United Through Ballet

13 Dec

At my studio back home in Idaho, American Ballet Theatre seemed so glamorous and distant. Seeing an ABT ballet would have been a dream come true and working for them was out of the question. Little did I know what was in store for me and how comfortable this place would feel. All of the administrative work was grounded in purpose and I was able to see first hand how small the ballet world really is. Ballet is a global art form and crosses language barriers. I helped process information for students, teachers, and schools all over the world who were all connected to each other and ABT through the National Training Curriculum. I was able to see this for myself during the Raising the Barre workshop when teachers and students from around the world came to learn Coppélia dances from those who knew it best. People may not have shared the same background or even language, but ballet connected them and it was truly beautiful. I saw ballet connect people beyond the education aspect as well. I distributed and collected surveys during an evening performance, and it was fun to talk to audience members during the intermissions, hearing what brought them to the ballet. One man told me all about his favorite performances and how he had religiously attended ABT shows for fifteen years, and a college student, a former dancer, told me how glad she was for student rush tickets. That love of ballet could start young too. It was beautiful to watch children clad in ballet themed Halloween costumes light up when they met dancers at the Family Matinee, or focused with a smile as they learned Fancy Free themed choreography on the street. My experience at ABT ultimately taught me that ballet unites people, no matter the age or country. The once distant ABT became a comfortable place where I could witness and play a small part in facilitating unity amongst people through ballet.


Deanna Irving

NTC Intern

Fall 2018

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