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Welcome to the ABT Family

4 Dec

This fall, I completed the National Training Curriculum (NTC) Internship within the Education Department at American Ballet Theatre, working September 11 – December 11, 2020 in a remote setting. During my internship, I was responsible for assisting with special projects and day-to-day operations related to the NTC, such as:

  • Co-hosting the Level 6-7 & Partnering teacher training course, taught by Franco De Vita and Raymond Lukens
  • Hosting weekly JKO children’s division ballet classes for Harriet Clark
  • Hosting Winter Intensive classes
  • Assisting the Raising The Barre weekend workshop with Complexions Contemporary Ballet, featuring Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden
  • Grading Exams for the ABT/NYU Master’s Program teacher training

I worked directly with the brilliant NTC team: Molly Schnyder, Sonia Jones, and Saya Harada, under the JKO Artistic Director, Cynthia Harvey. I also interfaced regularly with the Education Faculty at the weekly virtual staff meetings, which allowed me to gain more insight into the entire department and witness firsthand how collaboration, communication, and a little bit of humor make for great team work (#winning)! I had the invaluable opportunity to get to know ABT inside and out through meetings with staff from marketing, development, company management, finance, and the executive team. Working in an environment that believes in the power of dance education, I saw how ABT’s mission to share dance with the widest possible audience impacts their daily decisions, which in turn continues to positively impact the current and future generations of dancers and arts administrators.

In addition to my organizational work — which included working in OneDrive, practicing my mail merge skills, creating presentations, and more — I also helped with the @abtschool social media posts for the ABT/NYU Master’s Program! Bringing my knowledge of marketing and media from my past work experience, I was able to use those media skills in my work at ABT to produce IGTV videos for a current audience of 32K followers.

I feel very lucky to have been invited onto the Education team this fall, and become a part of the small, wonderful family that is the ABT National Training Curriculum team!


Amy Wensley

NTC Intern

Fall 2020

The Connectivity of Ballet

11 Aug

When I began my internship with the National Training Curriculum team at ABT, I was anxious and excited about both my role, and the company’s transition to online work. I had just graduated from Rutgers University with my BFA in Dance; while taking my graduate courses online, I realized that dance still had the chance to bring people together, even if virtually. I came into the internship with the same hopeful spirits that I had finished my undergraduate degree with, and I believe that has made my experience and the experiences of those who I have worked with impactful.

Despite the challenges of having to work remotely, my team and I were able to connect with dancers all around the globe. Particularly, having the chance to learn from Raymond Lukens and Franco de Vita was such an amazing experience. That opportunity showcased to me how the dance community is truly able to make light out of a dark situation. Further, I was even able to have personal conversations with participants who taught me a few things about their side of the world. I am now able to say “Thank you” in Greek: efcharistó. (I am really looking forward to the chance to say this on the steps of Mykonos when that’s possible again.)

Walking out (or logging off) of my time at ABT, I will take away with me how important it is to connect with and learn from different cultures. I truly believe that the more we learn from other people, the more we can learn about ourselves. I am so grateful that I was granted the opportunity to listen to speakers and guests near and far, all while in the comfort of my house in New Jersey. My time at ABT has been incomparable, and I hope that I continue to be open to learn from other cultures and people through dance.


Gillian Popino

NTC Intern

Summer 2020

A New Intern, Literally

31 Jul

It’s hard to believe that my summer internship with the American Ballet Theatre comes to a close this week. It feels like just yesterday I was anxiously checking my email to find out if I had been selected to intern for this phenomenal organization. I remember exactly where I was when I received it – backstage on opening night of a performance in college, how fitting!

I am currently double majoring in Dance and Exercise Science at the University of Alabama. I am also pursuing a minor in Nutrition with concentrations in both Sport and Fitness Management and Health Promotion. I am also the historian for our dance department, and love producing dance films and working with photography. Needless to say, I have a wide variety of interests and absolutely love learning. I knew I wanted to work this summer somewhere that would inspire me to see what path I wanted to pursue post undergrad, and ABT was absolutely the most perfect place.

