When Moira North founded Ice Theatre of New York in 1984, she was determined to focus on three principal activities: building a solid repertory of dance-on-ice, presenting public performances, and implementing educational and outreach programs. These latter programs are crucially important to the Ice Theatre mission. They build new audiences and introduce the values of the athleticism and artistry of figure skating to young children and students. Ice Theatre also has an apprentice program to train virtuosic young skaters in performance skating. Several apprentices who participated in these programs have joined the Company.
Ice Theatre of New York is proud of its educational components. The Company’s premiere educational outreach program, The New Works and Young Artists Series at Riverbank State Park in Harlem and at the City Ice Pavilion in Long Island City and World Ice Arena in Flushing, Queens, is dedicated to giving emerging choreographers and performers an opportunity to present new works. They show these works to an audience of school children from Harlem and Washington Heights and engage the students in a free skating clinic after the performance. In these programs, young students receive an introduction to a -winter- physical activity. Students also learn that ice skating is more than a competitive sport; they are introduced to the integration of athleticism and artistry necessary to make ice skating – especially as it is practiced and promoted by Ice Theatre of New York – exciting, beautiful, breathtaking, and passionate. Read more here.
ITNY’s educational efforts include internal development of the Company through the recruitment and training of apprentices. Ice Theatre includes its apprentices in Residencies and performance projects. Apprentices have the opportunity to study new repertory pieces, work with each other and with choreographers, learn from experienced professional skaters, and gain confidence from audience support and performing. This training program prepares apprentice skaters for a new, more mature level of performance.
The Master Classes are a series of inspiring, creative seminars brought to your rink by the Ice Theatre of New York.
Ice Theatre of New York has gathered seven of the finest Master Class instructors in skating to offer seminars and classes that enhance performance skills and the pure enjoyment of beautiful skating. These seminars are creative in nature and meant to open the minds of skaters to new possibilities of combinations and to expand the body’s vocabulary of movement. The instructors include Judy Blumberg, Douglas Webster, David Liu, Cindy Stuart, Rory Flack, Jamie Isley, and Stephanee Grosscup.
“The Value of Figure Skating in a Child’s Development”
An essay by figure skating instructor, Darlene Parent
In this computer-driven society, one of the most valuable things a sport like figure skating does for a child is build muscle tone, coordination, and balance. Too much time is spent texting, playing computer games, watching TV, and other related, physically inactive pastimes.
As the child develops skating skills, the parents, along with the child, must make a commitment to the sport. When the child begins to execute double revolution jumps, a minimum of 4 times of skating per week is necessary for consistency in execution of these jumps. This can lead to sacrifices, but the payoff far outweighs the inconvenience. Now time management develops, (finishing homework assignments while still attending daily practice sessions). Lessons in success and failure are learned. Good sportsmanship is developed.
Skating is an expensive sport, but it is one of the only activities wherein, when a person graduates from high school, that person can have certificates which qualify him/her to make a decent living or part time living teaching the sport to others. Figure Skating has a testing system, which is recognized throughout our country. When those tests are completed, one can get a job anywhere there is a skating program. If money is needed during college, working as a skating coach can pay 5 to 10 times the salary of an average high school graduate seeking employment elsewhere. Later on, if difficulties arise in a person’s chosen field, that person can always fall back on teaching skating as a means to get through the rough times, or permanently change careers. (It is difficult to balance on skates, so there will always be a demand for lessons, one-on-one, as opposed to endeavors wherein one can simply join a class of 10 to 12 people per teacher.)
When the child enters competitions, even the local ones where getting medals abound, these results always look good on college applications. Colleges are not interested in academics only. Any competition winnings look impressive to the interviewer. Volunteering at rink competitions gives the child community service credit. The local rink and/or Club will always be happy to write a letter stating how well the child has worked as a volunteer.
Along with muscle tine, the developing figure skater should learn healthy eating habits, along with the medically proven “feel-good” experience after each workout. Most often, this stays with skaters for their lifetime.
If you child loves to skate, encourage him/her to follow the sport throughout the teen years. The rink is a wonderful place to socialize while developing a skill that may last him/her for a lifetime for a healthy mind and body and perhaps even a career.