A Dream Come True

10 May

It’s been four months since I started my internship at ABT and I am still pinching
myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. What an experience this has been! I am so
grateful to have been brought on board to work with the National Training
Curriculum this semester. I had already had a relationship with the National
Training Curriculum, having been certified in Pre-Primary through Level 5 and
presented students for ABT exams. However, I also know that everyone wants to
intern at ABT, so naturally, I was nervous about applying. Getting my offer email
was an incredible feeling and something I will probably never forget.

Some of my primary responsibilities included assisting the National Training
Curriculum team with anything and everything they needed to make the exam
process run as smoothly as possible. This included prepping exam paperwork,
hosting exams and master classes via zoom and processing all of the exam results. I
absolutely loved seeing all of the presenting schools. The beauty of being in this
remote world is being able to connect with people from as far as South Africa but as
close as New Jersey. It was so incredible to see and meet other teachers from
different parts of the world. I also love listening to and watching Raymond, Franco,
and all of the other extraordinary examiners teach the master classes. It was so
inspiring yet, another perk that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Another aspect of the internship that I enjoyed was the special events. There are still
a few left for the semester that I plan to attend, but one that sticks out in my mind is
one from February. It was called “Dancing in White Spaces: A Fireside Chat with
Professional Black Dancers”. The conversation featured ABT’s own Misty Copeland,
Gabe Stone Shayer and several others as well as dancers from Dance Theatre of
Harlem, San Francisco Ballet, Alvin Ailey and Mikhailovsky Theatre. It was so
incredible to hear stories from the dancers themselves. They discussed how they
overcame obstacles and what they wanted their legacies to be.

I looked forward to the Friday intern meetings, where we had workshops on how to
interview or write a cover letter, which I found extremely helpful. We also had guest
speakers, all of whom worked at ABT, in different capacities. I loved hearing
everyone’s stories about how they ended up at ABT. It was always a nice way to end
the week and also a great way to get to know people in other departments.
Overall, my internship experience at ABT was positive and enriching. Sonia, Molly,
Saya and the rest of the NTC team were supportive and guided me throughout the
semester. I couldn’t have asked to work on a better team. I feel so honored to have
had this opportunity and I can’t wait to see what my future holds.

Yesseña Whitfield
National Training Curriculum Intern
Spring 2021

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