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Special Moments at 890

1 Jun

No matter how many times I walk into 890 Broadway I’ll never get over that I get to intern for such an amazing organization. Everyday something happens that makes me love ABT more and more. However although there are many instances like this there is one in particular that I’ll truly never forgot: my first studio visit. Now ever since I was a young dancer I loved Misty Copeland. To put it into perspective every time I had to do a project on someone who I admire she was the first one I chose. One extremely  lucky day I was given an opportunity that 4year old me would be screaming about. I was able to watch a private rehearsal of Misty. I remember sitting down next to one of  ABT’s faculty and asking him who we would be watching today and he said “oh there has been a schedule change and we’ll be watching Misty solo rehearsal”. She then walked in and I just glued my eyes on her taking in the moment. I knew working at ABT maybe I would see her in passing but never did I think I would be able to watch her in a rehearsal setting. Unexpected moments like this make me realize how lucky I am to be an ABT intern. Although I stopped dancing three years ago I’m able to go into work and be around this beautiful art form 24/7. Now at the end of my first semester I’ve learned how truly grateful I am grateful for my time so far at ABT and how excited I am to continue my internship for the summer!

Alexandria Manzi

Special Events Intern

Spring 2018


The Making of a Met Season

28 May

How does one even start to talk about their time as an ABT intern? As previous interns have attested to, ABT’s internship program is fulfilling, inspiring, and rewarding. As a New Yorker, I grew up loving ABT, and getting to see the process behind what happens on stage has made me fall even more in love. I truly got to see ABT’s mission at work and to see everyone’s dedication to the work they do.

ABT’s marketing team is surprisingly small, but as an intern, it also means that you get to work on a whole range of projects. The marketing team handles everything from social media to box office sales to New York Times ads and more. It was particularly eye-opening to be a part of the team during a time of transition, and it’s exciting to see the company’s new direction.

I started the semester off with mostly box office-based projects, both long term and short term. I learned about using Tessitura, kept track of group sales orders, and helped with calculating benchmarks. I was also able to sit in on meetings, both within marketing itself and also with other departments. This really helps to show the entire process of making stuff happen at ABT.

My mentor, Steven Koernig, was extremely flexible and adapted my work to balance my interests with the department’s needs. For anyone with an interest in marketing or who is unsure about what they want to do, I highly recommend working with Steven because he’s great at making this internship rewarding and a learning experience.

A few of my favorite projects included: drafting eblasts and newsletters, drafting social media posts, inventorying ABT performance videos (who doesn’t love getting to watch ballets all day at work?), and helping to finalize the Met ‘18 brochure. It’s amazing that in one day I can spend a few hours looking at numbers on Excel and then spend another few hours looking through photos or formatting an email. And for me, seeing the brochure always makes me happy, not only because it’s beautiful but also because I helped to catch to mistakes before it was sent to the printer, and I consider it my legacy at ABT.

Even though the entire experience was valuable, I actually think my favorite part of the internship (besides getting to see dancers walking the same halls as me most weeks!) was getting to meet people across ABT and to witness all the work they do. During intern meetings, I got to meet other interns who are doing amazing things and are going to go places. We also got to talk to employees outside of our departments and learn about what they do. And on a day-to-day basis, I got to see moments of celebration when hard work paid off. The energy when the new website launched or when the first Met ‘18 ad was printed or when I saw ABT’s Time Warner Center takeover fills me with so much happiness and pride because I also saw all the moments behind it that made it happen.IMG_2743

It’s bittersweet to be leaving ABT, but I’m leaving with new skills, a continued and growing love for ballet and the arts in general, and a greater understanding of what happens behind the curtain. I can’t wait to see where the company is headed next.

Jessica Sun

Marketing Intern

Spring 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


Stepping up

23 May

For the spring internship at ABT I interned under Fallon Sullivan, Assistant Manager of Patron Services. Working with Fallon meant that I would help keep track of all orders taken and oversee all ticket information for donors $1,200 and up. These donors included VIP’s, board members and over 1,000 patrons and prospects.

For the first few weeks Fallon wanted to inform me of all that she does and what I would help her with during my time. I started with inputting all the subscriptions for the members we currently have into Raiser’s Edge. Soon Raiser’s Edge would become my best tool while working in Patron Services. The next big task at hand was creating single ticket and exchange orders for members as ABT’s Spring Season approached. My job was to make sure the single ticket and exchange orders were logged three different ways; in an Excel order tracking sheet, in separate single ticket and exchange folders, and physical copies of the orders. At the beginning I was a little confused with the system, but as the weeks went on I started to understand Fallon’s plan. Another assignment of mine was to take care of the tickets sent over from the MET. I had to make sure the tickets matched the selected seats, date and time before I entered them in Raiser’s Edge and before they were mailed.

My ability was put to the test when Fallon traveled with the company and some members on a trip to Hong Kong. For two weeks I had to make sure I kept single tickets and exchange orders up-to-date, handle all calls that came in for Fallon, and email Fallon daily with orders taken from the membership and development department. Fallon prepped me by explaining my assignments thoroughly, she laid out the necessary folders needed to keep track of all incoming orders, and adding Brain from the membership department as additional help. Handling Fallon’s calls was the most difficult part during her two week absence. Members and nonmembers would call and ask questions I wouldn’t have the answers to, thankfully Brain was there to help. I was able to go to Brain or other members in development to get the appropriate answer and relay it back to the callers. My biggest concern was making sure the caller left with their questions answered or needs attended to.

