Ballerina American Girl Dolls and Culinary Pas de Deux – Special Events with ABT

25 Jul

By Madeline Cook, Special Events Intern

As with any job or internship, my first few days at ABT involved meeting people, learning what was expected of me, and figuring out how things work within the office. Much to my surprise was that a good portion of my role as an intern takes place outside of the office. As I work in the special events department, I am often asked to staff events in the afternoon or evening. I love this aspect of the job, as it provides me with a whole different side of what it means to work at ABT. More specifically, it was my pleasure to help out at both the American Girl Event (held at the Metropolitan Opera House) as well as a birthday party here at ABT studios. When I get to see how ballet affects people, especially young kids, it gives the work I do every day a whole new level of importance. The American Girl event was a lot of fun. It involved 80 girls (each with a doll in hand) all attending a matinee performance of Swan Lake. It was so wonderful to see these girls thrilled by this iconic ballet at such a young age. They dressed their dolls in various ballet themed outfits, and were all dressed up and full of energy. It was awesome to see them become more engaged with the performance as the plot progressed, and to see their faces light up when the swans came on stage. Even better was after the performance, Lily Wisdom (an apprentice with ABT) still in her swan make-up and costume came to the Belmont Room to take pictures and sign programs. The girls were thrilled, and could not stop talking about their favorite scenes from the performance. It was nothing short of adorable to see little kids posing with Lily and trying to imitate what she had done during the performance. It was very cool to see how affected these girls were by such a classical work of ballet. A couple days after this event, I was asked to staff a small birthday party for the grandson of a winner from the Culinary Pas de Deux auction. The prize was a birthday party including a ballet lesson at the studios located in ABT’s studios. This was a very intimate occasion and I enjoyed seeing how the ABT teaching artist accomplished choreographing a short performance for those in attendance.

These kids were clearly enjoying themselves, all the while expressing new and different sides of their creativity. In both situations, I left feeling like I had not only helped to make someone’s day better, but also feeling very lucky that this internship allowed me to see so many different sides of the ABT. 

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