A Typical Saturday at the JKO School

3 Dec

by Delaney Wing, Training Programs Intern

If you love children and ballet, nothing beats Saturday mornings at the ABT’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. This semester, I was fortunate enough to be the Education Department’s Training Programs Intern. This involved working directly with the Children’s Division of the JKO School in order to make sure everything ran smoothly on the school’s busiest days. Children’s Division offers classes for children ages 4-12 that build a student’s ballet technique. My role as an intern is to make sure the children get to class safely and are ready to learn. On Saturdays you can find me running up and down the stairs with children in tow, fixing buns for parents, or working on paperwork. I make sure the studio spaces have enough barres and that no one gets lost in ABT’s labyrinth of studios. When the company is in town, I make sure the students observe their rehearsals or classes respectively. Watching the children observe the professionals is always a treat – their faces are always in awe.

Working directly with students and parents is one of the most gratifying parts of my job. The students are passionate and their love of dance is infectious. On Saturday mornings I love helping the youngest level of Primary students line up for classes. Primary students range in age from 4-8 and their morning class is usually the start to their day. I help line the children up and walk them to their assigned studio. I love having the little ones tell me about what they have learned after class. They are sponges and it is wonderful to see how quickly they learn, especially at such a young age. It makes you realize the importance of dance education. As a Training Programs Intern, you really feel as though you are a part of helping children fall in love with dance.

As a former ballet student, it is fun to be on the administrative side of the JKO School. So much goes into making JKO operate smoothly. From scheduling studio spaces to making sure every student has the proper uniform – I am immersed in administration. I continue to learn a lot about how to work under pressure and deal with families. All the skills I have learned thus far will be applicable in the future. Additionally, it is inspiring to be around young dancers. Wouldn’t trade it for the world!

Young dancers at the JKO School

Young dancers of the JKO Children’s Division (Photo: Rosalie O’Connor)

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