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Zoom Zoom

22 May

When we closed the doors at ABT on March 13, 2020 none of us knew what was coming. I assisted my last in-studio class that Friday with the intention of returning to the studio in two short weeks once COVID-19 had blown over. Well, I don’t have to tell you this, but I was sorely mistaken.

As a JKO Studio Intern much of my internship consisted of in-studio class assisting hours. I thoroughly enjoyed this part of my internship as I had the privilege of assisting many of the amazing JKO faculty members. Learning from them in the studio week after week and helping advance the technical level of the JKO students was a remarkable experience.

When it became apparent that we would no longer be able to have in-studio classes, the JKO School moved entirely to online learning via the Zoom platform. As an intern it then became my duty to oversee the Zoom classes, answering student questions, and assisting the instructors in any way possible. For many of these classes I would meet with the instructor a few minutes before class began, catching up and planning our strategies to keep the students engaged. Disabling screen sharing was quite helpful for the younger levels as students in our Primary classes really wanted to show the class their desktops (haha!).

Facilitating Zoom learning was quite an adventure, I met many household pets, witnessed a few sibling quarrels, and saw ballet from every camera angle possible. Despite all of this, the students and teachers in the JKO School didn’t miss a beat. I saw in real-time the versatility of the ABT National Training Curriculum as it was adapted by each instructor for at-home learning. Our students in the JKO School continued to receive world class ballet instruction from their living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, and foyers.

Moving to Zoom was an unanticipated challenge this semester but it was met with some of the most qualified and hard-working people I have ever met. I am so proud to have been part of this experience and I am even more proud of the students in the JKO school for meeting this challenge and overcoming it. I wish all of the students I assisted the utmost success in their ballet journey. Keep dancing, keep smiling, keep Zooming.

Tymothy Jaddock

JKO Studio Intern

Spring 2020

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Flavio Salazar and I meeting before a Level 1 class to discuss specifics

  

Fall at ABT

26 Nov

I grew up training in dance companies for most of my childhood. I never imagined what it would be like working for the administrative side of a dance company. The American Ballet Theatre is one of a kind. Aside from the fact that it is America’s national ballet company, it has the best tools and staff to make the most beautiful art come to life.

At my internship with ABT, I worked in the Education department. The workers in education department are responsible for continuous and fluid education and training within ABT. They are responsible for running the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, where 450 hand picked students are trained by the best professional ballet teachers. The JKO school is made up of two divisions: the children’s division and the pre-professional division. All students are only accepted by audition. When I worked in the office, I often updated attendance weekly. I also helped guide youth dancers to their classroom if they were running late. I got to know the building very well. In addition to office work, I also assisted for a youth division ballet class. Here I got to experience working with children, which was a fun opportunity.

My motivation behind getting this internship, was the ability to learn things that I did not already know. Being a recent graduate, and still trying to find my place in the world, I volunteered for any and every opportunity that presented itself at ABT. I was a volunteer at the family Matinee at the Lincoln Center. This event was my favorite experience at ABT. It was the end of the fall season and Halloween. It was a popular event for kids and their families to come watch our company perform and visit our organized family experience in the lobby of the Lincoln center. I got a chance to be apart of a professional event and see what it was like to work as a team with my co workers. Another perk of my journey at ABT was working with the company’s physical therapist to help with a study on hip replacement surgery in ballerinas. I was required me to get ahold of as many ABT alumni as possible in order to collect survey data on hip replacement. The overall goal was to see a visible difference between hip replacements in ballerinas compared to the general public. This project is still a work in progress, therefore I cannot share any information regarding the results. The overall point is that it was very interesting and it was great that they had a project so diverse from the rest of the company’s work.

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I feel like I am going to walk out of here with a more mature outlook on the works of a non-profit institution. There are so many things that need to be stressed in order to produce a successful project. This company has taught me about hard work and patience. I say patience because I assisted the little ones in the preprimary class of the JKO school. Those little munchkins are cute but they are work! At the end of the week I find myself grateful to be apart of a world famous institute. I also love any chance I get to be apart of dance. Dance is an art form that brings people together.  Thankful to have been brought to face with so many great and talented individuals!

