5 Dec

Working at the American Ballet Theatre has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. The fact that I get to listen to music from the dance studios while sitting at my desk and getting to peak at classes and rehearsals when I walk through the hallways of the office is still unbelievable to me. I have been a dancer all my life and this internship allowed me to be a part of the dance industry in a very different and special way. This Fall, I worked on the Development Department as a Patron Services intern. I got to work alongside incredibly talented and driven people that have taught me a lot.

It didn’t hit me that I was working for such an amazing company until my second week at ABT when I was asked to sit and watch a company class with one of our donors. I got to witness the incredible dancers take class for an hour and a half, which is something you don’t get to do in any job. My mind was completely blown after seeing so much talent in one room. That is when I realized how lucky I am to be working for one of the best ballet companies in the world. I got the opportunity to see these dancers in action from taking class, to going into rehearsals and to finally taking the stage.

890 Broadway wasn’t our only office, we got to work at the Koch Theatre as well. Getting to call this mesmerizing place a work space is another thing that I couldn’t yet wrap my head around. We were at the Koch for two weeks which were the most chaotic but rewarding weeks of the semester. Here, I got to work several dress rehearsals, an onstage company class, the Fall Gala, the Family Friendly Matinee.

All the dancing I got to see and the events I got to work were incredible but what I value the most about this internship is the people I got the pleasure to meet. ABT welcomed us with open arms and made us team players since day one. No day is the same at ABT, every day I got new tasks that taught me new skills and improved my existing ones. My mentor Fallon, guided me through these months and made this internship fun, dynamic, and challenging at the same time. I am lucky to have been given the opportunity to learn from incredible people alongside a wonderful group of interns that I now get to call my friends. I am grateful for all the learning experiences, fun events, and people that ABT left me with. Thank you ABT for being part of my journey.

Liza De la Garza

Patron Services Intern

Fall 2019

Advice To The Curious Applicant

4 Dec

Trying to think back to my first day arriving at 890 Broadway, all I could feel was the blood pumping through me as I climbed the same staircases David Hallberg and Misty Copeland climbed (much easier than I ever did, I must add). My first day feels so different than that compared to my last—a million memories and moments have happened that brought me here, writing to you and letting you know that my experience with ABT has been nothing short of a magical one.

Before I submitted my Internship Application, I poured through this Internship Blog page, trying to read all the first-hand experiences that happened within the studios and offices home to legends in the Ballet World. Even though I did all this research and gave everything I had into my application, nothing prepared me for all the knowledge, experience, and excitement I would gain throughout the next season of my life working with America’s National Ballet Company.

If you are reading this as a curious applicant (as I was a couple months ago), know that your first few days you will feel clueless. The building is a labyrinth and there are so many people who are such masters at their jobs and their crafts that you will wonder who on earth thought to give you a shot.

But then, you will work your hardest on any project they give you, and you will begin to know the people in your department (and others), and suddenly you will be able to give directions to that certain studio or that person’s office before you even know it.

And you will be so incredibly grateful—because the chance to intern at American Ballet Theatre is one that does not come across often, if ever, so when it does grab hold of it and indulge in the beautiful piano you hear echoing down the halls and listen to your mentors that have an incredible amount of knowledge, not only about the company, but about life in general. Take every opportunity with open arms and even if you work early mornings and late nights, appreciate all those who are there with you and the valuable projects you are creating!

The biggest lessons I learned have come from the youngest children in the classes I assisted to those who have worked here the majority of their careers. Opportunities and lessons are around every corner at 890 Broadway, if you are curious and excited enough to go after them.

As sappy as it may sound, I am forever grateful to all those who made my ABT Education Internship such a valuable and wonderful experience. Both the children and adults I have met will leave a lasting imprint on the work I do moving forward.

Carolyn Bakich

Education Intern

Fall 2019

3 Dec

The moment I was handed a blank floor plan of the promenade level of the Koch Theatre and was told to map out a to-scale drawing of the event space for the family-friendly matinee performance during ABT’s fall season, I will admit I was a little nervous. It seemed like a huge responsibility; to create a document that would lay the foundation for the entire event. Would I get the dimensions of every station table correct? Would the flow of line traffic make sense and would there be enough space between the craft tables and the meet the dancer tables for the right amount of chairs to be set up? I sat down, determined to do it right, taking into account every detail I could think of and mentally preparing to erase and start over, multiple times.

