Settling Into My Internship Position

This blog is a reflection from our Dance Daze® in Schools Chan Fellow, Aiyu Li. She is an exchange student from China, and is spending this semester studying abroad in the United States, taking classes at UC Berkeley, and is a development and teaching intern for Dance Daze® in Schools. She wrote this post on Friday, October 12, 2012. You may learn more about Aiyu Li and her fellowship program here:

I have been working for Dance Daze as an intern for almost two months. When my Chan Fellow Supervisor at UC Berkeley told me I would work for a new organization, I felt a little bit afraid and disappointed. I expected that I would work for a mature and developed organization, and I would learn by observing and following. When I accepted this position with Dance Daze, a new organization, I realized my job would require me to be creative. I saw the following pictures which inspired me a lot.

  Maybe for observing and following, we can just do one part of the circle, but if we want to be creative, we must complete the entire circle, which is the more difficult process.

Back when I first began this internship, I am was not sure that sure I could accomplish all I wanted to at this job, but I wanted to try my best. My first project was to help coordinate a dance-a-thon fundraising event. What’s more, I wanted to make it more like a carnival, incorporate TED Talks, and invite other dance organizations to participate. I feel that Dance Daze should gather more and more people, no matter if they are volunteers, teachers, or partnering organizations. Therefore, I am currently working on recruiting individuals to become involved with Dance Daze.

My second project was to interview key staff at local nonprofit organizations to foster relationships and gain a deeper understanding of nonprofit organizations in the United States. I have already interviewed three organizations and I am working on conducting more interviews. Personally, I enjoy the interviews because they are a friendly and practical way to help me understand the situation of nonprofits and educational organizations in the Bay Area. I also appreciate the opportunity to make new friends and have conversations with interesting people whom I may have not otherwise met, outside of these interviews.

My first interview with Leah Curran, Administrative Manager of the Oakland Ballet Company. In this first interview, Leah Curran’s kindness made me feel more self-confident to explore. Learning about how the Oakland Ballet Company provides basic dance workshops truly inspired me. In my opinion, the public sometimes has a misunderstanding of dancers. People think dance is not as important as other jobs. We should work to teach people the significance of the art of dance. I wish I could do more and explore more in this period of time.

To be continued next week . . . .
Aiyu Li


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