AIT Spring 2021 Update

We’re fully feeling Spring Fever gearing up for a busy season ahead! As our world begins to open up slowly but surely, we’re grateful to continue offering events, both in-person and virtual, across our AIT Satellites and are forging ahead with some exciting new projects, a return of old favorites, and bringing you the latest and greatest contemporary skating has to offer!

CORE Camp Registration Deadline is Saturday, May 1

CORE Camp registration is due May 1. Camp will be held Thursday, July 15 – Sunday, July 18 at the Pleasant Prairie RecPlex. There will be limited capacity, social distancing and masks required, temperature checks and daily health forms. Out of state registrants will need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival. We will be offering both in-person and virtual options this year.

American Contemporary Skating Festival

© On Ice Perspectives / Jordan Cowan

Don’t miss out on the LIVE, in-person #ACSFest2021 from June 10-13 in Boston, MA. Registration opened today at www.americanicetheatre.org/festival.

This event is for choreographers, coaches, and skaters ages 17+ and Intermediate standard track MIF+. Email us if you’re interested in teaching your artistic movement philosophy! This event is open for everyone to share and participate. We offer all choreographers the opportunity to show their work and share their philosophy. “Everyone has something to share. Everyone has something to learn.”

Adult Skateaway Set for Austin Fall 2021

Our first ever in-person Adult Weekend Skateaway is officially happening Friday, September 24 – Sunday, September 26.

This retreat-style weekend skating getaway is for adult skaters to connect, create, and collaborate. This fall skating weekend retreat with American Ice Theatre will give adult skaters the space away to take ownership of their innate creativity by being open to, and accepting of, their whole selves. In line with AIT’s Core Values, the Skateaway offers a getaway for skaters to view themselves as authentic and integral contributors of the artistic skating community.

For registration information, visit www.americanicetheatre.org/skateaway

Young Artists Showcase Winner To Be Announced May 3

From top left to bottom left: Maddie Aybar, Kata Junninen, Sonja Hilmer, Jacqueline Benson, Ola Czyzewski, Karen Siedenburg

AIT is honored to produce the eighth season (second under AIT) of Audrey Weisiger’s Young Artists Showcase. Tune into our special Finale episode on Saturday, May 1 at 12:30pm ET on AIT’s YouTube and Facebook Live accounts. Along with the six finalists final challenge videos, we will be paying tribute to Brian Wright, the late choreographer whose creative genius inspired this entire competition.

Check out all the results and judges feedback thus far from the YAS competition at www.americanicetheatre.org/yas-2021

The 2021 finalists are:

Maddie Stewart Aybar, 25 from Chicago, IL

Kata Junninen, 23 from Espoo, Finland

Sonja Hilmer, 21 from Colorado Springs, CO

Jacqueline Benson, 22 from Carefree, AZ

Ola Czyzewski, 27 from Deerfield, IL

Karen Siedenburg, 23 from Everett, WA

Q4C Submission Due May 1

Quest for Creativity 2021 submissions are DUE on Saturday, May 1st, 2021 by 11:59 PM Eastern Time. To view last season’s Q4C submissions – please visit our 2020 Q4C Season page.

All Q4C choreographers must be under the age of 21 by May 1st, 2021. All videos must be filmed horizontally and be 4 minutes maximum (there is no minimum). Video editing is permitted. To view all the rules, please see our Q4C webpage.

The Quest for Creativity winner and runner-up choreographers will be announced during a livestream event on Saturday, May 15.

The Virtual Artistic Challenge

The Virtual Artistic Challenge, an online, artistic, livestream skating competition and fundraiser, took place the weekend of Saturday March 27 – Sunday, March 28 raising funds for The Figure Skating Diversity & Inclusion Alliance!

In total, 5 countries, 60 artistic submissions, 15 award recipients, 12 celebrity judges, and $3,882 raised for diversity & inclusion in figure skating!