ABT gave me an extremely unique opportunity. They created a position for an intern this summer that had never been done before. After interviewing with the ABT Education Department with the JKO school, my resume was sent to the National Training Curriculum Department. NTC had wanted the opportunity to archive footage of their training and my application came at the right time. From there, I was given the opportunity to create a promotional video in conjunction with the marketing department. My first assignment was at the Metropolitan Opera House with over 3,000 public school students to film for ABTKids. ABTKids is one of the impactful outreach programs ABT does, allowingstudents in the community to come witness a production of excerpts from some of ABT’s ballets. I ran around, capturing some of the sweetest and heartwarming smiles of the children who were so entranced by the aura that is the MET. I was then given access to the press box and proceeded to film for the rest of the show. I couldn’t wait to get home and piece together a video for my advisors.

After I sent my video to the marketing departments, other departments contacted me wanting a similar project done. I was ecstatic that people loved my work and was excited to continue creating. I ended up producing a video for the ABT Supernumeraries and then another for the Summer Intensive, on top of photographing for the National Training Curriculum, the Collegiate Intensive, and the Summer Intensive. Producing the ABT Super’s video was probably one of my favorite memories of my summer here at ABT. A press memo was sent out (with my name on it!) and I was sent over to the MET with two press representatives who were so kind and willing to assist me in any way they could. I filmed “fly-on-the-wall” style, quietly capturing the excitement backstage. Being in that environment made me feel more a part of the ABT family than ever. I truly felt the magic and never wanted that night to end.

ABT has treated me with so much kindness, respect, and professionalism. My experience here not only met my expectations but exceeded them. Every time I walk into 890 I know how lucky I am to be here and I cannot wait to start working.

I decided to put together a video to show some highlights of my time at ABT, because some things are too special to put into words. I hope you enjoy!

Emilia Stuart

National Training Curriculum Intern, Media Production

Summer 2019

“Center Stage” in Real Life

24 May

When I was offered the position to be an intern with the National Training Curriculum at American Ballet Theatre, I had absolutely no idea what I had accepted. I just knew that ABT wanted me and the answer was YES! How I stubbled upon what would become my future relationship with ABT was honestly right place, right time. I’ve always appreciated ballet and those who had a gift for it, but I consider myself to be more modern/contemporary based. My college sent an email to all students with an offer, Raymond Lukens would be coming to Adelphi University to offer us an audition to their Collegiate Summer Intensive for that year. I laughed at the idea of me doing ballet for the summer, especially on pointe, but when the day of the audition came, I decided to take the class because it would be auditioning experience. My classmates were shocked when they saw me with all the ballet dancers in the department taking Raymond’s audition class. I knew, even if I was to be accepted, I’d never go out of fear. The day did come when I got the acceptance email, and due to encouragement from my professors I accepted and prepared for a summer on pointe. Towards the end of the intensive, some collegiate students were asked to volunteer for a workshop called ABTKids that was run by Dennis Walters and Richard Toda. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the environment that ABT created, not to mention how kind they were with the compensation of tickets to see two upcoming performances! I emailed Dennis after the event and told him I’d be interested in continuing to work with ABT through an internship, in the education department and that was the start of it all.

When I arrived for orientation, I expected a briefing of our roles and duties as interns as well as a possible tour, but what I ended with was so much more. In around 2 hours I had already met some incredible interns as well as witness my favorite movie unfold before my very eyes. I certainly was not expecting to see Ethan Stiefel and Sascha Radetsky on a nearly weekly basis from my cubicle. Not to mention bumping into ABT principal dancer Stella Abrera in the bathroom on my first day! That was already pretty unbelievable, but the internship program has offered so many amazing opportunities and connection throughout this semester. I am so disappointed I had class on Fridays and wasn’t able to attend most meeting and workshops, but I am extremely grateful for the few that I did get to attend. I was able to stand humble on the Metropolitan Opera House stage that has been graced by the best of the best performers. I was go on an eye-opening backstage tour of the Met before Harlequinade,as well as enjoy the show with my very own guest. Recently, I was also able to attend the Spring Met Gala that ABT hosts and oh my word, if you are a fashion lover that was the place to be. I was able to witness some of the most incredible designs, fabrics, and materials on ABT’s very own, as well as guests that included celebrities like Alec Baldwin and Katie Holmes.

