Studio Visit Magic

22 May

Friday morning, I arrived at 890 Broadway, only the third time since I had started interning. Today was our first intern meeting of the year, but we were meeting in the conference room instead of down in the lounge because they were setting up for a Studio Visit. I grabbed my binder, notebook, and a pen, and walked down the hallway of offices over to the conference room. I was met with other interns, all sitting around the table waiting for the meeting to start. I think we learned about nonprofits that day. When the meeting was over, I quickly put my stuff back on my desk, and went downstairs with three other interns to the gorgeous, spacious lounge. We met with Alex Reffie, the Membership Assistant Manager, who was running the event for the day. While we had missed setup, there was still much for us to do. First, I was assigned to greet guests at the bottom of the staircase, and take them up to the bathrooms if necessary. Next, I was asked to run upstairs and find more hangers a few times when needed. Finally, after Grey Johnson, the Director of Membership, gave his welcome speech, the guests split up into groups, one of which I was leading with another employee. 

As we walked up to the studio, I went up to Grace Hellstrom, the Donor Relations Coordinator who I was paired with, and asked “are we going to sit in there with them?”. When she answered yes, my heart started to pound; I was going to get to watch my first rehearsal! I tried to remain calm while I escorted the group into the studio and then into chairs set up around the room. Once everyone was seated, Grace and I found two open seats and sat down as well. Then, I was transported into another world, watching some of the most incredible dancers rehearse a part of Fancy Free. I don’t think a smile left my face until we finished applauding at the end of the rehearsal. To make things even better, we were going to escort them to another studio, where they (and I!) would get to watch another rehearsal. We walked through the halls to the next studio and repeated the procedure: allow the guests to come in and sit down, and find seats for ourselves. This time, I would get to watch an excerpt from Giselle, with Sarah Lane and Daniil Simkin. I have never gotten to see something so incredibly beautiful so up close before. I was speechless, and even began to tear up. Once the rehearsal finished, I went about my day, putting away chairs, cleaning up after the event, and doing various other tasks asked of me; just another day at ABT. 

This is what it’s like to intern at American Ballet Theatre. It’s rushing around, doing a hundred different tasks, whether that be for your supervisor or helping out another employee, and every once in a while, getting to experience a bit of the magic that goes on behind the scenes. While my time at ABT was an interesting one, and time in person was cut short due to COVID-19, I will never forget that day I witnessed the brilliance of ballet just a few feet in front of me. I’ll never forget working on donor research or invitations and hearing the beautiful piano, with bouts of cheers and claps in between. I cannot express how grateful I am for my time at ABT. Thank you to everyone who has made the experience unforgettable.

Emily Latshaw 

Intern Spring 2020

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