Kate’s Busy Summer Traveling & Teaching

Kate McSwain at Grassroots to Champions G2C seminarThis summer, Kate traveled the country widely for various coaching and choreography opportunities.

In June, she taught choreography, energy styles, and core body movement at a Grassroots2Champions (G2C) seminar in Atlanta, GA, alongside Nick Perna and Sheila Thelen.

Then in July, she again served as a yoga instructor and staff choreographer for the 120+ students at G2C Super Camp, which was held this year in Ft. Collins, CO. She also offered private lessons for choreography and was honored to work alongside Anna Matuszewski and Tommy Steenberg to create the Camp’s final production number.

Later in July, Kate returned to the Skating Club of Boston’s Summer Camp program to teach the 75 campers yoga classes, as well as offer a specialty class for on-ice movement. The Camp is located at the Babson Ice Arena and runs 2 weeks every summer.

Rochester, MN TOI Seminar 2017Then in August, Kate traveled to Rochester, MN for a Movement Workshop. Working alongside Jamie Santee and the skaters at the Rochester Figure Skating Club, Kate taught an on- and off-ice Theatre on Ice (TOI) seminar focusing on energy and body movement and how that expresses emotion.

After that, working with Devon Dillon and Lisa Langley, Kate began teaching dance classes and doing choreography at the Gate City Figure Skating Club in Nashua, NH. She will be returning monthly to work with skaters from the NH area throughout the 2017-18 season.

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Kate’s TOI Teams Take on Nationals in Evansville, IN

Crystal Blades Theatre on Ice team at US TOI Nationals 2017This year, Kate choreographed for two teams competing in Indiana for the U.S. Figure Skating Theatre on Ice (TOI) Nationals. The Colonial Figure Skating Club’s team, “Broadway Blades,” entered the Intermediate division and North Shore Skating Club’s team, “Crystal Blades,” competed in the Open Division. Both teams performed their Choreographic Exercise (CE) and Free Skate programs.

Kate’s choreography was seen in Crystal Blades’ free skate, which used protective raincoats as a metaphor for exploring friendship and community, and their CE, which was set to the popular new film La La Land. She also choreographed Broadway Blades’ CE, looking at how technology and “screentime” in our society give rise to fantasy. Watch the Broadway Blades 2017 CE on YouTube:

Kate was so proud of both teams’ beautiful performances and hard work all season!

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First-Ever American Contemporary Skating Festival a Success

American Contemporary Skating Festival 2017

Thanks to generous sponsorship by the American Ice Theatre (AIT), Kate organized the first annual American Contemporary Skating Festival in Boston earlier this month. This unprecedented weekend event of learning, networking, and community-building was made possible through support from AIT founder Jodi Porter and co-director of AIT-Boston, John Mucko.

Attended by nearly 50 professional skaters, coaches, and choreographers from around the world, the two-day festival was devoted to exploring the art of skating both on- and off the ice through a lens of artistry, dance, and improvisation, rather than technical rules and traditional elements. The Festival’s motto, “Create, compose, communicate, collaborate, and connect” sums up its ethos.

The first day consisted of informal seminars where attendees could volunteer to present their philosophies on body movement and artistic skating and those interested in further exploration of a topic could share insights and facilitate conversations around it. The second day of the American Contemporary Skating Festival featured a showcase of several different choreographers’ pieces, displaying works-in-progress and exploring through performance the new insights gained from Day One’s learnings.

Kate was honored to be able to bring this inaugural Festival to life, providing an opportunity for the global artistic skating community to come together and share ideas, learn from each other, and improvise together in new ways. For more on #acsfest2017, see this blog post from a German attendee, and this blog’s links to watch video clips from the weekend. And save the date for an expanded American Contemporary Skating Festival next year: June 8-10, 2018.

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AIT-Boston Performs at the U.S. Open

AIT Boston at US Open 2017Guest skaters from across the nation traveled to Nashville, TN to represent AIT – Boston (the Boston chapter of American Ice Theatre) at the U.S. Open this May. Skaters included: Garrett Kling, Liz Schmidt, Meg Renaldi-Young, Su Wagner, Robert Mauti, Victoria Craw, Sean Marshinski, Stephanie Bass, and Ashley Wyatt.

AIT Boston performing a lift at the US Open 2017

They learned Kate’s ensemble choreography via videos and long-distance communication, and then rehearsed in person in Nashville just 24 hours in advance.

The piece, “Promise” by Ben Howard, centered around the theme of how many emotions and moments often feel as though they are “slipping through our fingers.”

AIT-Boston is planning to do another ensemble piece next year at the U.S. Open 2018 in Orlando, FL.

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Kate Presents Choreo Seminar for TOI

kate-mcswain-presenting-at-toi-tools-of-choreography-seminarkathryn-mcswain-tools-for-choreography-presentation-toiKate traveled just outside Washington, D.C. to give a presentation titled “Tools of Choreography” at the Theatre on Ice (TOI) Seminar sponsored by U.S. Figure Skating. This one-day event offered a seminar covering 3 topics and an open competition for TOI teams, managers, coaches, and choreographers.

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Kate Consults with WV TOI Team

Kate returned to Charleston, West Viginia, to help the Charleston Figure Skating Club‘s new Theatre on Ice (TOI) team again. She advised the team and coaches on choreography and choreographic elements, building on the material covered in her workshop there last June when they launched the new TOI program. She was thrilled to collaborate with this young but enthusiastic group of skaters.


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Kate & Garrett At It Again with CE Video


Kate, Sean Marshinski, Pippa Teague-Diaz, Garrett Kling, and Tetsuya Kaji (videographer)

USFSA has asked Kate and Garrett to co-choreograph the CE demonstration video for a third time. Each year, the U.S. Figure Skating Association provides info regarding the Choreographic Elements (“CEs”) required for the coming season’s Theatre on Ice (TOI) competitions.

This year’s CE elements are: fantasy (theme), allegro, and retrograde. The video features a more basic combination of elements in the first half and a more advanced sequence in the second half of the video. Watch now:

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