A Summer of Learning

29 Jul

It has been an honor to have the opportunity to be a small part of American Ballet Theatre this summer, as an intern in the Education Department working in the area of the National Training Curriculum, growing in my knowledge of many things in the process. I have admired ABT for as long as I can remember, and certainly continue to now, as a graduate student completing a Master of Arts degree in Dance Education at New York University with a concentration in ABT Ballet Pedagogy. It has been a summer filled with ballet and with learning.

I came into this internship as an ABT Certified Teacher in Pre-Primary through Level 7 of the ABT National Training Curriculum, and with significant teaching experience, but I have looked for and found a great deal of continued growth in my understanding of this brilliant curriculum and best practices for teaching ballet. I have had the privilege of observing other teachers both teaching and learning as I assist with the training workshops, proctor exams, and act as an administrator for master classes, and I have found opportunities to look deeper into the logic behind the curriculum. I have learned a lot about the exam process as I have assisted with processing exam results. The internship is virtual, with work-from-home projects and Zoom meetings, and I have refined my technology navigation skills in numerous previously unfamiliar tasks.

The ABT staff members I have the joy of working under – Sonia Jones, Sayako Harada, and Molly Schnyder – are nothing short of incredible. It has been inspiring to see the determination, passion, and skill each of these women has. It has been a busy summer in the NTC, with eight teacher trainings taking place (including trainings held in Spanish and Italian), and there is a lot to stay on top of every week. Even with their busy schedules, though, the NTC staff are consistently positive and kind, and the utmost professionals. Additionally, working alongside fellow NTC intern and NYU student, Sarah Bricker, has been delightful. Dennis Walters, the Director of Education Operations who has guided the internship program throughout the summer, has been one of the most gracious examples of leadership in the arts I have encountered in my life.

I humbly recognize this internship as an amazing opportunity, and I am grateful to have been granted the chance to learn and work for ABT. It has been a full and challenging summer as I have juggled the internship along with teaching and my final semester of graduate school, but it has been worth every minute. I am confident that the experiences I have had this summer will carry me forward in my career, and that the many relationships and connections initiated during this internship will continue to blossom and flourish. Thank you, ABT.

Taryn Ouellette

National Training Curriculum Intern

Summer 2021

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