I never thought I would have to work with Baby Dragons…

23 May

Having to write a blog post has to be the hardest thing on earth for me. It makes me wonder if I can fit all the amazing experiences I have had at ABT fit in one post. My internship with ABT has really showed me the ins and outs of the non-profit organization. I interned with the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School and helped my mentor Rebecca Schwartz and the rest of the JKO Staff with projects, spring performances, and anything else they needed help with.

Coming to 890 Broadway for the first time I was a nervous wreck. I did not know what to expect, how the office would look, how many people I would be working with, I came in blind-sided because I wasn’t from the area. I had just simply applied through my University back in Laredo, TX and had a phone interview with my mentor Rebecca. Next, I knew I was packing my bags and on my way to live in New York. I honestly did not think I would enjoy my internship as much as I did. I knew it was going to be a learning experience for me but I did not think it would be a career starter.

During my internship I really got the full experience working at ABT I was told. I helped out the JKO School Pre-Professional division and Children’s division. I helped with other educational outreach programs, including Make a Ballet, Ballet for the New Audience, and Young People’s Ballet Workshop. I helped sell Boutique items for the education department. I was also hired as the receptionist two days out of the week during the night. For my internship hours I would work during the day three days out of the week, work Monday nights for the school, and work on Saturday’s as well. Working Monday and Saturday were the best days out of the internship program because that was when I was able to talk to the students more and hear about their experiences at ABT. I would be able to walk to the 9 different studios ABT has and talk to the students about their rehearsals they were having for the performances.  Sometimes on my way back to the fourth floor I would even be able to peep my eye into the studios to watch the main company dancers rehearse right before the Met Season. I was also able to talk to the parents and assist them with information when needed. It was a great experience all together.

During the week I would work on many small projects for the spring semester but by far I would have to say it is the craziest time for the school. During my internship I worked on mid-year evaluations, end-year evaluation templates, two spring performances, daily student ballet buns, and Baby Dragons. You might think “Baby Dragons?” but it might not be exactly what you are thinking. There are many, many projects I can write about but I will just let you know about the Pre-Professional Division Spring Performance. I had the chance to work with former ABT Principal Dancer Ethan Stiefel as he was choreographing Knight Life for the JKO School Level 7. He had a vision of what he wanted his piece to look like and along side my mentor we were able to make it possible. He envisioned having a Dragon and two baby dragons for the piece and that was my job for about a month and a half. I researched online for hours a day on how to make his vision for the costumes come to life and it happened. It was crazy at the beginning but it all worked out. Now you might be thinking where do baby dragons take place? Well Mr. Stiefel for his piece wanted two of the JKO Children’s Division Students to come out as baby dragons. And as creative as Mr. Stiefel is, he wanted the costumes to be unique and not just a Halloween costume you can buy online. It took forever and a lifetime, as it may seem to get the perfect image in our hands. I sat in the office four days prior to the performance getting the small details of the costume correct, this meant that I sat in the office painting ballet shoes, socks, and even bobby pins, yes I said it bobby pins, green. All the stress I was under was all worth it in the end because the school had a successful performance at the Joyce Theatre and Mr. Stiefel’s piece had amazing reviews. And of course, the baby dragons looked adorable.


Interning at American Ballet Theatre has been the greatest experience of a lifetime. Not only because it is America’s National Ballet Company but also because all the workers are humble and kind. It makes you feel like you are wanted and the environment on the fourth floor is just incredible. If you truly enjoy the Arts and the administrative side you will enjoy working at ABT and who knows you may even become a new employee for them like I have. I am now the 19th intern to get hired and my new position is Summer Intensive Assistant.

Sheridan K. Clark
Training Programs Intern
Spring 2016

Learning Experience at ABT

23 May
Being an intern this Spring for American Ballet Theatre has been a great experience. I have learned alot in the past 4 months and truly enjoyed dedicating my time to the company. The personnel is great to work with and one of my favorite parts of the day while being in the office is the music that comes from the ballet studios. Throughout the day you can encounter some of the dancers and sometimes even watch a piece of a ballet act.  Working for ABT has taught me how hard-working the staff is as they get ready for the MET Gala and how many people are involved in contributing there funds into the company.  Having the chance to attend the MET Gala and watch pieces of the ballets was a beautiful experience and the building itself is quite admirable as well.     The weekly meetings also helped me learn more about ABT,  my own career growth as well as listening to inspiring stories from the dancers. I would like to thank American Ballet Theatre for giving young adults the opportunity to learn more about the arts and the administrative side to it.
Marlene Coronado
Membership Intern
Spring 2016

One Actor’s Attempt to Split His Brain Between Art & Tech

28 Apr

Having been accepted to the Internship program as a ‘freelance marketing intern’, I have had the pleasure of carving out my own little niche at American Ballet Theatre.

