Don’t You Just Love New York In The Fall?

3 Dec

For the first time ever, it’s fall and I’m not a student! This year, I’m spending a beautiful New York City autumn interning in the Education department at American Ballet Theatre. I arrive just after 11am, finishing my coffee as I walk from Union Square station to 890 Broadway. If you’re a bunhead like me, you can’t help but mentally list all of the dance icons that have passed through this doorway. I step onto the elevator, crowded with an assortment of company members, staff, and students. We pass the first three floors, and then I step off to start my day as a National Training Curriculum intern.

Although there weren’t any teacher training sessions this fall, there was no shortage of work for the NTC interns! The first few weeks, I learned something new every single day; now that I’ve learned the organizational systems, I really enjoy coming into the office and getting right to work. My jobs have ranged from shredding outdated paperwork, to mailing boutique merchandise, to updating the database. I’ve also learned to prepare deposit slips, print beautiful certificates, merge all manner of Excel spreadsheets, and mail hundreds documents internationally. With over 1,700 certified teachers to date, processing payments and registering attendees for 2015 sessions has kept us quite busy recently.

Another exciting facet of NTC is its partnership with New York University in offering an M.A. alongside NTC Certification, so I had the opportunity to observe a morning of NYU classes. For the first hour, Meghan Love lectured on the Level 1 syllabus. Afterwards, the NYU cohort took a Level 1 class, as if they were young ballet students. The attention to technical detail and musical precision in even simple tendu exercises held my attention completely. I also enjoyed the use of creative imagery throughout the class. This experience gave me an idea as to what a teacher training session might be like.

In addition to my days in NTC, I’ve also met and worked with the interns from other departments. Helping at special events, like the Donor Studio visits, was fascinating because I had the chance to see the company in rehearsal and experience what work in Special Events and Development can be like. All of the interns were on-deck for the Fall Gala, chaperoning JKO students backstage or setting up for the dinner. In our weekly meetings, we’ve enjoyed guest speakers including JKO faculty member, Mikhail Ilyin, and Chief Executive Officer, Rachel Moore.

Although it took some adjustment to spending my days in business-casual dress rather than leotards, this internship made it possible for me to acquire valuable professional skills while still feeling as connected to dance as ever. It also made me even more passionate about sharing ballet through teaching, and I’m hoping to return to complete an NTC teacher training session in 2015!

Rachel Zervakos

National Training Curriculum Intern

Fall 2014

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