AIT Director Bios

Garrett Kling

Co-Executive Director of American Ice Theatre
Director of AIT Minneapolis-St. Paul

Garrett Kling headshot

Garrett Kling is an international figure skating choreographer, holding a Master Rating in Choreography with the Professional Skaters Association since 2016 and his AIT Certification since 2012. He has choreographed for international competitors in numerous countries including South Africa, the Netherlands, Iceland, Brazil, and Slovakia. Previous and ongoing performing engagements include Le Patin Libre, Holiday on Ice, American Ice Theatre, Ice Theatre of New York, Willy Bietak Productions, Ice Dance International, Dynamic Shows, and the 2016 World Figure Skating Championships Opening Ceremonies. Garrett holds a degree in English/Communications and has experience in journalism.


Kate McSwain

Co-Executive Director of American Ice Theatre
Director of AIT Boston

Kate McSwain headshot

Kate McSwain is an international figure skating choreographer, earning her Master Rating in Choreography from the Professional Skaters Association in 2017 and her AIT Certification in 2012. She is also certified in Pilates, has extensive training in multiple styles of dance, and over a decade of experience teaching yoga. Kate was the Assistant Director of the 2016 ISU World Championship Opening Ceremonies in Boston, and co-choreographer for the 2014 US Figure Skating National Championship Opening Ceremonies. She resides in Boston but travels frequently both nationally and internationally to teach AIT movement seminars, to choreograph for competitive skaters, and to consult with Theatre on Ice programs and synchronized skating teams. Kate has a B.A. in Theatre from the University of Colorado.


Molly Olson Poniatowski

Director of AIT Chicago

Molly Poniatowski headshotMolly Olson Poniatowski is now a professional skater after many years of competitive skating and passing her USFSA Gold test. She has nearly a decade of experience skating in productions across the U.S., Asia, Guam, the Philippines, Mexico, and in ‘Holiday on Ice,’ where she preformed in more than 14 different countries in Europe and South America. Her first taste of skating in Europe began as a television performer and principle skater in the European version of ‘Skating with Celebrities.’ She enjoys taking her various show and competitive experiences from around the world and sharing the creative possibilities with students of all levels. Molly is an AIT-certified choreographer and lives in the Windy City with her husband and two children.


Chiquita Limer

Director of AIT New York

Chiquita Limer headshotChiquita Limer is a professional figure skating choreographer with more than 15 years of experience in skating and dance. She holds an MFA in choreography and is also an O1b (Extraordinary Visa) holder. At the age of 7, Chiquita started skating in Jakarta, Indonesia; choreographed a skating piece at the age of 12 and created a huge ice show called ‘Little Mermaid On Ice’ at the age of 14. In 2013, Chiquita received a world record from MURI by creating “INDONESIA-KU”: the first figure skating, traditional dance, music, and theatre performance on ice. In her thesis, she discussed ‘arthleticism,’ her belief of figure skating as being both an art and a sport.


 

Annette Thomas

Director of Ballet for Figure Skaters
AIT Education Chair

annette-thomasAnnette Thomas is founder and director of Ballet for Figure Skaters. She has been a dance teacher and choreographer since 1970. Trained at Carnegie Hall by the late Maria Nevelska of the Bolshoi Ballet, Annette continued her studies with Ana Garcia of the San Juan Ballet Company, Marguerite De Anguera of the Connecticut Regional Ballet Company, and Mme. Alexandra Danilova of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. She began working with figure skaters in 1998, providing instruction in Russian Technique Ballet (the Vaganova Method, developed by Agrippina Y. Vaganova used to train the dancers at the Bolshoi and Kirov Ballet.) Annette also teaches Floor-Barre alignment and injury prevention as part of her program.

She received her Pedagogical Certification for the Study of Classical Ballet (Vaganova Pedagogical Training) from Dr. Peggy Willis-Aarnio, and currently teaches online certification courses in conjunction with AIT and the Ohio Conservatory of Ballet. She conducts workshops worldwide for Ballet for Figure Skaters, Floor-Barre, and Russian Method Classical ballet. She is the author of the internationally successful books Fundamentals of Alignment and Classical Movement for Figure Skaters and Lessons in Classical Ballet for the Figure Skater.


