Finding the Heart of ABT through Outreach

3 Jul

Although I am only a month into my internship at American Ballet Theatre, the experience has been nothing short of amazing. The department of Education and Training at ABT offers an informative lens into the mission of America’s National Ballet Company and a solid foundation to explore the development and impact of its outreach. I have been pursuing educational outreach for a few years now in hopes of furthering the expansion and accessibility of performing arts across communities. Despite my short time at ABT, I have already had the fortune of participating in a number of outreach events while learning what defines ABT as an educational organization. I applied to ABT’s internship program in search of a department that not only considers the importance of its education programs but prioritizes and invests in their vitality for the benefit of young audiences. Education and Training has exceeded those expectations and inspired me to apply their example to future career opportunities.

My second day at ABT remains one of the most memorable (and one of my favorites): several members of the outreach team drove together to Stamford, Connecticut to assist a ballet performance at an elementary school. I had thought it would take time for me to assimilate into ABT’s team and their numerous projects, however, that day allowed me to get a sense of ABT’s vast outreach efforts and help them come to fruition. To see the immediate impact of Outreach—the direct correlation between a small administrative task and kids enjoying their first ballet performance—was absolutely gratifying. 

The following weeks have included many collaborations, rewarding workshops, and a seemingly endless number of outreach projects. As an intern in the Education and Training office, I get to be involved in many different projects at once: pre-performance workshops, assisting summer intensives, and budgeting constituted my workload just for last week. I get to see ABT dancers, teachers, and administrators honor a collective mission—elevating standards of ballet for modern audiences and dance artists. To work in the orbit of such talent and influence is a great privilege that I will cherish when reflecting on my experiences at ABT.

Summer in particular has been an exciting time to work in educational outreach: as many schools are finishing up their academic years, the focus of ABT’s outreach has shifted to pre-performance workshops and other ABTKids events. The change of pace also affords the department time to reset and prepare for the upcoming year. I have thoroughly enjoyed the diversity of projects, from general organization to hands-on activities and public engagement. Everyone in the office contributes to a spirit of execution—another unique quality in ABT’s administration—and all the staff works to ensure that functionality, whether the immediate task is creative or practical or administrative.

I feel immense gratitude for the opportunity to work and engage with such intelligent people at ABT. Their generosity has meant the world, and I look forward to what the rest of this summer brings for us!

Tatianna Noelle

Education/Outreach Intern

Summer 2019

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