The Iceberg

14 Dec

We’ve all seen pictures of icebergs. The beautiful, clean, vast floating sheets of ice. When you think of American Ballet Theatre, your mind immediately goes to the 90 plus beautiful dancers that make up the company. You think about the tutus, the glamour, and the elegance of going to the ballet. You think about the “out of this world” feelings you get watching the men and women before you onstage or onscreen, you think about “the tip of the iceberg.” And while all of that is real, it’s not the full story. Behind the glitz and glamour, is a family supporting the past, present and exciting future of America’s National Ballet Company.

From the first moment I walked into the offices, I knew this was not going to be any ordinary experience. I felt that this moment this moment in time was going to just be another fleeting moment. It would be one to shape my decisions going forward. That first day, I was so nervous, I honestly couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that this would be my home away from home for the next few months and I was terrified. Growing up, I’d huddled around small computer screens at my hometown studio watching videos of the ABT greats before ballet class. Always imagining what an environment like ABT is all about behind the scenes. And now, I was about to find out.

You always want to make a good impression your first day, so I was a little shy and quiet, very opposite of my normal demenior. I met one my mentors, Claire, in the front lobby and she was immediately welcoming. She gave me the tour of the company’s floors and introduced me to about 20 people who’s names, I feared, I would never remember. Everyone seemed so excited to meet the newest intern, so open and welcoming. My second day in the office I met the interns, and everyone was just as warm as the respective mentors I had met on my first day.

Through all of the events I worked, I’m one of two special events interns, the feeling of support was always prevalent. Between the staff from other departments that volunteered their after hours time to help the events run smoothly, to the interns working to pick up and switch off jobs as necessary, the feeling was alway, “the show must go on.” And it always did.


The work everyone puts into making this company run on and offstage is truly remarkable. And while I’ve loved working in Special Events, I’d be remiss if I didn’t make mention of the fact that I’ve learned so much from everyone from the executive and artistic directors, down to my fellow interns. The most important thing I’ve come to know is that there is mutual respect for the entire organization. When a decision is made, the whole company is taken into consideration. A decision made in development will affect artistic in one way or another, so everyone works together to make sure whatever the verdict, the outcome is beneficial to the growth all in the building. It truly takes a village to keep moving forward and I know I’ve now seen the full iceberg.

Libby Riddick

Special Events Intern

Fall 2017

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