Bón Día from Barcelona! My name is Allyson and I am a dance intern in Barcelona, Spain with Performing Arts Abroad. It has been an incredible three weeks since arriving here. As usual when traveling, I started with the best of intentions to write every week,…
Spend six weeks or longer interning with a dance studio in the heart of Barcelona for at least 20 hours per week. We arrange your housing in a centrally located apartment or homestay with other program participants, or you can arrange your own housing if you’re a confident and experienced traveler. You will join fellow interns for excursions and activities such as Catalan cooking classes, salsa classes, attendance at performances, a visit to the Dali museum, and more, all included in the cost of the program. There will be plenty of time for independent travel on weekends, which we are happy to help you arrange.
We work with a wide variety of dance organizations, and handpick each specific placement based on your interests as captured in your application through your resume, cover letter, and a Skype interview with our on-site internship placement team. Common options include training in the studio’s professional level classes, assisting with teaching courses for young dancers, and / or contributing to marketing efforts and administrative tasks. Performing Arts Abroad offers an internship capstone where we will fund you up to $100 to pursue a final project of your design.
For more specific information about our placements and a typical day on this program, please see the “A Day in the Life” tab.
“My experience doing a Performing Arts Abroad dance internship in Barcelona, Spain was unforgettable. Through my internship placement at a local dance studio, I gained valuable teaching experience in a second language, built strong local connections, and took classes from a wide variety of professional instructors. Doing a homestay gave me a deeper immersion into the local culture and language. My Spanish improved immensely, and I even learned some Català! I had a lot of free time to explore the city of Barcelona, as well as make a trip to Morocco. Barcelona is an incredible city, that offers something for everyone. Fascinating museums, gorgeous architecture, vibrant arts and culture, narrow streets that are always alive, an excellent public transportation system that gives you free reign to explore the entire city, and of course, the beach. It is a magical place to be in the summer. I strongly recommend the Performing Arts Abroad program in Barcelona!”
Performing Arts Points of Interest
Studio Isadora is a federated school of dance that offers classes in types of dance ranging from jazz to ballet to African dance styles. The studio also offers musical theatre courses.
Mercat De Les Flors
Mercat De Les Flors, established in 1983, features experimental and contemporary dance productions by both Catalan and international companies. Each show offers something new or provocative, including contact improvisations, creative projections, concerts played with unusual instruments such as kitchen utensils and hair driers, and much more. El Mercat de les Flors opened in 1983 and occupies a spectacular and unusual building constructed for Barcelona s International Exposition in 1929. For many decades it hosted a flower market (“mercat de les flors,” in Catalan).
PAA Home Base
Our office is located in the heart of the city, near Plaça Catalunya, and our team includes Spaniards, Catalans and international staff who are all passionate and knowledgeable about international education and life in Barcelona. Our office is a place you can come to talk with staff, hang out in the student and intern lounge, or print any needed documents. We are available to you at the office during work hours (9:00am-6:00pm M-Th, and 9:00am-5:00pm on Fridays), and via emergency phone 24 hours per day.
About the Location
Barcelona offers a diverse array of dance organizations, including studios, festivals, schools, and production houses. You won’t be short on inspiration in this beautiful city, with unique Spanish and Catalan architecture, sidewalk cafes, and delicious paella. Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, which has its own culture and language, giving the city a unique vibrancy.
In addition to the abundance of year-round festivals, you can also see lively international and local performances full of bright colors and interesting characters, and Barcelona’s dance scene offers everything from classical ballet to Flamenco. Art museums abound throughout the city, paying tribute to Picasso’s legacy as well as showcasing contemporary stars. Also prevalent is the architecture of Antoni Gaudi and the art of Salvador Dali.
Just outside Barcelona, you’ll find beaches and mountain ranges that make the region worth exploring. Beyond that, the city is only hours by plane to destinations such as Paris, Rome, and Berlin.
You will be living in an apartment or a homestay. All rooms are shared with other participants, although single rooms are available at an extra cost (see Cost & Dates page for more details).
In the apartment, you will live with interns and students from the program, coming from the United States and other parts of the world. If you choose this option you will build relationships with other participants and young professionals, and have independence when it comes to meals and laundry. Meals are not included, but a full kitchen and laundry facilities are available for you to use. We cannot guarantee the age, gender, or area of study of other residents sharing the apartment (bedrooms will only be shared by members of the same sex). However, you will be able to request your housing preferences and are highly likely to get your requested selection. In addition, if you know another program participant in Barcelona, you can request to be placed in the same apartment.