From the time I was ten years old, I have been actively involved in the performing arts beginning with vocal music, followed after by acting and dance.  Upon entering college, I decided to major in graphic design and animation so as to lessen the financial burden of my acting career (headshots, reels, voiceover recordings, etc.).  In the process, I became completely interested in using technology to create art, from club posters to documentary films.  I found that the art I was most truly engaged in was art that I could not only perform, but bring to fruition according to my own design.

Upon joining ABT’s internship program, it was decided by my mentor, Dennis Walters, that my graphic design skills were best put to use by taking on various projects that granted me almost complete creative freedom, so long as I did not stray too much from ABT’s branding style.  For the first time, I felt like I had freedom, but at the same time felt restricted.  Most of my studies had been dedicated to designing whatever I wanted, any way that I wanted.  Working for ABT proved necessary for my professional development since, as a graphic designer, I must learn to adapt my skills to the branding style of whatever organization I am working for.  As a marketing intern, I must do what is best for the image of the organization, and not just what I think looks good to me.  This proved to be a blessing in disguise, as I am now more flexible idea-wise while brainstorming and am inspired to create multiple designs for each project I am assigned to, instead of settling on the first thing that satisfies my interests.

The sheer diversity of the projects I have been assigned thus far have truly pushed the bounds of my creativity, while providing some much needed practice in the various design software I learned to use in college.  Business cards, I.D. cards, stickers, posters, flyers, and brochures I have created during my internship will prove to be valuable additions to my professional portfolio as I advance in my career.  I am certain that my remaining time with ABT will continue to push the bounds of my creativity and provide me with many more opportunities to harness my craft and network with professionals in the arts.

Michael Petruso

Marketing Intern

Spring 2016

ABT Studio Visits

26 Apr


If you donate $900 or more annually to ABT you can enjoy the perk of sitting in on two hours of Company rehearsal with coffee and light breakfast beforehand. Studio Visit days are exciting not only for the patrons coming to see rehearsal, but also for the staff that volunteer to help. I have been fortunate enough to have worked all three Studio Visits this Spring.


My duties included making sure patrons were in the correct studio, answering any questions, and maintaining a quiet atmosphere to respect the privilege of sitting in on rehearsal. Even though I was working, witnessing the work behind the artistry during rehearsal was such a treat that it didn’t feel like work. As a dancer myself, I can no longer kick my face like I used to but I will always appreciate the physicality that goes into every movement. The communication through body language and problem solving between the dancers to quickly learn choreography and then make it effortless is the epitome of teamwork.


Some of the rehearsals I had the pleasure of watching include Chamber Symphony with soloists and Corps de Ballet Men, La Fille mal gardée with the soloist and Corps de Ballet Ladies, Pas de Deux with Maria Kochetkova and Herman Cornejo, and variations with Hee Seo and Veronika Part, to name a few. After rehearsals, patrons have often told me what a treat it is to witness the work behind the artistry and see the interaction between the dancers and the ballet masters.


As a dancer, I know so much hard work goes into every performance, but being able to watch the rehearsals of these amazing professionals makes me even more excited for the Spring Season at the MET starting May 9th.


Martha Dobbs


Major Gifts Intern


Spring 2016

4.15 Studio Visit Blog

You Think You’d be Starstruck….

26 Apr

When asked to write a blog post about my internship at American Ballet Theatre, I wasn’t sure what to say. There have been so many wonderful things about the experience so far, it’s hard to choose just one to focus on. Most people probably want to hear about the times I met famous ABT dancers. I could tell you about the time I met Sascha Radetsky (Center Stage fans should be jealous), or that one day I ran into Misty Copeland in the stairwell, or the time that I swear Herman Cornejo walked past me in the hallway (yes, he is as amazing in person as he is in photos). But those things actually become a norm when you’re here. You think you’d be starstruck, which sometimes I am, but everyone makes you feel so welcome that it becomes a comfortable environment for you. Plus, there are simply so many more important things to tell you about.


As the Educational Outreach intern, I want to tell you about the experiences I have had with the children who participate in the different ABT programs. I’m an Arts Administration major at Rider University so I have taken classes in Education and Outreach. However, I didn’t quite understand how important outreach programs are until I saw them first-hand. My favourite part of my internship is when I have interaction with students, whether that means traveling to New York City public schools, or having on-site programs here at ABT.


