Summer Centered: Mary Cott ’21 Peeks Behind the Curtain
For the summer, dancer and New York City native Mary Cott ’21 is heading back home to trade her ballet barre for an administrator’s desk. As a Hurford Center-funded intern for both American Ballet Theatre (ABT) and Ballet Hispánico, she is learning what it means to do the behind-the-scenes legwork that allows dancers to do what they do best: dance.
“At ABT, I am a training programs intern with the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School,” said the comparative literature major. “At Ballet Hispánico, I am interning both in their Community Arts Partnership and marketing and communications departments.”
This suite of positions leaves Cott with a wide-ranging series of responsibilities: on any given day, she could be organizing the ABT’s master calendar, archiving photos and videos for Ballet Hispánico, operating a boutique for the National Training Curriculum teachers-in-training, preparing costumes for upcoming performances, or covering any other administrative duties. No matter what the task, Cott is happy to do it—but her favorite work comes when she is supporting young dancers.
As an education studies minor, Cott maintains a deep passion for working with children. While her work in education classes at Haverford has empowered her to explore this passion in more traditional ways, her self-designed summer internship is helping her understand the administrative side of education.
“My field placements for my education courses at Haverford have allowed me to explore various educational institutions, as well as observe and assist in elementary school classrooms,” said Cott. “Working in the education departments at Ballet Hispánico and ABT allows me to participate in another facet of the world of education while combining it with my love of dance.”
During the academic year, Cott can often be found doing similar types of administrative work for the Bi-Co student-run contemporary dance company Shift Dance Company, a group for which she both dances and serves as a board member. In her roles with Shift, though, she doesn’t frequently have the pleasure of uniting education with dancing—in her work this summer, however, she is simultaneously able to expand her experience in the administrative half of the dance industry while also being able to cultivate new understandings of how expansive the education world can be.
“I am excited to learn more about the administrative side of the dance world,” said Cott. “I’m interested in participating in another sector of the education world and mixing it with my love of dance by working at these institutions.”
“Summer Centered” is a series exploring our students’ Center-funded summer work.