Piper Coralli

JKO Intern

Fall 2019

Unrivaled, Unparalleled, Unprecedented

2 Aug

AliyahinternphotoWhen it came time to reflect and think of a word to describe my experience as an intern for American Ballet Theatre, so many adjectives came to mind. Out of all the words though the one I think described it best for me was “Unprecedented”.  This was my first real time away from home, on my own and my first real internship that was not in my hometown in Georgia. Even my last four years of college were in Georgia. So, when it came time for me to be an intern at American Ballet Theatre all the way in New York, it was new for me. I had my doubts about working at a company that only seemed real through dreams, but all those doubts disappeared my first day there. Working at ABT specifically with the National Training Curriculum has been a dream come true. Myself and my amazing co intern (Maddy!!) spent our time learning about a different side of what ABT had to offer which was its education side. We got to help make sure all the training sessions ran smoothly, processing exams and maintaining records. Sounds like minimal work but I got to see the importance of every little piece come together to make these sessions flow.  My mentors Sonia Jones, Meghan Love and Molly Schnyder were the best to work with. They took the time to answer all my questions, were always patient and encouraging! They challenged me to do some projects I had never done before and with their guidance I felt confident in everything that was presented to me.  I felt they were invested in me and they really made me feel like I was a part of the team. I was thankful that I got paired to work with such great women.

In addition to working with the National Training Curriculum team, as an intern we had our weekly intern meetings where we were led by Mr. Dennis Walters, the director of education and training. I learned so much about the inner workings of the American Ballet Theatre and how to run such a successful nonprofit organization. Also, with these meetings Dennis gave great lessons on resume building and cover letter writing. I learned marketable skills that I can now keep with me for years to come. Also, as an intern I got to help with the pre-professional workshops and got a behind the scenes look at what the MET season is like for ABT!

So, here I am now reflecting on my time and I say all of this was unprecedented because this was an unparalleled experience than any of the internships I have had. I learned so much more than just basic office skills. I learned that American Ballet Theatre is more than their extraordinary dancers, but they are an intricate group of individuals weaving together unrivaled magic.

Aliyah P. Miller

National Training Curriculum Intern

Summer 2018

Endless Discoveries at 890

30 Jul

MaddyinternphotoWhat a summer it has been at 890 Broadway! I have had the pleasure of being one of the two National Training Curriculum interns this summer and I have truly not experienced a dull day at the office. Admittedly, the majority of my ABT experiences were limited to the Education Department, but what a place to be. The fourth floor could not have been a more energetic work environment. Between the excitement of soon-to-be certified teachers walking through, summer intensive students running to class, ballet teachers and pianists looking for class schedules, employees happily answering questions and devotedly doing their work, the occasional principal dancers (current + former) waltzing through the office, and the NTC interns taking laps between the computer and the copier’s multipurpose tray, it’s hard to keep up with the happenings in Education. This may all seem overwhelming upon first glance, but this liveliness is matched by true passion and enthusiasm from each of the staff members and it is evident in their work.

It was truly eye-opening to see the importance of organization in such a busy environment as the ABT administrative offices. Specifically in NTC, the orderly systems in place proved to be essential for the success of the programs. Without the high level of organization and the careful amount of attention granted towards seemingly mundane paperwork, the NTC teacher training sessions and affiliate exams would not run as smoothly as they do. This organization also allowed us (the interns) to create exam certificates and update the database to register teachers on the first day of work. The ability to use and create organizational systems is one important skill I will take away from my summer at ABT. I am confident that I will use this in every job I encounter.

While the Education Department is vast and occupies a whole floor of office space, it is only one of many departments at ABT. And within Education, NTC employs three wonderful staff members and two interns and takes up a “pod” in the office, but it represents only a fraction of what the department does as a whole. A highlight from this summer was assisting in a pre-performance workshop for Whipped Cream at the Met, where I got to help lead a class for baby ballerinas. It was so exciting to see another sector of the Education team working to fulfill ABT’s mission statement.

