Young Artists Showcase

young artists showcase 2013 finalists Rockefeller center
YAS finalists from 2010-2013 perform with Ice Theatre of New York at the Rockefeller Center. © Darial Sneed


Apply for YAS Now!

The Young Artists Showcase (YAS) is an online figure skating choreography competition founded in 2010 by Olympic Coach Audrey Weisiger with sponsorship and support from Doug Mattis and Sheila Thelen. YAS was created to give young choreographers a platform to create new work, offer them exposure to elite coaches/choreographers in the figure skating world, and connect them with other like-minded artists.

In its first 6 seasons, YAS kick-started the careers of many leading young skating choreographers all over the world, including past winners: Tommy Steenberg, Adam Blake, Mark Hanretty, Zabato Bebe, Anna Cobb, and Stephanie Chace Bass.

On hiatus since 2015, YAS has resumed under the auspices of AIT and will continue with Audrey Weisiger’s guidance and input every Spring.

From the pool of YAS applicants, 6 choreographers will be chosen by the AIT/YAS Selection Committee to compete in the competition this spring.

The 5 YAS challenges — with detailed requirements laid out for each challenge — will be sent to the 6 selected choreographers approximately one month prior to the first video deadline of the competition.

For more information on Young Artists Showcase, check out our FAQ section below.

garrett kling young artists showcase 2013
AIT Co-CEO, Garrett Kling, performs in New York City in 2013 as a finalist with Young Artists Showcase. © Darial Sneed

YAS 2020 Dates & Deadlines

  • Application to Enter Due: Friday, January 25, 2020
  • 6 Finalists Selected to Compete in YAS 2020: Friday, February 1, 2020
  • 5 Challenges Posted for Selected Finalists: Sunday, March 1, 2020
  • YAS 2020 Competition: Challenge videos due every Friday from April 3, 2020 – May 1, 2020
  • Final Winner Announced: Friday, May 8, 2020

Apply Now for YAS

YAS Eligibility

All applicants must be between the ages of 16-45 (as of January 1, 2020). If you’re under the age of 21, and not selected this season to be one of the 6 YAS finalists, consider entering Quest for Creativity instead.

YAS Cost & Requirements

  • Complete the application for admission,
  • Pay the application fee of $95 (or $75 for applicants with a completed YAS Alumni Nomination Form submitted by a YAS alum or former YAS contestant).
  • Submit a 5-7 minute video choreography reel of your work. This reel must include only your own choreography and can be a yourself and/or others performing. We encourage you to show a diverse range of choreography work; applicants who showcase a variety of styles and include soloists as well as multiple skaters will have an advantage. Video clips can consist of practice and open skating sessions; there is no requirement that the video clips must be from a show or competition. Black attire is recommended, but not required, for the choreography reel.

Grand Prize for the YAS Winner

  • You’ll be honored as one of the featured ensemble choreographers at the American Contemporary Skating Festival (the second weekend of June each year) and you will receive:
    • Complimentary flight to Boston* to attend the Festival (for those outside the Boston metropolitan area) or a stipend of $400 paid directly to you for expenses (if you’re a Boston area resident); plus
    • Complimentary Festival registration (a $140 value).
  • You’ll have the opportunity to become AIT-certified via the educational opportunity of your choice. You may choose either:
    • Complimentary registration to the next session of AIT’s semester-long Master Choreography Techniques online course (a $450 value); or
    • Complimentary registration to the next session of AIT’s 5-week Six Ways of the Spine online course (a $250 value).
  • You’ll be automatically invited into our AIT Mentorship Program, where you can opt to do any or all of the following:

Prizes for YAS Finalists

All 6 YAS finalists will enjoy the following benefits:

  • A 20% discount for AIT’s Master Choreography Techniques (MCT) semester-long online class (a $90 value).
  • A 50% discount on the American Contemporary Skating Festival registration fee (a $70 value) and an invitation to perform a favorite YAS piece at the Festival’s Showcase.
  • Your work publicized and featured on AIT’s social media, quarterly e-newsletter, and website.
young artists showcase finalists
From left to right YAS choreographers: Robert Mauti, Erynn Komes, Matej Silecky, Eliot Halverson, and Kate McSwain. © Lynn Rutherford

All Applicants for YAS Receive:

Apply Now for YAS

adam blake young artists showcase choreography 2013
YAS Season 2 winner, Adam Blake, performs his choreography with an ensemble at Wollman Rink in New York City in 2013. © Darial Sneed


What is American Ice Theatre’s involvement with YAS/Q4C?