John Mucko

Director of Grassroots Development
Co-Founder of AIT Boston

John Mucko headshotJohn Mucko started his professional career with Ice Follies and later joined Holiday on Ice in Europe traveling the world for 9 years. He has been coaching figure skating for nearly 40 years and holds a Master Rating in choreography with the Professional Skaters Association, as well as a AIT certification with American Ice Theatre. John co-founded AIT Boston alongside Kate McSwain in 2015 and co-directed the Boston satellite through 2019. He established the grassroots AIT educational series in Rockland, MA. John also created the American Ice Theatre annual “Key to Creativity” Award that AIT rewards to a skating director, volunteer, or coach who supports and promotes the AIT mission and values each year. He has directed many workshops to introduce athletes of all ages to the concept of using dance movements, gestures, and emotions in their skating performance. He also served on the US Figure Skating Theatre On Ice Development Committee and currently serves on the PSA Theatre on Ice Ratings Committee.


Jodi Porter

Founder of American Ice Theatre

Jodi Porter headshotJodi Porter has always been an advocate for fusing dance with figure skating. After a professional career both in the figure skating and dance worlds, Jodi is passionate about creating and promoting the artistry of skating by fusing the two together through education, workshops, performance, choreography, mentoring, and special projects.

An award-winning dance choreographer, Jodi is the author of the USFS Theatre on Ice glossary of Choreographic Elements, the developer of AIT’s Master Choreography Techniques online course, and the “Dance2Ice Barre” training programs. She is also the official presenter of Ricky Harris workshops across the globe.

She holds an MFA in Dance Choreography and a BFA degree in Modern Dance from a nationally recognized program at the University of Utah that gave her extensive technical experience in dance choreography, performance, and teaching. She is PSA Master Rated in choreography.

Jodi’s dance experience includes master classes and training with the Paul Taylor School, Alvin Ailey dancers, Trisha Brown Company, Sean Curran, and Murray Louis. She has danced professionally with Shipp Dance Theatre, and appeared as a guest artist with Repertory Dance Theatre. From 2002-2007 she has held a full-time position at Ballet San Jose as the Associate School Director, managing a program of over 450 students. She has choreographed successful dance projects with the school including a 1st Prize trophy for the piece ‘Sunset Tango’ at the International Grand Prix in Cesena, Italy 2005. Other dance credits include directing the Spy Girls, dancers for the San Jose Stealth Professional Lacrosse Team, and choreographing for the musical ‘Fiddler on the Roof’. Ms. Porter served on the Performing Arts Committee for the city of Mountain View from Jan. 2007 – Jan. 2010.

In figure skating, Jodi is a USFS freestyle gold medalist. After competing from 1980-1990, she traveled in numerous international ice shows with Disney on Ice and other production companies performing roles including: chorus, principal pair, principal soloist, and performance director until 1997. From that point her passion for choreography in dance/skating spurred her to direct and choreograph several of her own projects including: SLC Children’s Theatre on Ice 1997, Grizz Girlzz Hockey Cheerleaders 1999, SLC Contemporary Ice Theatre 2000, and the Urban Ice Project. In 2002, Jodi was an Assistant Cast Coordinator and performed in the XIX Winter Olympic Opening Ceremonies, as well as choreographed the opening for the figure skating Exhibition of Champions.

More recent performance highlights include: Downtown Ice at San Jose 2004-2007, guest artists in SF Ice Shows 2005-2008, Sharks Hockey Games Intermissions 2004-2006, Bay Area Dance Week Closing 2004, Production of AIT’s “Sunset Tango” and “Latin Dance Explosion” at Shark’s Ice San Jose 2008, SF Union Square 2011 and in collaboration with Ice-Semblé Chicago 2012 and 2013 seasons. 2014 marked AIT’s first full-length production in Chicago with “Let’s Dance,” featuring Young Artists Showcase artists.