As to why I chose “discovery” to describe my ABT experience: One of my favorite and most rewarding aspects of this internship has been our Friday intern meetings. I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to employees from different departments talk about their role in the realm of ABT. I especially loved learning about the structure of a nonprofit from Dennis Walters and how a mission statement drives an organization. With each new speaker that graced the interns with their presence, I discovered a new field of arts administration and the nonprofit world that appeals to me. I left each Friday meeting feeling completely inspired and eager to discover more. I am writing this on the eve of our final true Friday intern meeting. (I am not counting intern brunch as an educational meeting, although I’m excited!) Tomorrow, we are meeting with an employee from the Finance Department. Being a math-minded, constantly curious person, I am looking forward to learning about how ABT’s budget is crafted and how budgetary decisions are made. If I had endless time as an ABT intern, I would arrange informational interviews with every employee in the company to learn more. Constant discovery in an area that I am passionate about is such a joy and has made for unforgettable summer at ABT.

Maddy Paull

National Training Curriculum Intern

Summer 2018

Pleasant Surprises from an Unexpected Detour: Broadening the Horizons of a Career in the Arts

5 Sep
My first experience with American Ballet Theatre was going to see Maria Kochetkova perform Swan Lake at the Metropolitan Opera House with my mother. I remember barely being able to keep still in my chair, wanting to pounce up and join in the choreography. I remember leaving Lincoln Center on the 1 Tain with the largest smile on my face, not only feeling more inspired than ever to keep dancing, but also that I could do anything if I put my mind to it.
My next experience with American Ballet Theatre was dancing in their three-week Collegiate Summer Intensive in the June of 2016. I soaked in every last moment of being in the studios; I was beginning my Freshman year of college in the Fall and I was getting too old for most Summer Intensives. A classmate had applied to be a counselor for the five-week intensive, and I thought that was something I would definitely be interested in.
The next Spring I composed an email to the Summer Intensive staff inquiring about the Summer Counselor position and was asked to come in for an interview. There, they asked if I would be interested in an internship for the summer with the JKO Pre-Professional Division.
It was incredibly unexpected: I was still only 18 and had only finished my first year of college. But through out my experience this summer, I drew from and continued to refine my knowledge of ballet education and organizational, administrative, and editing skills. I worked closely with the JKO staff preparing for the school year with the students’ registration, refining the student and faculty handbook policies, collecting inventory of the uniforms, and mailing out the teacher and accompanist contracts.
As the school is not in session during the summer I also had the opportunity to assist in other areas of ABT Education Offices, such as Project Plié and the multiple Summer Intensives happening both in NYC and across the United States.
With the internship program we also had other opportunities, such as an exchange program with Roundabout Theatre, a visit to DanceMedia’s Pointe Magazine, tickets to experience some of ABT’s Metropolitan Opera season, and even a backstage tour of the Met. On top of this, every week we would have intern meetings to hear from different departments of the organization and what comprises a career in arts administration: all the way from how ABT functions as a non-profit to grant writing. These lectures were incredibly eye opening for me, as previous to this summer I had only experience as a dancer; I learned of so many more ways the arts can be turned into a career.
Overall, I was immensely moved by the amount of effort ABT placed into the outreach of dance for the youth and in the local schools. In a time where the arts are struggling to remain relevant, ABT is at the forefront of the mission. At the Young People’s Ballet Workshop students from public schools from the NYC area poured into the Metropolitan Opera House to watch some of their peers perform alongside company dancers, and it thrilled me to see the amount of unconfined excitement buzzing in a room full of young students.
I saw them sitting in the seats where I watched ABT perform for the first time, and just looking at the gleam in their eyes and the uncontained smile of their faces that they also were not just inspired to move, but that they could accomplish anything they put their minds to as well.
It was an honor this summer to intern with American Ballet Theatre and to know, that in my small ways, I am helping young dancers to be inspired just as I was and I would recommend this opportunity to anyone interested in any form of arts administration.
Kasey Boekema
JKO School Intern
Summer 2017
Kasey Broekema is 19 years old entering her sophomore year at Columbia University studying dance and English.

