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My Summer in the National Training Curriculum

29 Aug

Being part of the National Training Curriculum team was full of little surprise joys this summer. I, along with my awesome co-intern, spent our days ensuring teacher training intensive sessions and affiliate student exams were ready to go and efficiently processed. Some of my main tasks included auditing and processing exam results for both teachers and students as well as maintaining physical records and online files. However, it was all the moments from the atypical tasks that truly built the internship experience for me.

For example, early in the summer, all of the interns took a field trip to Lincoln Center to help set up the Young People’s Ballet Workshop featuring ABT’s  students—helping thousands of elementary kids fill up the auditorium to get excited about ballet? Phenomenal experience. Or, even helping out in the apparel and trinkets boutique during dancer intensives or teacher trainings gave me an opportunity to get to chat with some of the participants; I loved learning about different people and how their unique background brought them to ABT for the summer. We also had the opportunity to meet the interns at a Broadway theatre company and share our experiences in the arts at major NYC organizations with each other.

I also thoroughly enjoyed my time learning from the various people who work at ABT. I was so blessed to have such wonderful mentors in Meghan Love, Sonia Jones, and Molly Schnyder. It was encouraging to know that walking into the office every day that these people cared about me as beyond “just an intern”. They were patient, kind, and considerate—I really couldn’t have asked for a better trio to work for. Also, whether it was informally at the lunch table, though a few Q&A sessions at intern meetings, or casually around the office, meeting the people and seeing passion of ABT is inspiring to be part of. I am thankful for meeting such great educators, artists, and administrators.

Sarah Tsung

National Training Curriculum Intern

Summer 2017

 

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It’s More than Just an Office Job – My Experience as an ABT Intern

22 Aug

Working for the National Training Curriculum at American Ballet Theatre this summer has been amazing. Unlike some of my past internships, ABT has provided me with experiences that go beyond the development of basic professional skills. Weekly intern meetings allowed opportunities to learn more about non-profits and how to create the perfect resume. Outings to Pointe Magazine Headquarters and the Roundabout Theatre Company expanded my knowledge regarding potential careers in the arts. In addition, speaking with numerous ABT employees helped me network and working alongside the other interns provided me with lifelong friendships. Frequent trips to the Metropolitan Opera House were awe inspiring and validated the hard work that happens at 890 Broadway. Besides the computer, communication and organizational skills that I developed in the office, I also got to meet ballet teachers from all over the world during the training sessions.

After almost three months of amazing experiences however, there is one that stands out from the rest. It was the end of the day during one of our training sessions and I was the only person in the office. The teachers were preparing for their last class of the day in which they would be observing a group of young dancers. As I was printing programs for the Young People’s Ballet Workshop, I happened to look up and see a mother and her young daughter. The mother came over to me with pleading eyes and asked if I knew anyone that could do her daughters hair for class. Luckily, I have danced for years and have conjured countless ballet buns. I told the mother I could do it and watched her face flood with relief. Sitting the little girl in my office chair, I twirled and pinned and twirled and pinned until she was adorned with a perfect ballet bun. They both thanked me profusely and headed off to class.

This moment is so memorable to me because I think it really shows what ABT is all about. It does not matter if you have been a part of the dance world for your entire life or are brand new; ABT brings people together and facilitates a love and appreciation for the arts. Whether it is the Education or Finance Department, student or member of the company, they all work together seamlessly towards a common mission. Doing the little girls hair for class made me feel like I was part of something bigger, and that is what it is like working for American Ballet Theatre.

Lindsey Jacquier

National Training Curriculum Intern

Summer 2017

An experience I will cherish for life..!

23 Jun
The National Training Curriculum internship at American Ballet Theatre has been such a rewarding and fulfilling experience. I learned so much the past three months at ABT. ABT is an amazing institution and I consider myself extremely lucky for being able to work so close with such talented people.

This internship was also a great opportunity for me as I could experience what I learned at my NYU masters program in Dance Education in practice. The staff had good work ethic that kept the company functioning at its peak. I learned how emphasis on quality, sense of teamwork and responsibility are important principles to create a strong work ethic.

