things that we wouldn’t have done individually. We would lay our credit cards down and go Dutch on a fancy dinner or once, when we were in Hong Kong, we went to see the Big Buddha.” The point is that they banded together. “It’s going Dutch on a grand scale,” he says. “It’s like everybody putting in their credit card at the dinner table, but being able to do it for everything.” 

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