Bicoastal Ballet

22 Aug

Similar to the soon-to-be bicoastal company, my ABT experience came in two significant and rewarding parts. The first brought me to the Summer Intensive department on the 4th floor of 890 Broadway in Manhattan as an intern. I spent my semester reviewing audition materials, organizing files, and helping the office prepare for the hundreds of students who would flood the studios of the nine intensives throughout the country. I even got to work and attend the 75th Anniversary Gala, but that could be a whole other blog post in itself. When there was a lull in SI work, my help was available to any other area of the open office space, from Studio Company to National Training Curriculum. These days gave me insight into the various ways this renowned ballet company spreads its knowledge and talent while, at the same time, I was answering emails from summer intensive students who could, quite possibly, be the next Isabella Boylston.

It was these amazing four months in New York that brought me the opportunity to travel to Orange County, CA, the site of ABT’s newest training school. Although I wasn’t working at the William J. Gillespie School, I did get to work with its future staff and potential students at ABT’s final intensive of the summer. Every day I watched the nametags I created in New York shine from the leotards of their young, talented owners. The paperwork I collected and compiled for the program was now back in my sight 3,000 miles away from its original destination, waiting to be put to practical use. It was humbling to acknowledge that I helped make this experience possible for the counselors, teachers, and students I would get to know in the coming weeks.

As a counselor, I observed and learned from past ABT principal dancers who have since transferred their skills to the world of teaching. I helped kids battle homesickness, injuries, and anxiety while simultaneously watching them grow as people and artists. All the while, I was backed by a group of incredible counselors who came together in the craziest of situations and even agreed to perform a lip-sync version of the Pitch Perfect finale (complete with choreography) at our dorm talent show. At the end of the three weeks, I stood in the wings during the final performance and waited to hand off props to my yellow group. They had worked so diligently to dance their piece from Swan Lake and the final result was everything they had hoped. I was exhausted and stressed but more than anything I was proud.

Each location came with its own unique lessons and opportunities but, in its entirety, ABT gifted me with invaluable experiences, life long friends, and a lot of laughs along the way.

Julia Weber

Summer Intensive Intern – Spring 2015

Orange County SI Counselor 2015

Spring 2015 interns at the 75th Anniversary Gala

Spring 2015 interns at the 75th Anniversary Gala

The 2015 Orange County Summer Counselors

The 2015 Orange County Summer Counselors

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