Dance2Ice Barre: Moves in the Field

AIT is all about bringing dance to ice.

The Dance2Ice Barre class teaches the foundational tools needed to apply full body movement to figure skating maneuvers. Once a skater has gained proficiency executing skills in the basic two-dimensional realm (linear movement), D2I teaches how to engage the core while moving through three dimensional space (using all levels of the body).

By learning this skill set, a skater establishes an entirely new vocabulary of movement as they gain body awareness and increased mobility. This type of movement is especially important as skaters begin leveled step sequences where they must use full body movement to receive their desired level.

Alongside AIT’s D21 curriculum (promo vid here), another aspect of the program is taking Moves in the Field patterns and revolutionizing them by applying these newfound principles.

In a Level 1 demonstration video below, skaters use a preliminary MIF pattern — the alternating backward crossovers to back outside edges.

Notice the skaters using their core to initiate the movement as they use all levels of their body with their arms, mid-section and knee bend. This not only increases the difficulty in performing the movement, but also adds interest to the audience witnessing the maneuver (a win-win for all involved!).

For some other demonstration demos, check them out here:

Level 2 demo:

Level 4 demo:

Have you tried these Dance2Ice exercises? What other MIF patterns can you make Dance2Ice style? Film your own today and we will feature them on AIT’s Facebook page!







American Ice Theatre in Urban Pic Skate Competition

American Ice Theatre’s Anna Cobb & Garrett Kling perform & skate in “I Like the Way you Walk”

They are entered into a chance to win $750 and the top prize in the 2014 Urban Pic Skate Contest.

You can vote by liking their video on Pic Skate’s Facebook page and sharing it with your friends!

How I applied to YAS and why you should too


Hey there! So you’re on the fence about applying for the Young Artists Showcase? I know the feeling. It’s that teeter totter scenario — one day you feel up for the challenge and believe the world can be conquered one choctaw at a time.

The next, you hit a rut and in a flash that confidence disappears as we belly flop into the water.


I’m going to be very honest with you: If you decide to apply, the roller coaster of emotions are only beginning.

Getting a school report card can be stressful enough, but this is as if your grades were posted all over the internet with professors, loudspeaker in hand, telling the world their opinions of your work.

YIKES! Holy freakin’ cow of milk. It can be scary.

But if you don’t get anything else out of my spiel, please get this: YAS is absolutely, entirely, and whole-heartedly worth every single minute. YAS has kickstarted a career so that I’ve gotten to do all of this:

My beginning into choreography has been a process of intense education, study and motivation. But it started in a lot of fear.

If fear of failure is holding you back, channel it into opportunity. Make it happen for yourself. Let the world see what you can do. One huge lesson I’ve learned from YAS is that fear can be as big or small as I let it — the hairy, mammoth monster waiting to chomp my head off or the house fly I flick away with my finger.

Now that my Oprah moment of motivational speaking is over, I’ve gathered three common responses people give for not applying to YAS and I’ll elaborate on my experience dealing with those same thoughts.

1) “I’m not going to apply to YAS because my work isn’t good enough.”

When I first heard about YAS, it was right before the first installment got underway in 2010. Since being a youngster, I had always wanted to create on the sheet of ice I called home. Discovering that there was a competition for skating choreographers was the most thrilling opportunity of a lifetime. I knew this was the gateway into the world I had always wanted to enter into. Except there was one wee little minor issue: I missed the cut.

Here’s where that word comes in: FEAR. Meaning the hairy-mammoth-monster kind of fear. Suddenly a slew of thoughts went through my head and back out like a continuous flow of projectile vomit. Cue in the sob story vocal track:

“Maybe I am not made out for this?” “I just don’t have enough talent.” “My opportunity just isn’t going to come.” Cry me a river, etc. etc. etc.

After the sob story and a few visits to Dr. Phil, I decided to do something about it. I made myself learn more about the choreographic process, get mentored, and learn from others. Having ideas were never the issue for me – it was about learning the translation of those ideas onto the ice. It fueled inside me a new passion to organize my philosophy, thought process and work ethic.

So if you don’t think you’re good enough, realize that you probably never will. It’s that perpetual motion of false perception where we need to “feel” like we are good enough in order to do something. That’s all a lie the hairy, mammoth kind of fear tells us. Strive to get better because that’s the only way to move upward.

