A Crossroads of Dance and Design: My Internship at The Rock School

Hi everyone, my name is Sophia Comport and I’m a junior advertising major in the art direction concentration at Temple. I have been working at my internship at The Rock School for Dance here in Philly since September of last year, but I got a more consistent weekly schedule this semester. The Rock School is a pre-professional level ballet school that I was a student at for 14 years and have since graduated from, so it was nostalgic yet new for me to come back as an intern to work on their marketing team. My internship has been hybrid starting this year, with remote hours 3 days a week and in-person hours on Fridays. 

I was familiar with the school and a lot of the staff already, but this was my first time being an intern, so being in the offices instead of the dance studios was like a whole new world. Since my supervisor knew I was focusing in art direction, he put me in the care of our lead photographer and designer, Cat. She used to take photos of me when I was a student! She worked with my artistic skill set and assigned me projects that both suited and challenged my skills. My work has involved making promotional materials like flyers, posters, brochures, various graphics, and even logo designs to advertise the dance programs and upcoming events put together by the school. 

However, since I was one of the only interns in the marketing department, I also often had to wear multiple hats and take on whatever marketing tasks needed to get done. This meant that I also got to create social media posts, design website graphics, make GIFs, write copy, and do anything else they thought I could do. While graphic design is my strong suit, this setup pushed me to gain knowledge outside of my specific area of study and challenged me to become more well-rounded with everything advertising involves. One of my favorite projects I’ve taken on so far was when I designed the logo for Rock’s 2023 summer ballet intensive where I made the word “Rock” look like the iconic Love Park sign. 

I am a dance minor and a member of Reflections Dance Company here at Temple, so dance is still very close to my heart and one of my main interests aside from art direction. This internship has allowed me to combine my love for both dance and design. I often get to pick out ballet photos for projects or social media, and it helps that I know what good poses and shots should look like already. Ever since I started at Temple, I’ve wanted to integrate my past dance background into my advertising work somehow, so this internship was the perfect first opportunity to use my dance and design knowledge at the same time. 

Looking back on my time at The Rock School, one of the biggest things I’ve learned is to both ask plenty of questions and also to trust your vision when working independently. I would often get assigned tasks to do on my own and would get worried if I wasn’t getting a lot of feedback immediately since I’m used to getting crits from professors. It helped me to find a balance between asking questions to make sure my work was going in the right direction or to clear up any confusion, but also trusting in my knowledge and going for it when it came to artistic choices. This way, I was able to contribute useful creative assets to the school as well as get a valuable learning experience on my end. 

(Picture is me when I was a student at The Rock School!)

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