College of Mount Saint Vincent Internships Offer Unique Opportunities Outside the Classroom
Riverdale, N.Y. – Almost three years ago, the College of Mount Saint Vincent partnered with a dance company and a performing arts company. The two arts-in-residence organizations, through their arrangement with the College, provide an outlet for students to gain hands-on performance experiences outside the classroom. To make these experiences even more valuable, both groups offer through semester-long internships.
BalaSole Dance Company, a multi-genre and all-inclusive dance company, is the first hybrid dance organization in the United States solely dedicated to bridging gaps in the field of dance. BalaSole offers an environment for cross-pollination of styles, along with the only dance company showcase that provides artists with mentorship, artistic freedom, and an arena to express their own artistic voice. BalaSole has served as the resident dance company of the College of Mount Saint Vincent since 2012.
BalaSole’s executive and artistic director—and adjunct professor at the College—Roberto Villanueva, hired his first intern this semester. Lucila Rodriguez ’15 expressed interest in interning with BalaSole after taking Mr. Villanueva’s Contemporary Dance class. Working directly with Mr. Villanueva, Ms. Rodriguez is researching grants, creating and collecting content for marketing materials, promoting company events through social media, online, and in press listings, securing and supervising event volunteers, and reaching out to potential partners, donors, and sponsors.
“Through an internship with BalaSole, a Mount student gains a holistic understanding of how an organization functions and how to establish goals and deliverables,” said Mr. Villanueva. “Just as BalaSole bridges the gaps that exist in the field of dance, Ms. Rodriguez is able to also learn about the work of various areas within an organization.”
Mr. Villanueva is also the Director of Dance at the Mount, and is heavily involved in the recent launch of a new minor in dance, an 18-credit program designed to provide students with a strong foundation in dance techniques, history, composition, performance, and production. The program curriculum aligns with those offered by some of the best higher education institutions in the U.S.
“By offering a minor in dance, the College further broadens its students’ context of the world,” said Mr. Villanueva. “It provides an opportunity to go beyond what is taught inside the classroom, while also providing interdisciplinary skills that students can apply to their future careers.”
BalaSole offers many opportunities for students to get involved, and its performances are open to all. The next campus show, Bricolage, will be performed at the College’s Cahill Theater on Thursday, March 26. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show begins at 7 p.m. The performance is free for College of Mount Saint Vincent students, faculty, and staff with ID. Regular admission is $20, and tickets are discounted at $15 for students and seniors.
Red Monkey Theater Group, another in-residency arts organization at the College, is a non-profit performing arts company dedicated to enriching local communities through the cultivation, creation, and presentation of live theater. Company members have trained with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, the Moscow Arts Theater, Lincoln Center Theater, and other diverse institutions and programs. Red Monkey partnered with the College in 2012, and continues to provide access to live theater to students, faculty, and local audiences at the Cahill Theater.
Red Monkey’s managing director and internship coordinator, Holland Renton, recently welcomed intern Frank Angeles ’16. Mr. Angeles is enthusiastic about taking advantage of the educational and artistic opportunities offered through his internship with Red Monkey.
Tal Aviezer, artistic director of Red Monkey Theater Group, said, “Working in a theater equips a person with many skills applicable to a future career, even if that career ultimately is not in the performing arts. Those who intern for Red Monkey are provided with a valuable foundation—whether one is ultimately bound for a career in the arts, in a small business, or in a corporate or non-profit environment.”
Mr. Angeles works collaboratively with the Red Monkey’s professional team on many of their productions. He assists with auditions, works with assistant stage managers, researches and prepares content for the performance program, and is to implement a promotional plan for campus, among other responsibilities. The internship gives him many opportunities to enhance his organizational and logistical skills, project management, time management, customer relations, marketing and communication skills, team-building skills, and the all-important grace under pressure.
“An intern’s dedication and abilities directly correlate to the success of a production,” said Red Monkey’s Holland Renton. “Being part of a team that is successful in mounting a well-received production is the ultimate take away for the students who work alongside Red Monkey.”
All Red Monkey productions and programming are offered free for College of Mount Saint Vincent students, faculty, and staff with ID. For more information about Red Monkey Theater Group, please visit www.redmonkeytheater.org.
For more information about BalaSole Dance Company, please visit www.balasoledance.org. Purchase tickets for the upcoming performance online or please call SmartTix at (212) 868-4444.
About Outside the Classroom
The Outside the Classroom series is part of the College of Mount Saint Vincent’s National Measures of Quality (NMQ) initiative—a reliable, sensible model of assessment demonstrating the exceptional quality and authentic value of a Mount education, both within and beyond the classroom.
About the College of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the College of Mount Saint Vincent offers nationally recognized liberal arts education and a select array of professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Committed to the education of the whole person, and enriched by the unparalleled cultural, educational and career opportunities of New York City, the College equips students with the knowledge, skills and experiences necessary for lives of achievement, professional accomplishment and leadership in the 21st century.