The Nutcracker

28 Oct

Every December since I was 5, I have performed in The Nutcracker.Truth be told, I have probably danced every single role in the show. Those memories have stuck with me forever; the copious amounts of hairspray in the backstage dressing rooms, the late night sewing of dozens of pointe shoes, and even the not so well-received peer pressuring of my brothers into acting as extras in the “Party Scene!” At the time, young, naive me could have never imagined where she would be right now, sitting at her desk just a few steps down the hall from where Misty Copeland is rehearsing to dance the role of Clara as a Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theatre, one of the world’s premier dance companies.As I sit at my desk writing renewal letters for the Major Gifts Department or filling out dancer sponsorship sheets on excel, I can hear Tchaikovsky’s music chiming from the pianists’ fingers, and as I walk to the copy machine, I can peer into the window of the rehearsal studio where Misty is practicing her graceful pirouettes and powerful leaps.

While I was searching for an internship, I had one primary goal in mind; I wanted to LEARN.I wanted to be in an environment that would challenge me to learn things I didn’t know, try things I had never done before, and see things I had never seen. As a senior finishing up my Bachelor’s degree, I was tired of sitting in a classroom 60 hours a week. I wanted to jump in the water and go for a swim.

To say the least, my experience as an intern at ABT has more than helped me accomplish that goal. With every project I have assisted on and every glamorous event I have attended, I have met new people who have taught me new things about not only surviving, but thriving, in the developmental side of the performing arts industry.

Every day I show up at 890 Broadway, I feel grateful to be stepping into such a lovely work environment with people who have truly given me the chance to succeed. I am proud of the work I have been lucky enough to contribute to such a magnificent organization, one in which I’ve been passionate about unknowingly since age 5 when I stepped on stage for the first time as a snow angel in The Nutcracker.


Josephine Smolsky

Major Gifts Intern

Fall 2019

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