Homestays offer the opportunity to experience complete immersion in the culture and languages of Barcelona. If you choose this option you will receive breakfast and dinner each day and will be able to come and go as you please. You will live with a Barcelona family, married couple, or resident who lives alone. Because of meal inclusion, the program price for the homestay is higher than if you choose to live in an apartment. Living in a home stay is a great way to see life for a standard Barcelona citizen, and to have a day-to-day cultural interaction and language practice.
For participants with existing housing in Barcelona (family or friends residing in the city), please see the “Independent Housing” column on the Cost & Dates section below for the cost of the program with no housing included.
You will share your apartment or homestay with other interns and study abroad students. Upon acceptance, you will choose between a shared room (shared with one to three other program participants), or a private room. There are rarely more than six flatmates sharing the apartment or homestay.
Interns of all ages and experience levels participate in this program and we have arranged some exciting placements for high-level professionals, but the most common demographics are college students (undergraduate and graduate), and recent college graduates. In the fall and spring, PAA usually has 5-10 interns onsite at one time who join with a dozen or so interns from our partner study abroad companies, while the summer brings over a dozen PAA interns joining over a hundred other interns.
A Day in the Life
The Participant Experience
Past Performing Arts Abroad dance interns in Barcelona have interned at a variety of dance organizations, including professional studios, education and outreach programs, festivals, and schools. Below is a list of tasks completed by past interns:
- Training in professional dance classes, especially in jazz, modern, contemporary, ballet, hip hop, and lindy hop
- Performing in the internationally acclaimed Grec Festival
- Assisting with teaching courses to young dancers
- Designing and implementing outreach programs to educate the local community about the importance of dance
- Managing social media channels
- Promoting upcoming performances by visiting potential donors and delivering promotional materials
- Working the front desk of a dance studio
- Creating a promotional film about the operations of a dance organization
On this dance internship abroad program, you will book a flight landing at Barcelona’s El Prat Airport (BCN) before noon on your arrival day. At the airport, members of our staff will greet you and other participants beginning the same day at a coffee shop in the arrivals area. Once everyone has arrived, we will take you to your accommodations to settle in and unpack. Later that afternoon, you will attend an orientation and welcome meal where details about your program and the city of Barcelona will be discussed in depth. During your first two days, you will be invited to neighborhood walking tours to get to know the diverse areas of the city. The first day at your internship is usually your second or third day on the program, and a member of our staff will accompany you to make introductions and be sure you know how to travel to your placement on your own. On the first day at your internship, you will finalize your schedule with your placement supervisor, which will be at least 20 hours per week.
A Typical Day
For the rest of your program, you will travel to your placement independently at the times agreed upon with your supervisor. During the second week of the program, you will begin one-on-one Spanish classes that will be arranged with a private tutor based on your specific internship schedule. For 6-week programs, this will be 5 hours of contact time over one week. For 8, 10, and 12-week programs, this will be 10 hours of contact time over two weeks.
During your time outside the internship placement, you are completely independent to explore the city and surrounding areas and countries at your leisure. We provide free weekly cultural activities and regular excursions that include dance performances, which we highly recommend you attend! We also send a weekly “cultural agenda” highlighting exciting festivals and other events happening around Barcelona. Our staff are available during working hours to help with your independent travel plans or address any issues you may face, and are available 24 hours via an emergency phone for serious emergencies.
This is a customized dance internship abroad. We work with several dance organizations in Barcelona, and you will be placed based on your interests and background. When you apply, we will conduct a Skype interview with you in which you will describe what you are interested in and NOT interested in during your internship. We will then use that information to make our acceptance decision and place you with the company that best fits your goals and interests.
Many of our dance internship placements are at professional studios that also offer classes for younger dancers. These placements often include the following components, and each dancer balances these three aspects based on his/her background and interests:
ADMINISTRATION: Assisting a dance organization with the day to day tasks of running the business, promoting the company to the English-speaking world, managing social media and helping with marketing efforts, recruiting audience members for upcoming shows, sitting at the front desk to assist customers when they walk in, etc.
TEACHING: Assisting instructors at the studio with choreography, teaching routines, managing the class, and sometimes teaching your own class (depending on your dance level and Spanish/Catalan fluency). You may also assist with dance camps, especially during the summer months.
TRAINING: Taking professional level dance classes at your studio, with the possibility of joining a dance company for performances depending on your level and the time of year.
