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”
Art is constantly evolving.
As a pioneer in the world of dance, Isadora Duncan lived by these words. In a time where dance’s artistic formula was exclusively dictated by ballet, Duncan desired change through progress, inhibition and freedom of movement. In a famous speech presented in 1903, she outlined her vision for a new type of dancer:
“The dancer of the future will be one whose body and soul have grown so harmoniously together that the natural language of that soul will have become the movement of the body,” she said. “This is the mission of the dancer of the future.”
The dancer of the future flowed into the present as Duncan kickstarted the dance revolution by creating the first ever school for modern dance. In Duncan’s school, dance became a place to explore natural movement and free ideas. Dance as a sacred art form began to take shape. Choreographers such as Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, and Katherine Dunham continued the rise of modern dance by continually changing the way dance related with music, movement, and style. By the 1950s, contemporary dance became commonplace in the dance world; now it is a fixture.
Like the dance world, figure skating is in continual anticipation for the “skater of the future.” With every passing generation not only are the physical boundaries of figure skating constantly being pushed, but its essential core as an artistic form of expression is viewed in a new light. Just as Isadora Duncan started a dance revolution almost 100 years ago, pioneers for a skating revolution are bringing artistry back to the forefront once again. The skater of the future is in the midst of its unveiling.