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.
Christian is the primary PAA contact for all participants once they have applied to their programs. He processes applications, conducts applicant interviews, communicates with overseas partners regarding acceptance decisions, orchestrates all pre-departure preparation, supports participants while they are on their programs, and oversees re-entry counseling as he ushers them into joining the ranks of our fabulous PAA alumni.
Christian has been a musician for most of his life. He began performing at a young age on the trumpet in his school’s concert and jazz bands, as well as playing bass guitar in various bands throughout high school and college. Most recently, he has taken up the drums, collaborating with a longtime friend on different projects. His travels have taken him to almost all of the Caribbean, various countries in Europe, and Lyon, France where he lived for three months. His favorite city so far has been Budapest, Hungary, and his favorite experiences were scootering around the countryside in France, and exploring the neighborhoods in Port-au-Prince.
Erin advises everyone who expresses interest in PAA’s programs. She responds to e-mails, answers questions submitted in online forms, makes and receives phone calls about our programs, and communicates with those who begin an application.
Erin Hardee Patterson earned a Bachelor’s of Music in Music Therapy at Berklee College of Music, and her Master’s in Music Therapy from Florida State University. Her professional adventures as a cellist, singer songwriter, board-certified music therapist, event coordinator, admissions professional, project manager, and newly trained birth doula have helped her to live all over the United States – from her home state of Virginia, to New Orleans and Maine, to Tallahassee and Vegas (to name just a few!). In addition to her US travels, a ferocious case of wanderlust inspired Erin to travel to The Netherlands, Canada, Germany, France, and Belgium. (The wanderlust is no joke – this bio was written on a plane!). She enjoys practicing her conversational French and American Sign Language, and has aspirations of one day carrying on conversations in Spanish (hopefully on a beautiful balcony in Spain). Erin is a new transplant to the Northampton, MA area with her firefighter/paramedic spouse Max, their dog Eleanor, and 3 very fat house cats. She is passionate about tiny humans, music, yoga, beautiful bodies of water, succulents, two steppin’, empowering families to have joyous, satisfying births, and being a smiley muppet.
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.
“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.”
From the blog
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|Session||Application Deadline||Start Date||End Date|
|Session 4: Six weeks||Feb 02 2018||Apr 03 2018||May 12 2018|
|Session 4: Eight weeks||Feb 02 2018||Apr 03 2018||May 26 2018|
|Session 4: Ten weeks||Feb 02 2018||Apr 03 2018||Jun 09 2018|
|Session 4: Twelve weeks||Feb 02 2018||Apr 03 2018||Jun 23 2018|
Important Spring 2018 Dates
|Session||Application Deadline||Start Date||End Date|
|Session 1: Six weeks||Mar 07 2018||May 07 2018||Jun 16 2018|
|Session 1: Eight weeks||Mar 07 2018||May 07 2018||Jun 30 2018|
|Session 1: Ten weeks||Mar 07 2018||May 07 2018||Jul 14 2018|
|Session 1: Twelve weeks||Mar 07 2018||May 07 2018||Jul 28 2018|
|Session 2: Six weeks||Mar 21 2018||May 21 2018||Jun 30 2018|
|Session 2: Eight weeks||Mar 21 2018||May 21 2018||Jul 14 2018|
|Session 2: Ten weeks||Mar 21 2018||May 21 2018||Jul 28 2018|
|Session 3: Six weeks||Apr 04 2018||Jun 04 2018||Jul 14 2018|
|Session 3: Eight weeks||Apr 04 2018||Jun 04 2018||Jul 28 2018|
|Session 4: Six weeks||Apr 18 2018||Jun 18 2018||Jul 28 2018|
Important Summer 2018 Dates
|Description||Apartment||Homestay||Arrange Your Own Housing|
Apply today — How the process works
Submit a simple online application
Schedule a live video interview with a Program Coordinator
Upload program specific materials to an online portal
Receive your aceptance decision and begin your journey!
How the process works
To apply, click the “Apply Now” button on this page. You will fill out a simple initial application online and pay a deposit that is refundable if you are not accepted. Otherwise, this deposit will be applied toward your overall program cost (not an additional fee). We will review your initial application and contact you within a few days to let you know if we are inviting you to the final step. At that point, we will open an online portal for you and ask you to upload the following materials:
- Your resume/CV
- A cover letter
- An audition video
- A Spanish language level self assessment
- Your availability in U.S. Eastern Time for a 30 minute video interview with your Program Coordinator. During this call, you will schedule a second Skype interview with our Internship Placement Team in Barcelona. You should receive an acceptance decision within two weeks of completing your application.
Dance Audition video
Your dance audition video should highlight the dance style you do best, and should be a high quality video with a strong opening. For contemporary dance, you should performing at least six dance sequences showing: floor work, traveling and use of space, turning, balances, and jumps. Videos with other dancers are fine, as long as you clearly identify yourself. We prefer videos to be uploaded to an online platform such as YouTube to allow us to easily share with the dance studio supervisors.Request Information
Participants must be 18 or over the day they begin the program.
GPA / Student Status
There is no GPA requirement for this program, students and non-students are welcome to apply.
There is no Spanish language requirement for this program, although proficiency in Spanish will open up more internship placement possibilities. All interns will receive one-on-one Spanish language instruction included in the program, and for those already proficient in Spanish, a Catalan option is offered. Although it is not required, a basic understanding of Spanish before beginning your program will improve your experience and the impact you are able to have at your placement. Your Program Coordinator will help you identify language learning resources upon your acceptance to the program.
We give preference to applicants with at least one year of dance experience, and for many placements a higher level is required. An audition video showing your current skill level is required, and will be requested if you are invited to the final application stage. For videos, we recommend highlighting the style you do best and choosing a high quality video with a strong opening.
We are looking for open-minded, flexible applicants who can clearly convey their passion for dance and an acute interest in international travel and exposure to new ideas.