Last but not least, working at ABT and assisting the NTC manager and the Affiliate Exam Coordinator made me realize how much work goes into running the NTC program. I have great respect for my mentors and the skills I gained through this program I will cherish them for life. I would like to thank them and the American Ballet Theatre for giving me this chance.

Ester Migioni
National Training Curriculum Intern
Spring 2017

The Real Highlight was the Guest Speakers!

9 Jan

The National Training Curriculum internship at American Ballet Theatre has been an incredibly rewarding experience! Looking back on the semester I can’t believe how much I have learned in such a short time! American Ballet Theatre is a place I could have only imagined working for and getting to come to the office every morning felt like a dream come true! This internship was also a huge asset to me as a NYU Masters student in the ABT pedagogy program pursuing my certification in the National Training Curriculum and a degree in Dance Education.

 

The guest speakers that lectured during the internship program were a real highlight for me. They offered great insight to various departments of the performing arts administration world. For me, as someone seeking a job in performing arts administration but unsure about which path to pursue, this was extremely helpful and interesting. Often, the guest speakers would over lap with ones brought in to speak at my NYU Performing Arts Administration course. This was so beneficial to me because not only did I get a clearer understanding of what the role of a Controller, a Company Manger or The Manager of Institutional Support is but I also got to see what I was studying in action and how it applies to the real world! This created a very well rounded experience for me.

 

I felt very welcomed into the ABT family and I was so lucky to work under such great mentors, Meghan, Molly and Sonia. I have so much respect for how much work goes into running the NTC program and how dedicated they all are to their job! I feel as though I really have really gained skills that I will carry with me into the future and much greater insight when looking for employment in a performing arts institution!

Dasha Schwartz

National Training Curriculum Intern

Fall 2016

A (Not So Typical) Day in the Life

16 Aug

On June 22, I was a month into the ABT internship program and had just finished working my first National Training Curriculum Teacher Training session. I spent the day finalizing exams and certificates, preparing for the next training sessions in July, and chatting with the rest of the NTC staff about the previous night’s performance of Romeo and Juliet in anticipation of what was to come later that night. I was out the door of 890 by late afternoon and rushed over to the Met to begin what I knew would be a night to remember.

 

After meeting the rest of the ABT and Roundabout Theatre interns at the Met fountain, we went inside for a conversation with ABT General Manager, David Lansky. I spent the hour-long talk at the edge of my seat, absorbing every bit of company life that I could. As a longtime ballet dancer and enthusiast, I could not help but be enthralled by the stories that epitomized the old truism, “the show must go on.” Listening to the challenges that arise due to the nature of live performances and how the ABT dancers and staff overcome them gave me an even greater respect and love for this art form.

 

After the talk, we strolled between sets and stagehands and Alexandre Hammoudi’s pirouettes to get a view of what the company sees every day during the Met season. As I stood on the Met stage, I could only think of the history that stage has seen. From Mikhail Baryshnikov to Misty Copeland, the thought of sharing that space with so many who changed the ballet world left me speechless and floating among the clouds. That feeling and the view of the empty audience seats with the lavish chandelier hanging above are two of the most vivid memories I will carry on from this internship experience.

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As I ran to catch a train at the end of the night, I could not help but feel tremendously grateful for the magical day I just had. In addition to another great day in the education department, the talk with David Lansky, and the backstage tour, I also got to see my childhood ballet idol, Gillian Murphy, have a stunning and heartbreaking performance as Juliet. I felt like the luckiest intern in the world.

Although not every day at ABT was as glamorous as this one, it left me in a dream-like state for the rest of the summer, ready to take on more teacher training sessions and share my love of ballet with coworkers and soon-to-be certified teachers. I truly could not be more thankful for the experience and open doors ABT- and specifically NTC- has provided me this summer, and I know that I will forever look back fondly on my summer at America’s National Ballet Company.

Brittany Hurley

National Training Curriculum Intern

Summer 2016

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“Speedy”

19 Jan

Working at ABT for the past three months has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I began with little office experience and a moderate dance background – I’m leaving with a much greater knowledge about the administrative side of a dance company and with a greater knowledge of the dance world.