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

Arabesque Lines; Intelligent Minds

27 Jun
As the semester winds down, school comes to a close, and graduation is in sight, I can hardly believe my 20-week internship with American Ballet Theater is coming to an end. It feels like yesterday that I first walked through the door for my first day. Now I am leaving with more experience and insight than I could have asked for. When you think about dance you imagine the bodies of the dancers. There is a significant amount of energy, training, and sacrifice that each dancer makes to be in the ABT Company and train at the JKO School. However, my internship shined a light on the unsung heroes that are of the education department. The arts administrators in the education department support all of the artistic visions that the artistic staff curates. THEY MAKE THE MAGIC HAPPEN!  It is through their organization that programs are created, maintained, and developed. The education staff is a well oiled machine that works collaboratively and independently assigning different roles to produce the infamous Studio Company, JKO School, National Training Curriculum, Summer Intensive, and Outreach programming. The glamour that is of a premier ballet company is really esteemed because of the people who dedicate so much of themselves to make this company what it is today.

My internship has familiarized me with many insights into the nonprofit arts world. Every budget, email, and marketing flyer gets double and even triple checked. The staff surveys, fields, and handles any and all discrepancies in a situation all while curating the programs, pinning hair into buns, and getting ice for the dancers. These people tirelessly work to make the quote on quote magic happen. I guess what I am trying to say is that the remarkable “lines” and proscenium performance is curated through an efficient assembly “line” of arts administrators that love and honor the arts that is ABT.

I cannot thank the JKO School and the education department for their teaching. I never had a moment when I felt that I did not belong. The arts need us! From the data entry to the pancaking of ballet shoes, to the excel spreadsheets to the recitals. There was never a dull moment. I am so happy to have had this experience and professional insight into the administrative environment of arts management.  I especially cannot thank Rebecca, Katie F., and Katie C. for giving me this amazing opportunity to learn from people who have so much talent and expertise in what they do. I am so happy to end this internship with ABT’s season at the MET. It is a true testament that my 20 weeks of work has compiled to Lincoln Center. This has been an all-encompassing experience of seeing the work of the artistic and administrative worlds collide on America’s most notable arts campus.

Brittany Biolo
JKO School Intern
Spring 2017

A Fouetté Turn Into My New Internship

22 Jan

Backstory: Summer 2016 was one of my biggest transitioning periods yet. After, interning and working for Dancewave for the past two years, my time came to an end in May. Due to funding, I was sad to hear that I was not going to be returning to Dancewave in the Fall. Although, I was bummed about the news, I am thankful for the amazing staff who introduced me to the field of arts administration and provided me with an exceptional experience of a working non-profit company in New York City.

At this point, I knew I wanted to continue gaining experience in arts administration or in the dance world in general, so I considered potential internships or jobs that would provide me that opportunity. My opportunity came sooner than I thought, when I was hired as a Summer counselor for ABT’s Summer Intensive 6-week program in June. In those 6-weeks I enjoyed watching over my group of students, taking class, and working with ABT’s staff. It was at the end of the 6-weeks, in July, when I was informed that I was not going to return to Dancewave. By now, I knew most internship positions were unavailable for the Fall, so I looked for internship positions in Spring – one of them being ABT’s Education and Training internship with the JKO School. Just when I thought I would have to wait an entire semester to even apply for the position, I received an email by Rebecca Schwartz (Director, ABT JKO School) offering me a positon for the Trainings Programs Internship for the fall semester. Delighted and beyond excited, I said yes.

Before I knew it, it was already September and my internship began. Interning with the JKO school gave me the opportunity to acquire office literacy skills, hands on experience/interactions with students, parents, and working professionals. It has taught me how to handle and manage situations with the most efficient solutions possible. My colleagues, Rebecca, Katie F., Katie C., and Leann of the JKO School took the time to teach me the ins and outs of what it takes to run a school within a world-wide known company like ABT.