AIT Co-CEOs, Garrett Kling and Kate McSwain, are both former YAS contestants and originally met through their participation in the early years of Young Artists Showcase. Since 2015 YAS has been on hiatus so Kling & McSwain approached YAS founder, Audrey Weisiger, about AIT continuing to produce the competition moving forward, with some restructuring, aiming to premiere in 2020. Weisiger agreed and she will continue to serve as a mentor throughout the annual competition.

What equipment do I need to submit my YAS challenge videos? 

In order to create high quality videos of your choreography, it is important to consider having a camera with HQ functionality. An iPhone will work just fine! Take into consideration how an unstable camera can effect the viewer’s enjoyment of the choreography and consider using a tripod or having a camera person who can hold the camera still while recording.

How does the YAS judging work? 

All judges will be selected from a pool of elite skating and/or choreographers. With 4 regular judges each week, and 1-2 rotating judges, each finalist will receive scores of 1 through 5 stars (including .5 stars) in each category of the criteria listed below.


When the judges choose their favorite YAS video, they are looking for these criteria in your choreography work:

  • Composition:
    • Clear purpose and idea for choreography;
    • Use of time, tempo, music;
    • Use of space of body and space of ice;
    • Use of diverse energy qualities in movement;
    • Use of form of the piece
      • Clear choices made regarding how the choreo has (or purposefully chooses not to have) a beginning, middle, end, climax, storyline, theme, etc.
  • Execution:
    • Polish/execution of movements performed;
    • Performance execution of skater(s);
    • Video quality;
    • Music editing;
    • Professionalism of all involved.
  • Creativity:
    • Interpretation of the music, style and rhythm;
    • Innovative movements;
    • Innovative use of skaters and/or space;
    • Emotional expression of the piece;
    • Unique quality of the piece making it original
      • How did the choreographer think outside the box and beyond their regular style?

The judge’s score from all 3 categories will be the finalist’s total score from that judge every week. At the end of the 5-week competition, the composite score from all challenges will be added together for a final star rating score to determine the grand prize YAS winner for that season.

matej silecky young artists showcase 2013
YAS finalist, Matej Silecky, performs in NYC in 2013.

How is Q4C different from YAS?

To compete in YAS, you must first be selected to compete as one of the 6 finalists; then, during the YAS competition, the 5 challenges, over 5 weeks, create a much longer time commitment. Anyone (under 21) can submit a work of their choosing one time for Q4C. To compete in YAS, you must be prepared, timely, and professional in your ability to pull together 5 full pieces of choreo work and video them on a differing number of skaters. In general, this commitment level is higher than Q4C.

Can applicants register for both Young Artists Showcase & Quest for Creativity?

If an applicant under 21 is selected as one of the 6 finalists for YAS, they are ineligible for Q4C. If the applicant is not selected as a finalist for YAS, they ARE eligible to submit a video for Q4C.

How can I follow the YAS/Q4C competitions this season?

Follow American Ice Theatre on social media (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube) to be notified when videos are uploaded. Please comment, share, and engage with us using the hashtags: Young Artists Showcase: #yas2020, Quest for Creativity: #q4c2020.

How can I support Young Artists Showcase and Quest for Creativity?

You can donate to American Ice Theatre to support Young Artists Showcase/Quest for Creativity or volunteer for us! We are always looking to make further connections, include brand or corporate sponsorships with our events, offer internships for young artists, and explore ways to grow with new talent and ideas. Email us to engage with our community further or if you have any additional questions!

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