The award recipients include:

The Complete Skater Awards:

Emily Hurst, Ages 5-8

Cara Tang, Ages 9-12

Giulia Paolino, Ages 13-17

Victoria Sechrist, Ages 18-34

Fortunata Barone, Ages 35+

The Creative Genius Awards:

Traverse City Ice Theatre, Ages 5-8

Melody Asri Fatimah, Ages 9-12

Hannah Baetge, Ages 13-17

Elise Little, Ages 18-34

Christian Minter, Ages 35+

The Dazzling Entertainer Awards:

Hannah Stricker, Ages 5-8

Traverse City Ice Theatre, Ages 9-12

Traverse City Ice Theatre, Ages 13-17

Jaclyn Cartwright, Ages 18-34

Stan Kimer, Ages 35+

“Celebrity Judges” included Mirai NagasuVanessa JamesJeremy AbbottRachael FlattMae MaiteMariyah GerberJason BrownAshley Cain and Tim Leduc, Giulia Isceri, and Lorna Brown.

MCT Graduates Fall 2020

Seven new graduates recently received their AIT Certification in Master Choreography Techniques, our advanced online certification and training program for both seasoned skating coaches and those looking to specialize in a career as an ice choreographer.

Read our latest blog post getting to know the graduates and viewing their final choreographic projects.

From top left to bottom left: Paola Fraschini, Deborah Bell, Sarajoy Cloud, Alessandra Lico, Luda Kalenuk, Melanie Black, & Gillian Robidas

The graduates include:

Paola Fraschini, Genoa, Italy

Deborah Bell, Canela, Brazil

Melanie Black, Coleman, MI, USA

Gillian Robidas, Barrington, NH, USA

Sarajoy Cloud, Bakersfield, CA, USA

Luda Kalenuk, Dubai, UAE

Alessandra Lico, Shelby Township, MI, USA

New Ballet for Figure Skaters Article

Photo of Angela Kim

Annette Thomas has written a new article “The Importance of Stabilizer Muscles in Movement Training” posted up on our AIT blog. Read the beginning of the article below:

“We often think of dance and movement training as more about flexibility than strength – beautiful long lines, sweeping movement and amazing extensions, but artistic skating and dance require an equal if not greater degree of strong muscles, ligaments and tendons to create stability, balance and power. Our bodies are the very instrument of our art – and HOW we train has everything to do with the outcome of that hoped for art.”

AIT New Hampshire Begins

The first ever AIT New Hampshire Winter Seminar was held Saturday, March 6th from 11:10 AM – 12:30 PM at the Conway Arena. The seminar was led by AIT-Certified Choreographers, Devon Dillon and Gillian Robidas. AIT New Hampshire is planning to hold more seminars in the future!

Kate McSwain featured on podcast

Co-Executive Director Kate McSwain was featured on the Ice Twizzle Podcast in January, offering insight into the world of contemporary skating. Check out her interview.

“At seminars we often say there is no right or wrong. Everything you do is right and that’s empowering to hear. ” – Kate McSwain

AIT IG Live Holds Monthly Virtual Classes

AIT Monthly Virtual Classes have continued through 2021 with specialized classes in yoga (Ashley Wyatt), pilates (Mary Siegel – pictured), and Afro Beats (Joey Millet). Catch our monthly classes on IGTV on the second Sunday of the month from 1-1:45pm ET and our yoga class on the last Sunday of the month from 1-1:45pm ET. A suggested donation of $10 is for each class.

AIT CHICAGO UPDATE

The weather outside was frightfully cold, but that didn’t stop AIT Chicago from hosting the Valentine’s Day “Meet & Mingle” event on Sunday, February 14 at Warren Ice Rink in Rodgers Park, Chicago.

AIT Chicago Director Molly Poniatowski & AIT Chicago Member Alex Martin

AIT Chicago Director Molly Olson Poniatowski was joined by AIT Chicago skaters Elena Cuell, Alex Martin, Maddie Aybar, and Ola Czyzewski.

