AIT’s Kate McSwain and Garrett Kling offered a full-day seminar to over 30 skaters in Fort Collins, CO this past October. The skaters spent time exploring new body movement on and off the ice through AIT’s curriculum. Take a look at some of the photos of the time below!
WHOA. What a weekend!
I can honestly say that this time together was one of the most enriching moments of my skating life. There is something sacred about 60 people coming together, letting down barriers and vulnerabilities, and sharing space in harmonious movement on our favorite medium — the ice. Continue reading
American Ice Theatre performed an emotional and poignant piece entitled “Doomed” at the 2018 U.S. Open in Orlando, FL May 23. Choreographed by Kate McSwain and performed by Katie Lynn King, Izzi Gorowsky, Amanda Evora, Emily Sanders, Katy Garrity, Carrigan Benoit, Sarah France and Victoria Craw.
The skaters learned this entire piece in 48 hours beforehand. They received high marks from the judges including a 10.0 from Paula Trujillo.
AIT is excited to congratulate 10 new Master Choreography Technique graduates over the 2016-17 season.
MCT is an advanced certified training program for coaches. It provides a deep learning experience in the process of TIME, SPACE, ENERGY, and FORM as it applies to the education of choreography. Whether you are developing high competitive or professional programs these techniques educate you in developing the ART of the sport. This program is intended for both the seasoned professionals and those looking to specialize in a career as a choreographer. Classes held on-line with lectures, demonstrations and choreography homework. Semester runs 18 weeks.
Attached below are the final video projects of each grauate. The fall 2016 MCT graduates include includes Su Jackson Wagner (Knoxville):
The first annual American Contemporary Skating Festival June 8-9 was a rousing success! If you missed out on the action, here are some pictures of the event:
Today we pay homage and remember a true legend in figure skating — Ricky Harris. She passed away at her home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico at the age of 95. She is referred to as “the mother of choreography education in figure skating” and is known for her work with skating stars such as Scott Hamilton, Michelle Kwan, Evan Lysacek, Tai Babilonia & Randy Gardner,
She mentored AIT Founder Jodi Porter and they developed a friendship that lasted more than 20 years all through Ricky’s final days. In 2013, AIT gave Harris a Lifetime Achievement Award for her pioneering efforts to revolutionize figure skating choreography to allow choreographers to be more recognizable, established and appreciated in the figure skating community. In 2013 she also received a Lifetime Achievement Award through the Professional Skaters Association and in 2014 she was inducted into the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame.
Thank you Ricky for your amazing career! Her legacy lives on through so many continuing on her methodology and passion.
Read AIT Founder Jodi Porter’s tribute to Ricky
Listen to an interview with Ricky by the Manleywoman SkateCast
Buy her book “Choreography and Style for Ice Skaters”
Buy her book “The Coach’s Manual on Choreography and Style for Skating”
American Ice Theatre Boston performed in the 2017 U.S. Open in Nashville, TN on May 23.
Performing to “Promise” by Ben Howard, the piece created by AIT Boston’s Kate McSwain explained the theme of the piece as “in life there are those moments where someone or something slips through your fingers. It can be sudden or it can be slowly over time, but it’s always painful. This piece explores that emotional journey.”
The ensemble includes (from left to right) Robert Mauti, Victoria Craw, Ashley Wyatt, Garrett Kling, McSwain (choreographer), Stephanie Chace Bass, Meg Lamarre, Sean Marshinski, Su Wagner-Jackson, Liz Schmidt.
Stay tuned for more photos and video of the event!
Boston —- American Ice Theatre (AIT), a contemporary ice dance company, is pleased to announce its first annual American Contemporary Skating Festival June 10-11. The event, held at the Veterans Memorial Ice Rink in Somerville, MA, will be a gathering place of over 40 professional skaters, coaches and choreographers passionate about expanding the art form of skating.
“This event is a platform for choreographers and skating artists to share their own philosophies and learn from their colleagues,” said Kate McSwain, AIT Boston Co-Director and event organizer. “We are creating an open space environment for all artists to have their voice heard.”
The new year is here! It’s a clean slate to stop procrastinating, get in better shape, and become the person you’ve always wanted to be!
Okay, all of those things we like to tell ourselves and then by mid-year we fall into a hole of self-pity because well, WE DIDN’T DO THEM.
But thankfully here at AIT, we’ve provided accessible ways to help those looking for improving their careers as a coach, teacher, choreographer and performer. The Ballet for Figure Skaters online mini-courses
provided by AIT are a wonderful way to do these things. Here are just a few reasons why you should take a course.
- Choose from an extensive variety of subjects. These include “Introduction to Ballet for Figure Skating”, “Introduction to Classical Ballet Pedagogy”, “Music Theory”, and “Choreography Basics”.
- Taught by a master teacher. Annette Thomas has dedicated her life to the art of dance, choreography and pedagogy and has a passion for combining those with figure skating. She is classically trained at Carnegie Hall and the San Juan Ballet Company and tea
ches ballet using the world-renowned Vaganova method.
- In-depth college level classes that don’t dent the budget like a typical university course.
- Individualized lessons in your own home at a time/day which is convenient for you. You set your own schedule with Annette and have the opportunity find the most comfortable place to take class over your own personal electronic device.
- Each mini-course earns AIT credits towards full “Ballet for Figure Skaters” teaching certification.
Check out this link for more information on finding the right class for you and how to sign up. You can email Annette at email@example.com for further questions. Happy New Year!
I like to think of ballet and figure skating as friends. In fact, I would even guess they’re related — so let’s say they’re cousins. I can see them both having a great time catching up over casserole at the family reunion potluck. They commiserate over grotesque growths on their heels and ankles, share a laugh while executing a perfect split, and can hum the tune of the Nutracker’s Pas De Deux by heart.
Both ballet and figure skating require immense body awareness, balance, muscle control and strength. Yet there are obvious differences — such as surface area, climate and bedazzling sequins — that glaringly separate the two worlds. Ballet has long been a highly favored off-ice conditioning tool for figure skaters, but I believe more and more coaches are favoring other conditioning methods over ballet such as plyometric training due to the higher technical demands of the sport.
Unfortunately this mentality is a terribly misguided choice as correct ballet teaching provides a skater with the correct body alignment, positioning and strength to lower the risk of injuries. Ballet provides the foundation of movement and trickles out to every part of skating whether it be the body alignment and quick snap for going into a double axel or interpreting a piece of choreography with full body movement.
This is why I am so thankful for Annette Thomas and what she is doing to bridge the gap between ballet and movement on the ice for figure skaters. A dancer and choreographer for over 30 years, she has dedicated the past 20-plus years to educate the figure skating community on the most effective ballet curriculum for figure skaters’ specific needs. Her new “Ballet for Figure Skaters” digital DVD puts the first level of her curriculum onto the screen for skaters all over the world to see. Continue reading