Guest writer: Lindsey Hurst, Ben Stevenson Academy administrative associate
Approximately 200 students plus an estimated 200 classes a week. Five performances within two weeks, four of which occur over two days…they don’t call it an intensive for nothing.
Looking back on June 9th, just a week out from commencement of the Houston Ballet Ben Stevenson Academy’s 2008 Summer Intensive Program, the administrative staff felt as though we were standing among the foothills of Mount Everest staring at the summit. Registration forms, scheduling, arranging student visas for students from over 10 different countries…it is easy to say we had our work cut out for us.
Then June 16th arrives, and prepared or not, the train has left the station. HBBSA’s Summer Intensive Program is intense for everyone involved. Students, teachers, staff, and parents–everyone is involved in the process of taking these students from studio to stage. Students and teachers spend hours in the studio training, instructing, and perfecting their art. Parents provide their love, support, and of course pocket books. Meanwhile, the administrative staff handles the random and in between. Perhaps one day it is scheduling a doctor’s appointment or assisting the teachers with casting. The next day it could be dolling out lunches or setting up tables for a Career Studies class. Creating programs for performances, providing CD and DVD support for teachers, preparing journals for students can all be attributed to the work of the Academy’s administrative staff too. Amongst our more traditional duties of registering, managing, and scheduling the summer program, the administrative staff likes to think of ourselves as a bevy of renaissance women. Give us a task, and somehow, some way it will be accomplished!
Over the course of the summer program, the administrative staff faces trials and tribulations, toils and snares, but in the end it is never in vain. We may get tired, and cranky, and make a mistake here and there; but then again we’re human. More importantly, we all feel honored to be a part of something so big for so many students. For when the sixth week rolls around and we somehow put on four shows in two days, one can’t help but smile when watching the students do what the love…dance. To see the talent and ability of each student is a pleasure and delight. The administrative staff only hopes that each student’s experience during the summer is one they will enjoy and cherish for years to come. As the curtain comes down on the final performance, it resembles a tidy bow wrapping up the end of an exceptional experience.