2) I’m not going to apply to YAS because I can’t handle the criticism.”

When the time came for YAS2, I was beyond excited. I promised myself I would take the opportunity and was thrilled to get selected as a contestant. The competition itself was a whirlwind of emotions and placements. One week I won a challenge, the next I was near the bottom. One challenge I got five stars from a judge and two stars from another. And it’s all happening via YouTube, the most public forum possible.

The worst criticism will come from yourself. After posting a challenge, a flood of thoughts would overwhelm me on ways I could improve this or that. I would over-analyze and psyche myself out. But let your criticism fuel your progress instead of being a detractor.

When you get criticism from a judge, take it all in — the good and the bad. I used to look at challenges I scored poorly on and get down on myself, but now I take a different approach. I look at every single challenge as a stepping stone. Getting feedback every single week from a different panel of judges with varying backgrounds, lenses and perceptions is truly educational. Every week I was challenged on the way I viewed choreography.

Know that every challenge will change you. You are an artist constantly evolving. And that’s really the goal isn’t it? To be able to continually create, learn and mature in our craft.

3) I’m not going to apply to YAS because I don’t think I have the time for it.

I decided to do YAS3 because I knew I wanted one more chance at it with all the education I had been getting. I took more dance classes, took MCT, studied all types of choreography and continually kept creating myself to keep ideas flowing.

And I got organized.

I finished runner up and feel like a large contributing factor was simply being organized. You’ll never feel like there’s enough time to do a challenge and often times unforeseen circumstances will bite at the last minute, but be prepared for all scenarios. Get your talent lined up, have at least three ideas for each challenge as a back up, appoint video people, start talking to your rink about ice time, etc. There’s a lot that goes into it, but in my experience most people are cooperative when they realize what a cool thing YAS is.

So I hope I’ve convinced you to take the plunge and apply. Take a risk — YAS teaches you how to do that pretty quickly. When you take a risk, we have to throw away that fear, so flick it off with your finger. There’s an entire YAS community waiting to usher you in and we promise we won’t let that hairy, mammoth monster of fear get near you.

Ice Semble Chicago Celebrates New Talent in Spring Repertory


Ice-Semble Chicago continues its tradition of bringing the arts on the ice by presenting its spring repertory 7:30 p.m. on Thursday May 2, 2013. The company will present its program at Winnetka Ice Arena at 490 Hibbard Rd. Tickets can be purchased by visiting the Ice-Semble web site: or at the door.  General Admission is $15.00 for adults and $12 for children 5-12 years old.

Ice-Semble, led by Artistic Director Liz Mc Shane Beberdick, continues its collaborations with American Ice Theatre founder Jodi Porter. Several new choreographers will produce works for the 2013 season featuring pieces such as “Swimming” by Eve Chalom, “Into the Night” by Garrett Kling, “Leaving Again” by Ellen Mills and returning favorite choreographers including Porter debuting “Once Again?”

Chalom, former Ice Theatre of New York company member, joins for the first time this season debuting her contemporary Philip Glass trio piece “Swimming.” Kling, a 2012 Young Artists Showcase finalist, will present a jazz-infused large ensemble piece entitled “Into the Night.” Mill’s piece called “Leaving Again” is a work in two movements set to the music of Kurt Elling. Porter will debut a percussive contemporary piece called “Once Again?” featuring Chalom, Kling, Katherine Hill and Sean Marshinski.

The 2013 Ice-Semble ensemble includes: Hamidah Ahmad, Jill Aybar, Madeline Aybar, Eve Chalom, Agata Czyzewski, Ola Czyzewski, Megan Eurenius, Meah Helfand, Katherine Hill, Garrett Kling, Sean Marshinski, Liz McShane-Beberdick, Tracie Miller, Ellen Mills, Katrina Nelken, and Jodi Porter.

The performance is sponsored in part by Allegro Dance and sanctioned by the United States Figure Skating Association.

WHO: Ice-Semble Chicago presents
WHAT: Spring gala
WHEN: Thursday, May 2nd at 7:30pm
WHERE: Winnetka Ice Arena, 490 Hibbard Rd in Winnetka, Illinois
WHY: A chance to see Chicago’s premiere ‘art on ice’ company presenting an evening of ensemble skating at its best.

TICKETS: $12 TO $15

Buy online for advance ticketing discount or at the door.