All-Star Meeting

22 May

I started at ABT knowing almost nothing about ballet – I had a background in art history, and I was really curious about moving into the realm of arts management.  ABT ended up being a place where I was able not only to explore this world, but explore it from the front seat, watching the greatest of great.

The second or third week into the program, we had our first all-staff meeting. Like the name implies, this meeting was for all the staff – from administration staff to dancers. This meeting was the moment I realized just how much I had would gain by being at ABT. As executive office intern, I helped set up for the meeting, laying out what seemed like countless chairs, and then waited while the rest of the staff trickled in. Before the meeting began, there were snacks and breakfast foods laid out and we had the opportunity to chat with with the other staff members. I started talking to one of the costume designers and he told me about all his past positions (both in other ballet companies and at the MET opera), his inspirations, and experiences at ABT. And I just sat there thinking – here I am, with so little experience, talking to one of the best costume designers in the business – this is incredible!

When the meeting was about to start, we all filed into the studio, and the many chairs we had laid out earlier did not nearly fit everyone. The meeting itself was to announce the start of multiple new ballet children’s books, the choreography of a revolutionary dance for ABT’s Spring Gala, and many other things. I left the meeting think ‘how in the world did I luck out so much to have the opportunity to be a part of all this.’

Throughout the program, we had the opportunity to hear from different members of the organization every Friday. I looked forward to those meetings every week as they gave me even more insight into the experiences of those working at ABT, arts management and the non-profit world as a whole. When again would I get to sit in front of Kara Barnett or Kevin McKenzie (over Zoom) and hear their life stories, insight, and tips and tricks about the business?!

Whether you are an experienced dancer and/or have worked with other companies before or not, ABT will blow everything out of the water. I had the chance to watch amazing dancers rehearse every time I walked down the hall, and even as an intern, I felt like I was I was a part of something truly magical.

Emily Jelen

Intern Spring 2020

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