When I’ve visited schools for Make A Ballet programs, I’ve helped with arts and craft classes and photographed their final performance. Watching the children dance in the Make A Ballet programs is such a heartwarming experience. Most of these students have never danced before, and here they are performing for their fellow classmates. The smile on their faces just says it all, and that’s when you start to realize how important outreach is. We all love this art form already, that’s why you’re here reading my blog. But imagine if you were never introduced to it. The work that American Ballet Theatre’s education department does is nothing short of incredible.


Walking into 890 Broadway, I don’t always know what to expect. Will there be a school here for a program? What projects will I be working on? All I know is the work that I do is meaningful and useful, and I am never stuck filing. The internship program here is a real program – they want you to learn! Whether I’m personally working on something, or simply sit in on a meeting about a particular project, I am always included in the conversation because they want me to learn the ins and outs of the education department.
This internship has confirmed what I want to do with my career in Arts Administration, and that’s all because of the incredible experiences and mentorship I’ve had here at ABT. Each day I learn so much and am so grateful to be here. American Ballet Theatre has a wonderful internship program, and I hope you have just as much of an amazing experience as I have!

Mia Bowyer

Educational Outreach Intern

Spring 2016

Trust the Timing: Artistic Internship

19 Jan

As the end of the summer was quickly approaching, I sat in my apartment and reflected upon all the change that was happening in my life; a new job, a new apartment, a new season. As I sit atop my foam roller wondering what else the universe had in store for me, I received a message on Facebook from a former ballet instructor, Lara Murphy. She asked how my time in New York had been, since I was now going on year three of post undergraduate life. After we caught up on life, she informed me that a friend of hers was looking for young people to do some administrative work at American Ballet Theatre as they develop their new Project Plié outreach program. I thought to myself, ‘another desk job?’ I had just began my career in group fitness and personal training, so I definitely wasn’t trying to return to long days of sitting in front of computers but something about the name ‘Project Plié’ sparked my interest.

After dong some research on the Project Plié program, “a comphrensive intiative to increase racial and ethnic representation in ballet and diversify America’s ballet companies,” I decided to apply. Within a few weeks I had interviewed with the Artistic Department, a place I’d soon find out was a new home, and was accepted into the internship program.

Interning with the Artistic Department has opened my eyes as a dancer. I have always only known one side of being in a dance company, so working with this department allowed me to see what all goes into running a company. I can honestly say that I will never question rehearsal times and spaces ever again. These past few months of creating rehearsal schedules for dancers, has been far from easy.   Along with creating and posting schedules, I was given the opportunity to see ABT quite a few times during their time at the Koch. The skills I learned and knowledge that I have gained from working closely with Tina Escoda and Amanda Sugino is beyond noteworthy.

Another part of this internship that I will forever cherish was the Project Plié mentorship lunches. These lunches not only nourished my body, but my mind as well. I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with almost all sides of ABT, from Ebonie Pittman (Manager of Institutional Support) and Ariel Dupas (Patron Ticketing Associate), to Courtney Lavine (Company Member), to Susan Fales-Hills (Former ABT Board Member). As much as I did not plan on enjoying sitting at a desk for hours on end, this internship has proven that everything happens for a reason and I am forever grateful for all that it has provided me.

Michelle Russell

Artistic Intern

Fall 2016


19 Jan

Working at ABT for the past three months has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I began with little office experience and a moderate dance background – I’m leaving with a much greater knowledge about the administrative side of a dance company and with a greater knowledge of the dance world.

I have to thank my mentor, Meghan Love, for making my time at ABT so wonderful. She walked me through the various jobs I would be given over the course of my internships and knew that I would get the job done. I’m a very fast worker and have since earned the nickname “Speedy,” now a running joke between Meghan and I. I learned something new almost every single day of my internship, ranging from where to file incomes and expenses to creating certificates for the newly certified NYU students. I have become very familiar with the database of teachers, having gone through most teachers to update their information.

During this internship, I have also had amazing opportunities to meet and get to know the interns from Roundabout Theatre Company. As a theatre major, learning about this major company from people who work there was amazing. It was also great to be around other interns and learn about their future plans and we each got to show a bit of our world to each other. We were also able to have a backstage tour of the Metropolitan Opera House with ABT’s General Manager, David Lansky. It was incredible to stand on that stage and think about all of the famous singers, dancers, and actors who have stood there.

Working at ABT this fall has truly been a dream come true. This internship has taught me a lot and has given me experiences that I will never forget. I’m proud to be an intern at this amazing company. My time here has reminded me of my love for dance and I have fallen in love with it all over again. ABT, thank you so much for this extraordinary opportunity.

Abbie Levison

National Training Curriculum Intern

Fall 2016


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