Fast forward to a week later, I was invited to join in on a tour of the theatre’s event space prior to the event. We discussed logistics with the coordinator at the Koch and mapped things out, in person, viewing the space as an empty canvas, making changes to the original plan and solidifying ideas. To-scale event floor plan take two. As I measured and drew up my second draft of the promenade, I had a feeling this was the final piece to the puzzle and was confident we had it right this time.

Two weeks later, it’s Family-Friendly matinee day at the ballet. The elevator from the basement of the Koch Theatre opens up to the promenade and we’re looking at the real thing, a drawing come to life. What was once just a project to work on had become a reality and it looked great!

This is how my entire experience interning at ABT has been. I have been entrusted with important projects and encouraged every step of the way. There is an obvious feeling of teamwork within the education department and I feel very lucky to have spent some time being a part of that team. My time at ABT has been very rewarding and being able to work on a wide variety of projects has allowed me to learn in a very hands-on approach. The mentorship aspect of the internship program is a

huge part of what makes the experience so fulfilling because interns are able to learn directly from a staff member in the department they are working within, seeing their day to day responsibilities and how their work directly adds to supporting the mission of the company. It has been a privilege to play a small part in such a big organization and to get the chance to witness the direct results of some of my own work and the combined work of my team this Fall.

 

Nicole Stein

Outreach Intern

Fall 2019

3 Dec

I used to say dancers were like the unicorns of the world, and they were surrounded in a field of donkeys. That’s also how I saw myself coming into this internship. A graceless donkey coming into work with some of the most poised, professional and unbelievably talented and hard-working people I have ever met.

I came into ABT strictly with a theatre background, having just graduated and earning my BFA in Stage Management from across the country. it was definitely a big change to go from working exclusively in production to working in the office. I moved into the city and started this job on the same day, so life was definitely crazy to start coming into this position. I had previously shadowed backstage during the 2018 Met Season at ABT, and I absolutely fell in love with not only dance but the company. The dedication towards putting on such an amazing show really inspired me, and I decided that this is the kind of place that I want to be in.

I had never worked in an office before, nor had I ever worked under and with such amazing women, these people are some of the best in the world at what they do and that goes both artistically and administratively as well. Working with Kara was truly an inspiration watching her work and getting a peek into her life and the way she works was truly a privilege. Working with the Executive Assistant, Meredith, has also been amazing and seeing someone working so hard and so successfully really inspired me to push myself so she could count on me, and also made me a better worker.

This experience has made me grow in ways that I had never even considered, and it has absolutely given me some invaluable tools as I continue into my career. I came into this experience interested in diving into something new and seeing how the skills I learned in school could be used to apply myself to a totally different area, in a company that I really respected. Over the course of my time with ABT, I have really been able to grow in new areas that I had never even considered doing previously. My cover letter, resume, and interview skills have all improved significantly, and I feel so much more prepared leaving then I did when I came into the position.

My experience with ABT in this position has been invaluable, and I am so grateful for all I was able to learn and for all of the people I was able to meet. It was truly wonderful, as a donkey, getting to hang with some unicorns and feeling like a part of something truly special.

 

Tim Wils

Executive Office Intern

Fall 2019

26 Nov

I grew up training in dance companies for most of my childhood. I never imagined what it would be like working for the administrative side of a dance company. The American Ballet Theatre is one of a kind. Aside from the fact that it is America’s national ballet company, it has the best tools and staff to make the most beautiful art come to life.

At my internship with ABT, I worked in the Education department. The workers in education department are responsible for continuous and fluid education and training within ABT. They are responsible for running the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, where 450 hand picked students are trained by the best professional ballet teachers. The JKO school is made up of two divisions: the children’s division and the pre-professional division. All students are only accepted by audition. When I worked in the office, I often updated attendance weekly. I also helped guide youth dancers to their classroom if they were running late. I got to know the building very well. In addition to office work, I also assisted for a youth division ballet class. Here I got to experience working with children, which was a fun opportunity.

My motivation behind getting this internship, was the ability to learn things that I did not already know. Being a recent graduate, and still trying to find my place in the world, I volunteered for any and every opportunity that presented itself at ABT. I was a volunteer at the family Matinee at the Lincoln Center. This event was my favorite experience at ABT. It was the end of the fall season and Halloween. It was a popular event for kids and their families to come watch our company perform and visit our organized family experience in the lobby of the licoln center. I got a chance to be apart of a professional event and see what it was like to work as a team with my co workers. Another perk of my journey at ABT was working with the company’s physical therapist to help with a study on hip replacement surgery in ballerinas. I was required me to get ahold of as many ABT alumni as possible in order to collect survey data on hip replacement. The overall goal was to see a visible difference between hip replacements in ballerinas compared to the general public. This project is still a work in progress, therefore I cannot share any information regarding the results. The overall point is that it was very interesting and it was great that they had a project so diverse from the rest of the company’s work.

