The Ricky Harris Legacy
Ricky Harris is considered the “mother of figure skating choreography” because she was the first “choreographer” separate from the main coach to sit in the ‘Kiss and Cry’ at competitions. She choreographed for skating legends such as Scott Hamilton, Brian Boitano, and Michelle Kwan. Harris performed in Holiday on Ice alongside Sonja Henie prior to moving to Los Angeles to receive a dance degree from CalState Irvine and launch her choreographing career.
In the 1970s, she developed her “Creative Choreographic Workshops” to help skaters perform with emotional expression and understand the fundamentals of dance movement on ice. These workshops and education were the groundwork for her book Choreography and Style for Ice Skaters published in 1980. Used all over the world, it still stands as a definitive book on skating choreography.
Harris, a lifelong learner and leader in figure skating, went on to receive her Masters and PhD in choreography. Later, she received American Ice Theatre’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012, the Professional Figure Skaters Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, and she was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2015. Ricky Harris passed away at the age of 95 in 2017, and American Ice Theatre will continue to honor her legacy annually with this scholarship award.
The Ricky Harris Scholarship for Contemporary Skating Entrepreneurs
In memory of Ricky Harris, American Ice Theatre sponsors an annual scholarship award for skating choreographer-entrepreneurs who wish to pursue leadership in contemporary skating as well as learn, teach, and perform as part of the AIT Mentorship Program.
In addition to receiving this prestigious award, the annual winner will receive a $500 travel stipend for AIT educational opportunities so the award recipient can further their education, gaining a deeper understanding of contemporary skating entrepreneurship, by:
- presenting at a local AIT satellite seminar,
- performing with AIT at the U.S. Open,
- teaching as a guest presenter and/or counselor at CORE Camp, and
- sharing insights, performing, and/or choreographing at the American Contemporary Skating Festival.
How to Apply for the Ricky Harris Scholarship Award
To apply, submit your application, a current resume, an essay describing your education and leadership goals in contemporary skating, and a skating choreography video reel by February 15th each year.
AIT founder and Ricky Harris mentee, Jodi Porter, will determine and notify the award recipient by March 15th each year.
If you have any questions regarding the application process, requirements, or deadlines please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
Previous Years’ Recipients
- 2020: Stefanie Olbort from Zurich, Switzerland