I was in the midst of my gap year when I found myself running out of work and out of things to do. When I started searching for more jobs or travel opportunities, one option stood out to me – interning at TLFCB. I’ve been doing ballet since I was about 5 years old when I joined pre-primary ballet with the foundation. Needless to say, ballet has been a large part of my life for a very long time. One of the reasons I took my gap year was so that I could do my Grade 5 ISTD Imperial Classical Ballet exam!
It seemed fitting to give back to the place that shaped so much of my life and the kind of person I am today. I applied and was accepted for the internship in social media & marketing, and after six months of it, here’s what I’ve learnt from interning at TLFCB:
This one is a no-brainer. Though I’d done internships and volunteer work before, interning here was the closest thing to working in the real world I’ve experienced. One of the main differences between TLFCB and other companies and organisations I’ve worked with before is that from day one, the work that I was doing wasn’t just simple tasks that no one else wanted to do or shadow work – I was given actual tasks with actual deadlines. I quickly learnt that I had to develop my own systems of organising and planning everything out to make things easier for me, and for the team around me.
Before accepting this internship, the only experience I’d had with social media was that I was on the other side of it as a user of Instagram and Facebook. And although this threw me off at first, I found my way through trial and error, and through asking a whole lot of questions I’d never thought about before – what time should this post go out; how often should we be posting; how do we change up our content? I learnt a new kind of independence because I had to stand on my own two feet, but at the same time, the rest of the team was there to support me through everything I did, every question I had, and every request I made.
I Learnt More About Ballet
Having done ballet for so long, and having seen a few ballet performances here and there, I thought I had a pretty expansive knowledge of the ballet world. I was so wrong. There were so many artists, companies and ballets I’d never heard of! Interning at TLFCB exposed me to the diverse and creative world of ballet that ranged far wider than I thought. Not only did I learn about new and upcoming dancers, or all the different kinds of ballet, or an intricate history into each ballet, I also learnt so much more about technique. I learned about why Miss Yana gives us all the corrections she does, or how every correction, even the little ones like placing your lambswool in your pointe shoe correctly, makes a difference.
I Got Closer To The Teachers & The Office Staff
Before this internship, I didn’t know anything about anyone in the office except their names and who I had to pay my fees to! I’ll admit I didn’t even know much about my teachers even though they’d been teaching me for years. When I wrote my article about The Women Behind TLFCB is when I first saw a new side to everyone. I saw ambitions in everyone and learnt fun facts about everyone that I probably never would’ve known otherwise.
I also gained a new appreciation for the teachers (and started to wonder how they appear happy and energetic and ready to teach through every single class). From having Mala affectionately ask me every day whether I’d eaten my lunch, to sharing silly moments with Miss Elina after a long day of teaching, I’m glad I got to know a little bit more about the hardworking team behind TLFCB. And of course, an obvious highlight is having Jasper and Skye around the office too!
I Started Thinking Differently & Creatively
One of the challenges I was facing at first was how to change up the content that we put out on social media. How do we make it different and interesting to even those who aren’t obsessed with all things ballet? It taught me to start thinking more creatively; to start exploring all the different possibilities of themes or certain edits or even the angles we were taking photos from. It also taught me to draw inspiration for content from anywhere and everywhere!
As part of the internship, I had the opportunity to try out DanceFit as well as Yoga – two classes that I probably never would’ve tried otherwise, to be honest. Having tried both, it made me realise how much strength I actually lacked! It made me realise how much better my ballet could get and how much better of a dancer I can become.
Now in my last month of interning here, though I’ll be sad to leave the office, I’m glad I learnt everything I did while I was here. I got to see a new side to the foundation that made my experience in the studio that much more wholesome. It also gave me the opportunities to be a better worker, a better dancer, and a better person. I feel like this internship got me out of my shell a bit more, and by extension made me more confident to go to college and to face any forthcoming challenge.