My most favorite experience thus far has definitely been the training session held at ABT for the National Training Curriculum. That was when I physically saw all the work the NTC department come to fruition. I met and spoke with the future certified teachers, and was able to listen in on some of their sessions as well as observe some of the JKO student classes. It was so wonderful to learn from Franco De Vita and Raymond Lukens on ABT’s training curriculum in their class and have the ability to relate it to some of the classes I’ve taken at ABT or with ABT certified teachers. I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity to completely be immersed in a world that revolved around dancing, but didn’t involve us actually dancing. I’m so grateful for the skills that I’ve acquired here (I am now a certified professional in Microsoft Excel and FileMaker Pro *most up-to-date version*), and for the time that I have spent learning about my mentor, Sonia Jones, and the NTC department on a personal and professional level. No matter what you came into this program looking for, you will leave with new knowledge that will be invaluable to you for the future. 10/10 would recommend.

Pamyla Cummings

NTC Intern

Spring 2019

United Through Ballet

13 Dec

At my studio back home in Idaho, American Ballet Theatre seemed so glamorous and distant. Seeing an ABT ballet would have been a dream come true and working for them was out of the question. Little did I know what was in store for me and how comfortable this place would feel. All of the administrative work was grounded in purpose and I was able to see first hand how small the ballet world really is. Ballet is a global art form and crosses language barriers. I helped process information for students, teachers, and schools all over the world who were all connected to each other and ABT through the National Training Curriculum. I was able to see this for myself during the Raising the Barre workshop when teachers and students from around the world came to learn Coppélia dances from those who knew it best. People may not have shared the same background or even language, but ballet connected them and it was truly beautiful. I saw ballet connect people beyond the education aspect as well. I distributed and collected surveys during an evening performance, and it was fun to talk to audience members during the intermissions, hearing what brought them to the ballet. One man told me all about his favorite performances and how he had religiously attended ABT shows for fifteen years, and a college student, a former dancer, told me how glad she was for student rush tickets. That love of ballet could start young too. It was beautiful to watch children clad in ballet themed Halloween costumes light up when they met dancers at the Family Matinee, or focused with a smile as they learned Fancy Free themed choreography on the street. My experience at ABT ultimately taught me that ballet unites people, no matter the age or country. The once distant ABT became a comfortable place where I could witness and play a small part in facilitating unity amongst people through ballet.


Deanna Irving

NTC Intern

Fall 2018

Reconnecting at ABT

25 May

An internship with ABT is the most fulfilling internship one can get. It has to be the best intern program in arts management. I have been lucky enough to intern with other companies, and they do not hold a candle to ABT’s program. Dennis Walters, the director of the intern program, has created a unique curriculum that gives one the opportunity to understand how an arts organization functions beyond the department in which one works; with weekly lectures and workshops.  He also teaches fundamentals of resumes and interview skills. These workshops had more useful practical information on how to acquire a job than any class I have ever taken in college. 

To give a little background, I am attending SUNY Empire State College studying Dance-Arts Management, and I have been a professional ballet dancer for over twenty years. I retired six years ago from dancing with the Metropolitan Opera. I am a graduate of the National Ballet School in Canada. I have danced professionally with the National Ballet of Canada, San Francisco Ballet, Les Ballet de Monte Carlo, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Pittsburg Ballet Theatre. The last ten years I have been teaching at two schools in New York. I also had been supernumerary with ABT when I was a child, and I even got an opportunity to dance with the company at 16 in ABT’s Nutcracker. 

To work at ABT as an intern has been fulfilling because of all the places I wanted to dance in my career, it has always been ABT. Interning it has allowed me to see people I have not seen in 10 or 20 years. One of my two favorite moments interning with ABT was reconnecting with Kate Lydon; we danced together at SFB. However, we had met years before in NYC with mutual friends at Cafe La Fortuna as students. I was down from Canada, and she was at ABT’s school, and we took photos of that night 20 plus years ago, and I just found the photos last summer.  My second favorite moment was telling Cynthia Harvey that we had already met and we performed together… supering when I was a child in ABT’s Cinderella. 

ABT is the one ballet company that I have always dreamt of working for, and I have loved interning with American Ballet Theatre.

Ian Thatcher

NTC Intern

Spring 2018


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


ABT jumping pic

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