Dancing Through Life with ABT

15 Feb

I don’t have a background in dance, so when I applied to intern with ABT, I didn’t know much about the history or legacy of the company. All I knew was that I liked the mission statement on the website’s about page: bringing quality dance to “the widest possible audience.” That resonated with me, a recent graduate only just starting to recognize my gravitation towards arts non-profit work. Here was an institution that shared my goals, and I knew I’d be proud to further their mission.

Membership involves a lot of communication, so I definitely used some of the writing skills I gained as a Journalism major, but I was also excited to learn lots of new things: Raiser’s Edge, acknowledgements, event registration, customer service, and lots of other processes that keep the department running smoothly. 50% of ABT’s funding comes from Development, which means the department as a whole is crucial to ABT’s continued existence as a non-profit. I was so proud to contribute in my small way to that worthy goal. The Membership team was so kind and welcoming, offering all the guidance and training I would need and always available to answer any questions I had. I got to attend multiple live performances, work from ABT offices at 890 Broadway (in a hybrid, COVID-safe kind of way), and get to know the coolest, most dedicated people, all while experiencing concrete personal and professional development. 

I absolutely loved the exposure to ballet that I received while at ABT, especially during ABT’s first Fall Season in two years. ABT has given me not just an increased understanding of the dance industry, but also a passion and appreciation for the art form. I’ll forever be indebted to ABT for guiding me into dance and providing me with some of the most high-quality, heartfelt, and definitive artistic experiences I have ever encountered. 

I’m grateful to ABT for being open to me— an intern with so little experience who knew positively nothing about ballet!— and giving me the chance to access my potential. I would whole-heartedly encourage any young professional to apply, whatever your interests are or how much you know about ballet. ABT came at the perfect time for me and has been formative in my personal development and understanding of this field. Every day was exciting, challenging and oriented towards positive growth. I’m going to miss ABT very much, but I’m excited about where this internship will take me next. 

Hadassah Penn

Membership Intern

Fall 2021

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