AIT Chicago skaters (L-R) Alex Martin, Ola Czyzewski, Maddie Aybar, Elena Cuell

As the seasons shifted to the spring, AIT Chicago held an off-ice “Dance Fusion” seminar led by Poniatowski & Ballet for Figure Skaters Instructor Angela Como.

Angela Como leads a Ballet for Figure Skaters Class
Participants improv through movement during the AIT Chicago Seminar

AIT Chicago is launching monthly #contemporaryskating “skate dates” for skaters who are interested in moving artistically together and getting to know others in the AIT Chicago Community. Follow @americanicetheatre on social media and check our AIT Chicago website to see more updates on their upcoming plans.

AIT BOSTON UPDATE

AIT Boston held their Social Distance Winter Seminar “Winter Wonderland” Monday, January 18 at the Jack Kirrane Outdoor Ice Rink in Brookline, MA with special guest artist John Mucko. He led skaters in a series of improv exercises to explore movement and musicality.

AIT Boston also held their very first “After Hours” – a contemporary skating event on Monday, February 15 from 8-9:30 PM at the outdoor Brookline rink. This event, open to skaters 18+, is a time to connect as a contemporary skating community, skate together and socialize. Adam Blake was a special guest artist. We are excited to continue this series across all AIT Satellites in the future!

Adam Blake & Kate McSwain

AIT Boston held their Spring Seminar Saturday, April 17 at the Veterans memorial Ice Rink in Somerville. “Springing Into a New Chapter” explored contemporary skating, improv and Six Ways of the Spine.

AIT NYC UPDATE

AIT New York City performed at Bryant Park on Friday, March 12 in a show called “Diversity on Ice” in partnership with Miki Shamada. Along with the AIT NYC performance ensemble performing, there was an adult performance ensemble choreographed by Chiquita Limer, a special AIT ensemble group choreographed by AIT Boston company member Kjerstyn Hall, and special guest star YAS 2020 Finalist Brooke Tufts.

AIT NYC held their Winter Seminar on Saturday, March 13 at 3:30pm at the World Ice Arena which was co-lead by Executive Director Kate McSwain and AIT NYC Director Chiquita Limer.

An AIT Summer Seminar will e held AIT NYC Summer Seminar will be on Saturday, June 5th from 6:30-7:50 PM at World Ice Arena.

The AIT NYC performance ensemble would also like to welcome new member and YAS 2021 Finalist Kata Junninen to the company (pictured along with AIT NYC member Jordan Bailey).

Kata Junninen and Jordan Bailey in a lift

AIT MSP UPDATE

The crew in Minneapolis-St. Paul have been utilizing the accessibility to lake skating over the winter season and have set up a series of pop-up performances around the Twin Cities metro.

This combo was choreographed by Maria Starr, filmed by Ashley Goldstar and performed in Starr’s backyard on Lake Owasso on Sunday, January 31.

AIT MSP Assistant Director Joey Millet joined by AIT MSP Company Members Tess Trejo and Haley Jostes performing an AIT Combo on Sunday, February 21 at the Stillwater Inn outdoor Rink.

Kate McSwain choreographed the company piece for the very first AIT MSP Junior Company ensemble. The skaters are Megan Bayati, Nila Cooper, Savannah Joyce and Grace Matvick. They performed the piece at the AIT MSP Winter Seminar and will also be performing at the Chaska Figure Skating Club Ice show on Saturday, May 22.

AIT MSP held their outdoor winter seminar “Creative Night Skate” on Saturday, March 13 at the Outdoor Recreation Center in St. Louis Park. Special guest artist was professional figure skater and choreographer Kelly Smith.

AIT MSP will hold a series of spring events at the TRIA Rink in St. Paul. First, After Hours will be held Friday, May 7 from 7:45pm-9:15pm,. This event. is open to all skaters 18+ who have passed their Intermediate MIF.

The AIT MSP Spring Seminar will be held Saturday, May 8 from 1:15-2:45pm with Garrett Kling & Joey Millet. Registration information can be found here.