Attending events like ABT’s 2016 Fall Gala at Lincoln Center or Sacks Fifth Avenue-Land of 1000 Delights, while working behind the scenes is an experience of a life-time. Knowing I was part of a team that was working towards making a high-volume event come together for the company, the students, their parents, and guest audiences to enjoy, brought me self-satisfaction and honor. I got to see working professional artists like Misty Copeland or Gillian Murphy outside of the stage in their morning company class or backstage at Lincoln Center, securing their ribbons just before going on stage; I felt like a little kid in a candy store. Inside the ABT studios, I was surrounded with warm-smiling children, older students, and teaching artists every day. Both the students and teachers were dedicated to each other in providing exquisite training and commitment to their progression in their training.

Four months later, walking away from my internship, I realized it was a dream come true. I could never fully put into words how grateful I am to have had the opportunity to intern for ABT or how much more I have learned about myself and professionally. The skills that I have acquired will stick with me for a life-time and I will be applying them throughout my career within the performing arts.

Elizabeth Juarez

Education and Training Intern

Fall 2016

When Two Worlds Collide

22 Aug
As artists, we may have different backgrounds and different skill sets but we all have one common goal; expressing our passion.  I come from a musical background and though I wasn’t so familiar with the dance world, I was eager to learn more and fully immerse myself in it during the course of the summer at ABT.
The most rewarding part of any job is not only working hard to make a project come to life but also to see the final result unfold.  Throughout the summer, I would sit in the office processing files for the upcoming JKO School year and occasionally I would hear faint excerpts of Brahms Symphony No.3, Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet playing throughout the day.   I would leave 890 Broadway humming the tunes all the way to the subway after hearing these classical works on repeat the whole day.  It was really awesome to hear melodies I’ve performed in orchestras and see them put to dance.  I would be fortunate enough to even see some of the rehearsals from time to time in passing when I was organizing JKO School uniforms in the green room and was blown away by the hard work these young dancers were doing.  Though I am not a dancer,  I trained equally as hard when I was in a preparatory program for music and could easily relate to their vigorous days of rehearsals.
Days before the end of my internship, I was asked to help work the boutique for the Summer Intensive final performances held at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts.  As I walked in my checkered rain boots to the water-speckled glass building,  I was secretly  hoping that I would be able to watch some of the final performance in addition to helping run the boutique. After the first round of boutique sales, I snuck into the dark theater just in time for the second dance.

The performance was like putting pieces of a puzzle together to make one final, beautiful image. I was able to hear the familiar classical pieces that I had been whistling for weeks played from start to finish, I saw the completed choreography instead of bits and pieces of a rehearsal in passing to the green room, the costumes added the visual elegance and the young dancers who performed completed the picture.  As a soloist would nail their routine, I could see them go back into the wings of the stage as their fellow dancers would high five their colleagues for a routine well done.  I was so impressed with the young talent I had just witnessed, but I was also reminded that the art that I create through music is exactly the same.  As a violist, I have to take pieces to the puzzle and put them together to create the final image I am trying to convey to my audience.

In order to perfect an art form, whether it be music or dance, the hard work, sacrifice, dedication and a sense of community are the necessary ingredients to convey passion in art.  That day forward, my appreciation for dance and dance education grew enormously and I am so thankful to have been given the opportunity to witness such amazing talent this summer.
Aline Vartanian
Training Programs Intern
Summer 2016

Project Plíe Bridge Class

21 Jun

 

As an intern with the Project Plié initiative I have had the opportunity to experience a lot of different aspects of the education department. One experience that I would like to talk more about is my interaction with the Bridge Class.

The JKO School Children’s Division Bridge Class is an important component of Project Plié. Around 20 boys and girls from all over NYC auditioned at the start of the school year to become part of the inaugural class. They come to ABT every Monday evening to take class, in addition to the classes they take at their existing studios or schools. I think the Bridge Class is a huge component of the Project Plié initiative because these children are the future of ballet in America.

Knowing that the work I was able to do was helpful and supportive was really rewarding because it is so clear how much these kids enjoy ballet. I was able to work on information handouts about the class and help with events for them a lot this semester and that was really a treat. I wish all the best to the children of the Bridge Class because I know they will go far!

Trecia Smith
Training Programs Intern
Spring 2016