Why Take an AIT ‘Mini-course’?

my-floor-barre-pics-300x300The 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 attdance@gmail.com for further questions. Happy New Year!

 

 

Why Skating Needs to Keep Dancing

 

©GraceWiley©AmericanIceTheatre221

Cast of Let’s Dance (all photos by Grace Wiley)

What happens when you get a room full of creatives in the skating world and tell them to put together a show all their own?

No, this time it’s not Strawberry Ice.

You get “Let’s Dance” – American Ice Theatre’s spring gala performance that occurred May 31 in Chicago. The show, produced by Jodi Porter, featured pieces choreographed by contestants from Audrey Weisiger’s Young Artists Showcase, as well as special guest stars like Jason Brown (maybe you’ve heard of him), Ryan Bradley, Rohene Ward, Ashley Clark and Lynn Kriengkrairut & Logan Guiletti-Schmitt.

photo by Grace E. Wiley

Jason Brown

It’s safe to say it was a success (just being a bit modest, here folks). To a packed house, the show presented styles of classical to contemporary, solos to large group ensemble pieces, laughs and cheers, heart-felt emotion, breath-taking stunts and beautiful choreography.

Most of all, the show brought together a group of people choosing to skate the way their heart tells them.

The voice of criticism grows louder in and out of skating circles about skating’s current state. After the uproar of Sochi’s controversies and debacles, there’s a broken record telling us that skating is becoming irrelevant. This show proves otherwise. Here are some of the most commonly heard slams against skating today and how the joined forces of AIT and YAS are helping change the conversation with a show like this one.

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Q&A with Lorna Brown

I had the pleasure of speaking with Lorna Brown over the phone and immediately it is imminent that the creativity inside of her pours into everything she does. Her passion for life is evident in her role as choreographer, activist, mentor, performer and artist. We welcome Lorna as the newest member of AIT’s Advisory Board and would love for you to get to know her a bit better.

GK: You are known for such original program concepts as a professional, but the one that stands out most is a piece you won with at the 1980  World Professional Championships. Tell me about the program and your inspiration behind it. 

LB: It was based upon the movie Jonathan Livingston Seagull (originally a fable written by Richard Bach). It was about a bird who didn’t fly with the rest of the flock. He transcended into other dimensions and was able to dive into the ocean. I could relate to that because I was always a bit different and didn’t follow the flock if you know what I mean. And so that really inspired me to make my program.

GK: You and John Curry have a long history together. Please share with me how you met and what your relationship was like. 

LB: John and I were like kindred spirits. We met in London from a young age and trained together at the Streatham Ice Arena in London. We would talk about the possibilities of doing an ice ballet featuring all kinds of dancing. We would improvise and play Romeo and Juliet on the ice.

Everything that John did, he did with finesse. He knew his music and dancing. He danced onstage with Anthony Dowell, one of the greatest dancers Britain’s ever had. He did so many different styles like contemporary, classical and folk. It was wonderful.

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