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I feel like I am going to walk out of here with a more mature outlook on the works of a non-profit institution. There are so many things that need to be stressed in order to produce a successful project. This company has taught me about hard work and patience. I say patience because I assisted the little ones in the preprimary class of the JKO school. Those little munchkins are cute but they are work! At the end of the week I find myself grateful to be apart of a world famous institute. I also love any chance I get to be apart of dance. Dance is an art form that brings people together.  Thankful to have been brought to face with so many great and talented individuals!

Piper Coralli

JKO Intern

Fall 2019

Autumn at 890

22 Nov

Spending my mornings listening to the keys of the classical piano echo throughout the long corridor into the office space, resonating within every cubicle, was nothing short of inspiring. As the leaves turned from vibrant greens to shades of orange and brown, my journey at American Ballet Theatre began. Being accepted for this internship has been a dream come true. From growing up and watching the nutcracker every winter as a young girl, to beginning my professional career working at Lincoln Center during the performances has been a surreal experience.

I was hired in the education department as a Media intern. My responsibilities included sorting through archival footage- editing, labeling and organizing all materials. My main project was organizing and analyzing footage from the “Raising The Barre” weekend workshops hosted by ABT’s National Training Curriculum. Each workshop consists of a different focal point incorporated within ballet, such as: Bournonville, Mime, Character Dance, Copelia, Port De Bras etc. My job was to edit the hours of footage from the workshops down to digestible clip’s, ready to be exported and published onto Youtube.

My favorite memory from my internship with the American Ballet Theatre was working the membership table during a performance at Lincoln Center. As the membership table assistant, I was responsible for promoting a ABT membership- distributing brochures, dancer directories and buttons. I had to prepare beforehand, knowing how to answer frequently asked questions regarding membership benefits including: Invitations for two to a dress rehearsal and also an Artist Spotlight, flash ticket discount emails, our On Pointe magazine and e-newsletter, tour city dress rehearsals and more.

I want to thank all the staff at American Ballet Theatre, specifically the education JKO NTC department. I have been treated with great professionalism and respect and I am extremely grateful for this amazing learning opportunity. I wouldn’t dream of starting a professional career anywhere else. I am so excited to begin my journey as a fine art administrator. It has been an honor. Thank you American Ballet Theatre!

Alison Adrat

Education Department Media Intern

Fall 2019

11 Nov

When I began my Institutional Support internship at American Ballet Theatre, I had no idea what to expect. I had at first been unsure whether this internship was right for me, having little experience in development or ballet, but accepted based on my interest in the company and how much I liked my interviewer, Ebonie, the Associate Director of Institutional Support and Special Campaigns. More than halfway through the internship, I can now say that accepting the position was one of the best choices I have ever made.

From the moment I started at ABT, I felt like part of the development team. On my second day, Ebonie asked me to begin working on three grant proposals, including one for $250,000. I was shocked that she had entrusted me with such a significant task. It has been so refreshing to receive actual responsibility as an intern, since I know this is not always the case. My internship at ABT has allowed me to connect with people across the organization and extended my learning beyond just institutional support. I worked special events, spoken one-on-one with a Marketing Manager, and learn from ABT staff and board members at our weekly intern meetings.

I have learned so much from my participation in this internship, from how to write grants and acknowledgement letters, to how to do prospect research, and the importance of always being prepared to take advantage of networking opportunities, especially in the development field. I attended an ABT at School performance, expecting the event to be casual given that it was being held at a school. Consequently, I wore jeans and a jean jacket (also known as a Canadian tuxedo). I was surprised to see that the ABT staff in attendance were dressed in business clothing. After the performance, my supervisor introduced me to a number of people involved with the outreach program and I was invited to lunch. Partially mortified by my clothing choice and disappointed that I had made plans for after the event, I turned down the offer. This was a significant teaching moment, as I learned the importance of maintaining professionalism and leaving time for unexpected networking on any occasion. I am grateful I experienced this as an intern, as this lesson will be exceptionally useful as I begin my professional career.

Overall, my experience at ABT has been wonderful. I look forward to going into work twice a week, knowing that I will always learn something new and make meaningful contributions to my department. I am incredibly thankful to Ebonie, the development department, and everyone involved in the internship program for giving me such a wonderful experience. ABT has turned this theatre kid into a ballet fan, and I guarantee I will be attending a lot more ballet from here on in.

Liza Hersh

Institutional Support Intern

Fall 2019