I have to thank my mentor, Meghan Love, for making my time at ABT so wonderful. She walked me through the various jobs I would be given over the course of my internships and knew that I would get the job done. I’m a very fast worker and have since earned the nickname “Speedy,” now a running joke between Meghan and I. I learned something new almost every single day of my internship, ranging from where to file incomes and expenses to creating certificates for the newly certified NYU students. I have become very familiar with the database of teachers, having gone through most teachers to update their information.

During this internship, I have also had amazing opportunities to meet and get to know the interns from Roundabout Theatre Company. As a theatre major, learning about this major company from people who work there was amazing. It was also great to be around other interns and learn about their future plans and we each got to show a bit of our world to each other. We were also able to have a backstage tour of the Metropolitan Opera House with ABT’s General Manager, David Lansky. It was incredible to stand on that stage and think about all of the famous singers, dancers, and actors who have stood there.

Working at ABT this fall has truly been a dream come true. This internship has taught me a lot and has given me experiences that I will never forget. I’m proud to be an intern at this amazing company. My time here has reminded me of my love for dance and I have fallen in love with it all over again. ABT, thank you so much for this extraordinary opportunity.

Abbie Levison

National Training Curriculum Intern

Fall 2016

Happy Memories and New Opportunities

10 Aug

I spent my senior year of high school blissfully working in and roaming the halls of 890 Broadway as one lucky twelfth grade apprentice/intern at American Ballet Theatre’s Educational Outreach Program. The office was always bustling with activity from the JKO students and your regular school year spectacles. Now as a dance major done with her first year at college, I wondered how I would fill my summer months back home in NYC. Looking to better my understanding of arts administration (and secretly wondering if ABT was as exciting in the summer as it is during the school year), it made complete sense to return to the home of a company that I had admired as long as I could dance, and a place that never failed to bring a smile to my face at the end of a long day.

As a previous Outreach intern, I didn’t know what to expect as I walked in this past May on my first day to become a National Training Curriculum intern. But after only a couple of days back at ABT, I regretted not stopping to take a look last year at the NTC desks that I had passed a hundred times.

The National Training Curriculum is a program taught at the JKO School and has been extremely successful in turning out highly sought after dancers. The program provides a remarkable and unique opportunity for dedicated dance teachers to learn how to train their students in ballet­—properly and healthily—from ABT’s own instructors, through a series of lectures, demonstrations, and exams. The ultimate goal is to walk away certified by ABT, and hopefully move on to become an Affiliate Teacher by then presenting your students for their own exams. I was fortunate enough to occasionally pass by or walk into a room where a lecture by Raymond Lukens or Franco De Vita (two of the brains behind NTC) was taking place and catch a tidbit of information about how to properly approach your turnout or placement at the barre.

In addition to being an intern for NTC, I was also a counselor for ABT’s five week Summer Intensive program in NYC (which allowed me to learn that yes, ABT is just as exciting and crowded during the summer as it is throughout the year). At the beginning of the summer, I stressed about how I was going to manage to do both, but being submerged in two different branches of ABT’s Education and Training Department entirely enriched my overall experience. The combination of the two programs complimented each other in a way I never expected, and culminated in my sudden enlightenment of another career path.

I never desired to become a dance teacher. Professionally dancing has always been my dream, but I never wanted to consider taking a teaching job. This summer, however, wholly changed my opinion of teaching. As an NTC intern I learned all about the administrative and business side of instructing, and as a summer counselor I had a more hands-on experience in personally dealing with children. The knowledge that I acquired from both made me realize that not only would I not mind teaching dance, but I would also look forward to it. As someone who had never considered taking the dance-teacher route for lack of faith in myself, I now welcome this unforeseen possibility for my future.

My whole adventure with ABT this summer has made for some happy memories. I am thankful for the opportunities that have been provided and for this unforgettable learning experience. What little bunhead doesn’t dream of working with American Ballet Theatre, and helping with the magic behind the curtain?

Julia Sandke

National Training Curriculum Intern

Summer 2015