Founder and Executive Director
Reynolds graduated summa cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis in 2008 with a degree in Theater and African and African American Studies. For an honors thesis Reynolds filmed, edited, and produced a full-length documentary in Kenya with Haba na Haba, a group using performance for education and social change in the slums of Nairobi. This project earned him the Forum on Education Abroad Undergraduate Research Award. A year later, Reynolds organized a trip to bring Haba na Haba to the United States for a tour of St. Louis and Washington University. Immediately after graduation, Reynolds worked in Rwanda as a filmmaker for Millennium Congregations, an interfaith organization connecting communities of faith in the United States with development projects in Rwanda’s Bugesera District. Reynolds then served two years with Teach for America, teaching in the South Bronx and receiving a Masters Degree in Education from Hunter College. He completed a second graduate degree in African Studies from Indiana University in Bloomington, and his Masters thesis focused on the impact of donors on the creative process of Theatre for Development (TfD) groups in Kenya.
Reynolds has traveled extensively in Africa, spending time in Ghana, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He also studied acting, voice, and movement at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. Reynolds is a two-time Rhodes Scholarship finalist, the inaugural recipient of the Dred and Harriet Scott Award for the Advancement of Human Rights, and the winner of two research fellowships. He was also a Dialogue Fellow for the Xenia Institute, has twice served as the co-director for the Roosevelt Institution’s International Diplomacy Center (Washington University branch), and was president of the Graduate Students of African Studies (GSAS) at Indiana University.
Reynolds lives in Northampton, MA with his wife Julia who is a professional costume designer and his daughter Lily who is a cute baby. In his free time Reynolds likes to play his guitar, go hiking, act in local productions, hit the karaoke bars, sing with his dog Captain (the best doggy singer in the universe), and play various yard games such as KanJam, cornhole, “cups”, and Kubb.
Spain Site Director
Rich supports all participants on our Spain programs. He oversees a team that coordinates airport pickup, arranges housing, leads cultural excursions, facilitates internship placements, and manages the 24-hour onsite emergency phone.
Rich Kurtzman has been living in and loving Barcelona since 2002. Originally from Chicago, Rich took his passion for Spanish language, study abroad and all things Spain to Barcelona to work with students and hasn’t looked back since.
Rich studied abroad twice in college – in St. Petersburg, Russia and Madrid, Spain – and participated in an internship in a study abroad office in Milan. He has a variety of experience working in international education from advising students in the U.S. to teaching Spanish Culture and Intercultural Communication courses, to Director of his own organization.
While he does not have much Performing Arts experience (unless you consider playing the Rabbi in his high school production of Fiddler on the Roof, or a couple years in show choir), Rich has a huge admiration for the Arts and loves working with the students in Barcelona whether they are on stage, behind the scenes, singing, dancing or similar.
He looks forward to working with all the future Performing Arts Abroad participants who plan to come to Barcelona and following in the footsteps of other Barcelona alumni who have been able to do solo performances, and worked to make productions big and small come to life.
Spain Internship Placement Coordinator
Roser arranges internships on our program in Barcelona. She matches our interns with performing arts organizations based on their profiles and interviews, works with the placement companies to create training plans and tasks for the internships, identifies new dance studios, theaters, music schools, film companies, and other potential internship placements, coordinates performing arts-focused excursions during the program, and acts as the main point of contact for interns during their time in Barcelona.
Currently based in Barcelona, Roser was born in Torroella de Montgrí (Costa Brava) but moved to Barcelona with her family when she was 8 years-old.
She finished her performing arts studies in Drama in 2003 and worked as an actress in TV and Cinema and also did some modelling for advertisings. She was also part of an amateur theatre company until 2009. After that, she developed her second career as a Health & Safety technician and moved to Andorra and then Bolivia, where she had the chance to experience a different culture and worked alongside an international team (Bolivian, Spanish, French, Austrian and Swiss). She moved back to Barcelona in 2016 and started to work in Study & Internship Abroad Programs, focused in the Performing Arts fields. She is currently pursuing a postgraduate degree in Cultural Management and taking classes in Cabaret and Modern Method Acting.
Roser’s passions include anything to do with the performing arts, and also enjoys traveling, hiking, reading and, above all, meeting new people.
“I couldn’t be happier with my experiences! They challenged me to learn more about the professional dance world in Barcelona as well as more about the culture of the city and the region. I was also able to learn more about how I work and how I handle a new culture. I was able to accomplish what I wanted in this internship, which I later realized is what I needed for my own personal growth at that time.”
I really loved this program! The staff was great. I would definitely go for a homestay the whole time, next time. I loved getting acquainted with the culture and practicing my castellano everyday. I made many friends and got to see a lot of Europe!
“I love my internship and I love Barcelona. People are so kind and friendly. I am having the best time attending crazy productions and workshops. It has been a magical experience.”
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How it Works
The information on this page provides details for a sample group program. Note that every group is different, and we will work with you to cater the experience to your group. To connect with us and begin organizing a program for your group, please follow the “Get Started’ button below and submit an initial questionnaire. We will then contact you to set up a discovery call where we can go into more detail about your group’s needs and what we can offer.