From Across the Pond to a Summer with ABT and Project Plié

22 Aug

Across the Pond, a few months ago while lying in bed, it hit me that study abroad was drawing to a close and it was time again to search for a summer internship. At Spelman, we have a career opportunities database that emails constant internship and part-time job opportunities that peak your interest or have to do with your major. One cold day in April, yes it was still cold in England, I received an email with dozens of links to different summer internships I would be interested in. Writing internships, PR internships, Law internships, Social media internships, Communications, the whole nine. Don’t worry, I’m an English major so all of these naturally apply. However, hidden within these many emails was something that had nothing to do with my major, but made me more excited than any of these other opportunities combined. American Ballet Theatre was on the lookout for summer interns! To me, this was a magical opportunity. Interning at ABT meant that I could learn how to combine my first love with a career. I could learn what it takes to manage a school, or to run one of the biggest most prestigious and recognized ballet companies in the world, not to mention rub elbows with dancers I have admired since childhood. I applied with haste and anxiously awaited a reply.

Once I received a confirmation for an interview from Dennis, I began to do some research. It has been my experience that interviewers like to ask what is the interviewee’s favorite initiative or outreach program of the company. While perusing the ABT website I came across an initiative by the name of Project Plié.  Launched in 2013, Project Plié is ABT’s initiative to diversify the classical ballet world through several avenues including the dancers, teachers, companies, and arts administrators. Equal representation of all ethnic groups in the performing arts is particularly important to me, so as I researched more about Project Plié I became more excited to answer a question that I usually dread. Surprisingly enough, Dennis didn’t ask me anything of the sort. As the interview was ending, he brought it up himself. In addition to offering me the internship at the JKO School, he offered me a Project Plié scholarship as well!

Working at ABT, experiencing New York for the very first time, and helping to further along a one of a kind diversity initiative was the most fulfilling thing I could have done this summer. Learning more about arts administration and non-profit organizations was just the icing on the cake. I am more than excited to take what I’ve learned at ABT into my future experiences and will never forget this once in a lifetime opportunity. Thank you to Dennis, Rebecca, Monica, and all of ABT!

Eva Cooke

Training Programs Intern

Summer 2015

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