Category Community Engagement

Hello! We are the CE interns. For last six weeks, we're been assisting the Joffrey Community Engagement Department. We're excited to share our experiences on the Joffrey's Behind the Scenes page and give you an insight into what it is like to be an intern. Please read on to learn more about our group: Oluwasemilore, Kayla, Samantha, Sandy, and Laura.  

SandyHello! My name is Sandy, I am a rising freshman at the University of Illinois at Chicago majoring in Earth and Environmental Science. I started in Joffrey Community Engagement as part of the After School Matters Dance Collective and Dance Exploration and because of those programs, I was given the opportunity to be an intern and assistant. I was first an intern with the Joffrey/CTA One Summer Chicago program. I was able to not only do the thing I loved, which was dance, but also get insight into what it takes to be a part of the CTA, and all the work they do to give back to the community. Not only that, but as a part of my graduation requirement for my high school, I was given the opportunity to go to an internship site on Fridays as a part of my school day. I chose Joffrey Community Engagement because I wanted to see what it was like to run a non- profit organization while also being able to connect with the arts. Finally, I became an assistant for the Bridge Phase II program. I helped assist with our bridge dancers ranging from ages 5-7 years old. I would help take attendance, prep the leotards and tights, and help assist the young dancers in class. What I am looking forward to the most this summer is preparing for the summer shows. Because of the pandemic, we haven’t been able to properly showcase our dances the last couple years. 

SamanthaHi there! My name is Samantha, and I'm in 11th grade at Amundsen High School. I have participated in one season of After School Matters with Joffrey and am now a Community Engagement intern. I have had an incredibly enjoyable experience with Joffrey. The community keeps a good atmosphere for people to have fun and learn new skills. During my internship, I am most excited for the experience and to develop more social skills. I am looking forward to gaining new knowledge and expanding my mindset. I have been dancing since I was little, so Joffrey has been an excellent source to stay active and improve my expertise in dance. I am a personal nail artist as well, so from my internship I hope to gain more professional and creative skills. 


Hi all! My name is KaylaKayla, I am a rising senior at Providence St. Mel High School. I was introduced to the Joffrey Dance Exploration Program through my school for a SOAL Program in my freshman year (Summer Opportunity of a Lifetime), and then through After School Matters. Overall, I have been a part of Joffrey for 3 years. Once I was accepted into the program, I knew that I would enjoy it because dancing is something that has been apart of my life since the age of 5; dance plays a major role in my life, as well as shapes my personality. I loved my instructors, Ms. Caitlyn, Ms. Linda, and Ms. Jay, for not only pushing me to be a stronger dancer, but for seeing the potential within me to go places beyond Joffrey. I also really enjoyed learning a combination of different styles of dance—although hip hop was my favorite style—which  enabled me to be more versatile as a dancer and step out of my comfort zone. As I move into being an intern and assistant, I hope to gain more insight on how dance companies are run behind the scenes, and to be open about learning new things from instructors and the students (one day I want to own my own dance company). Lastly, I am really excited about working with the students because it’s great to see others whose shoes I was once in at a young age, and who are very passionate about dance just as I was and still am! In addition, I want to be a good role model and mentor! 

LauraHi, my beautiful people, this is Laura; I am going into 11th grade at Amundsen High School. I enjoy the programs that the CE department has to offer. I first started with Joffrey through the MSDC (Middle School Dance Club) program where I found my love of dance and improved my dance technique. Because of my participation in this program, I was awarded a scholarship to the Extensions program, where I continued to improve my skills at Joffrey Tower. In High School I participated in the After Schools Matters program and the Exelon Strobel Dancers. These programs have helped me with my skills and to develop my own personality. Being a part of the CE department is an amazing experience because I was able to start dancing without having any background knowledge. From my internship I hope to figure out what I would like do in the future as a career. I also want to gain knowledge on what goes on behind the scenes of a nonprofit organization. 

RebeccaHi-ya! My name is Oluwasemilore and I am an 11th grader at Amundsen High School. I have participated in After School Matters Joffrey Dance Explorations for 5 seasons since Freshman year. I had the pleasure of working as an assistant for Joffrey last spring. As an assistant for the Joffrey ASM program, I learned the importance of emotional intelligence. I am not well inclined with handling others' emotions and being an assistant taught me to be aware of others’ emotions and manage conflicts. ASM Joffrey has become a space to release stress and frustration from my work and personal life. Joffrey became a safe space for me to express myself fully. As an intern, CE has given me many opportunities to see the world and how it operates. Through my internship, I hope to gain experience in how to lead correctly and empathize with others. I am most excited about field trips and continuing to write for this blog. This is going to be a fun experience for you as well as me. Adieu!