5 Years Later…

2 Aug

Five years ago, I walked up to 890 Broadway with my hair in a slicked back bun and a bag full of pointe shoes. My mom kissed me on the cheek and sent me off to my first day of the American Ballet Theatre’s New York Summer Intensive. Everyday, I worked with world-renowned teachers on classical repertoire and daily technique. While the dancing was certainly my main focus, I couldn’t help but notice the office staff that occasionally appeared in the halls. Set apart by their lack of tights and freely styled hair, these young professionals represented a side of ballet that I’d never really known: arts administration. Instantly, a curiosity sparked in me to eventually take on a role in this behind-the-scenes aspect of dance.

Fast forward to this past May, and I’m still walking up to 890 Broadway, but this time with no bun or pointe shoes. This summer, I finally got to fulfill that administrative interest as an intern with ABT’s National Training Curriculum Department.

The NTC, a recent addition to ABT’s many education initiatives, seeks to spread the values of proper ballet training through a detailed syllabus and knowledge of injury prevention. The main way to broadcast this curriculum is through Teacher Training Sessions and furthermore, Affiliate Exams. The sessions involve multiple lectures, observations, and examinations for committed instructors who hope to come out of the training with a coveted ABT Certification. Once teachers have become certified, they can then move on to the Affiliate Exams, in which they present students taught under the NTC for evaluation.

Throughout my experience, one of my favorite elements was how the teacher trainings were able to connect people from not only the U.S. but also several different countries. Applications came in anywhere from Croatia to Italy, all from teachers eager to grasp the principles of the NTC. Once the sessions actually took place, the diversity I had read on paper appeared in the studios of ABT, and I couldn’t be more excited to contribute to a philosophy that was making its way across the globe.

This internship has also provided me with an incredible work environment over the summer. The staff members have all been tremendously welcoming, and I have learned so much from my mentor Meghan Love. I can’t believe how fortunate I was to be surrounded each day by teachers and stars of the ballet world that I admire so greatly. It’s not everyday you receive a guest lecture from former ABT principal Ethan Stiefel or have a casual chat in the office with Raymond Lukens.

I am extremely grateful to ABT for giving me the administrative experience I’d been dreaming about since I was 15. The company truly has an excellent focus on education, and I can’t wait to see the NTC continue to grow in schools worldwide.

Nicole Luo

National Training Curriculum Intern

Summer 2015

A view from my desk!   A photo gallery of every certified NTC Teacher.

A view from my desk! A photo gallery of every certified NTC Teacher.

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