After Fallon’s trip to Hong Kong, it was crunch time because the Spring Season was quickly approaching. This was by far my favorite part of working in Patron Services. I could feel the energy shift in the building during this time. Sitting in on a development meeting with the Executive Director, Kara Medoff Barnett, I was able to see how membership, development and special events worked together to stay on top of assignments for the Spring Season. Also walking by the studios and seeing the dancers rehearse was a great treat as well. Overall, my experience with Patron Services was very fulfilling.


Make Griffith

Patron Services Intern

Spring 2018

The World of JKO

9 May

I am so grateful for having the opportunity to intern at ABT because it has been a wonderful and unique learning experience. Each day I learn something new about the day-to-day managing of the JKO School. Saturdays in particular are the busiest, since both the Children’s Division and the Pre-Professional Division have classes all day. However, I really enjoyed coming to ABT on Saturdays because I was able to take a more active role in helping the students and their parents. Some of the things I helped with were: accompanying the younger students to their classes, helping them fix their ballet buns, finding the right pair of shoes when they forgot theirs at home, running the boutique sales, and answering any questions parents might had.

Another great thing about interning at ABT is that there are so many opportunities to be involved and help in various events. For example, I volunteered as an usher at the Ailey Citigroup Theater for the ABT Studio Company’s performance. And I also helped chaperone a group from the Children’s Division when they performed at the Kaye Playhouse. This, for me, was really important because I was able to get a full picture of the organization and gain knowledge and experience from different roles. Right now, we are preparing for the JKO School’s spring performances at the NYU Skirball Center and I am sure that all the hard work that has been done by everyone at the school will make the performance a big success!

Alejandra Castillo

JKO Intern

Spring 2018

Just a Normal Day at the JKO School…

28 Dec

My time at ABT was a dream come true. Growing up in dance, I had a built-in appreciation for the arts, but never truly knew all that went on behind the scenes until I had the chance to work with the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. As the JKO School Intern, I assisted the directors of the JKO School, including both the Children’s Division and the Pre-Professional Division, while interacting and helping the children and parents of the school.

The Education Department is a close-knit family, and I was thrilled to be taken under their wing. Besides valuable training, I gained friendships that will last a lifetime. Whether it was helping with quick changes backstage, taking pictures, or making ID cards for the dancers, I learned so much throughout my internship. Most importantly, I soon learned one must always be on their toes at the JKO School, as there was always something exciting going on with over 300 students in the school.

While I improved in many skills this semester, I also added some new skills to my skill set. Who knew I would become an expert at painting ballet shoes? Yes, that’s right! Two days before the Young People’s Ballet Workshop, the Studio Company needed help preparing for their performance. My mentor graciously offered to let me pull costumes and props together for the show. However, someone needed to paint the ballet shoes. I had done it before, so I offered to help! It was a really fun experience, but also extremely helpful for the rest of the Education Department and dancers. A couple days later when I had the privilege of helping at the show, I had a feeling of pride seeing all the shoes I painted, onstage!

I also learned that I am a very good dragon. ABT partook in the Lincoln Center Halloween Party, and instead of passing out ABT bookmarks and candy, I was privileged to dress up as Jackie, the JKO School Mascot. At the time, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but it ended up being a blast! Jackie was a hit and kids were thrilled to meet a “real dragon.” One mom even handed me her baby! I can now add “dragon master” to my resume. Nevertheless, it was a great memory, and I joined an elite group of people who have worn that dragon costume including Ethan Stiefel and Gillian Murphy.

These are just a few of my many great memories while at ABT. I will forever be thankful to the JKO School and the Education Department for allowing me a place in their family. I have so much appreciation and respect for what they do to promote ABT and carry on traditions to the next generation of dance. This semester flew by, but the memories will last forever. Thanks, ABT!

Stevie Mack

JKO Intern

Fall 2017


A New Strategy

26 Dec

I am so grateful to have been a part of this internship program. I initially applied for the program after a former intern informed me that there were still spots open. After applying so late I wasn’t expecting to get accepted for the Fall,  but a spot miraculously opened up. I just so happened to be in New York for a dance audition when I found out. The next day I had both my interview and orientation on the same day. Everything happened so fast. I can’t believe I have now completed the program.

My experience at ABT has been nothing short of an eye opening and learning experience. Working as the Strategic Initiatives Intern, I had the opportunity to work on short term and long term projects designed to propel ABT into the future. While working on these projects, I worked in collaboration with the many departments within the organization. This was definitely the most rewarding part of my position. I wasn’t specifically working in one department, so that allowed me to get insight into what each department does at ABT. I had the opportunity to observe and participate in meetings with the Education, Marketing, Press /Media, Finance, Development, and Music Departments. Although I can’t say much about these projects, I can assure you that what is to come for ABT is very exciting!

Overall, my experience was one I would definitely recommend to others, especially those of color. Being a Project Plie Scholarship Recipient and understanding the core values of this initiative, it definitely allowed me understand the importance of diversity on stage and behind the scenes. ABT is in the heart of a very diverse city and it is great to see them acknowledge the need for inclusion within their organization.


Paris Jones

Strategic Initiatives Intern

Fall 2017