MCT Graduates Spring 2021

Congratulations to our seven graduates of the Spring 2021 semester of Master Choreography Techniques (MCT)! They include:

Susanna Butler, Eagan, Minnesota

Auriane Collet, Bramois, Switzerland

Danielle Eastman, Long Beach, California

Heidi Johnson-Masse, Traverse City, Michigan

Celeste Milner, Perth, Australia

Ashley Padilla, Lompoc, California

Jessica Shaw, Hanover, Massachusetts

Master Choreography Techniques (MCT) is an advanced online certification and training program for both seasoned skating coaches and those looking to specialize in a career as an ice choreographer. Created by AIT Founder Jodi Porter, the class is a mixture of choreographic creation, video lecture, reading and monthly discussion meetings. AIT Co-Executive Directors Garrett Kling & Kate McSwain lead the semester class.

At the end of the semester, each student creates a final capstone project incorporating the choreographic elements of time, space, energy and form.

View the graduates final video projects, get to know their background and hear their thoughts about the course:

Susanna Butler

Susanna is a USFS double gold medalists and is a founding member of the AIT Minneapolis/St. Paul performance ensemble which began in 2019. Susanna is currently working to become a professional show skater.

“From MCT, I learned, not only how to move my body using the different concepts of time, space, energy, and form, but how to create a piece using all four concepts as well, all while thinking outside the box. MCT was a space for me to be creative and learn without any judgement.”

Auriane Collet

“I study social work at the university in Switzerland. Beside and since almost forever, I have been doing ice skating and enjoying it very much. I was a competitive skater for many years in my country. Now, I skate for my own pleasure and coach regularly at my rink, focusing a lot on the artistic part of this wonderful sport.”

“MCT has taught me that there are so many ways in which I had never tried moving my body and using my blades on the ice. With the vocabulary that I learned, I am able to experience different movements and create contrast in my choreographies, which will clearly be very important for my future pieces and trainings.”

Danielle Eastman

Danielle is a professional figure skater and former cast member of Disney on Ice. After touring nationally and internationally, she now resides in Southern California where she is a figure skating coach at the Aliso Viejo Ice Palace. She is thrilled to be a part of the contemporary movement happening in skating and the AIT community.

“Intention. What am I trying to say? Is it interesting? These are valuable things I have learned through the MCT course and will be applying to my choreographic process.”

Heidi Johnson-Masse

Heidi is a coach and choreographer in Traverse City, Michigan. She is trained in ballet, tap and jazz and skated on the Western University synchronized skating team in college. She has coached National competitors and National Developmental Team Members.

“Learning how to create and explain to the skaters what is their intention on the ice while performing their program at any level. I learned that contemporary skating enhances all different genres of skating and how effective it is to enhance your skaters level of skating.”

Celeste Milner

“I began my skating journey as a synchronized skater, competing with team Australia at numerous junior and senior world synchronized skating championships. I now volunteer my time as a coach and choreographer for Perth Ice Theatre. When I’m not at the ice rink, I’m busy being a mum or in my job as a School Psychologist.”

“Choreography is always evolving. And we are the inventors of our own movements. Nothing is wrong and the possibilities are endless. We need to be courageous, open up our minds and explore the way our body moves on the ice so that we can move freely in our own unique ways.”

Ashley Padilla

“Skating has always been part of my life. I was a competitive athlete as a youth, and after completing my degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science at the University of Kentucky, I was fortunate enough to tour professionally with several touring companies including Holiday On Ice and Disney On Ice. I now coach and am the Skating Director in Santa Barbara County where I live with my husband and our new daughter (who was an active participant in the completion of this course).”

“MCT has taught me how to most effectively utilize all of my creative tools and has pushed me out of my comfort zone and into a whole world of “weird” that I’m totally embracing.”

Jessica Shaw

Jessica has been a figure skating coach for 3 years at the rink that she grew up skating in, for a total of 21 years at Winterland Skating School. She skated at UNH on the Synchronized Skating Team for two years and then fell in love with coaching soon after. Her first experience with AIT came from the talented John Mucko, and her drive to learn more came from that experience. She signed up for MCT with the hope of being able to create unique programs for her skaters that draw the audience’s attention and demonstrate the art of figure skating. In addition to being a figure skating coach, Jessica is also a Registered Dietitian working in the treatment of eating disorders, and enjoys time at the beach.

“I learned that it’s okay to be out of my comfort zone in skating, and that “ugly” isn’t always ugly.”