It is IDI’s goal to provide an accessible means for people from diverse backgrounds to view and appreciate the art of dance on ice, as well as to engage in a healthy recreational activity in fun and innovative ways. We do this through performance, teaching and engaging programs while in residence and on tour.
IDI’s home of Kittery, ME provides a great launch site to extend its reach in and around its home state of Maine, on the Seacoast of New Hampshire at Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond and Dover Arena in Dover, NH, across New England with growing programs in Stowe, Vermont and Boston, and into the Mid-Atlantic region with many events and programs in the New York City area.
IDI offers a new way of experiencing and developing skating that is non competitive, inclusive and focused on community and hopes to share the joy of flight and flow with all.
IDI’s engagement programs include classes, performances, and one on one skating opportunities for those with disabilities. Ongoing programs include IDI’s “Get Out and Skate” program; a partnership moving into its 8th year with Portsmouth, NH’s Little Harbour School. The kids watch an IDI performance and then get to learn and skate with IDI company members. In 2022, IDI will grow the Get Out and Skate program to schools in Maine and additional schools in NH. The company will perform SOLSTICE. IDI expanded its programs with public schools last year and will use that as a template for continuing to build our class offerings. We reached 796 students last season and expect to serve over 1,600 during winter 2021/22. Classes are offered for free, supported by grants, or for very reduced rates to remove financial barriers.
IDI will also continue providing skating opportunities with Future in Sight and Northeast Passage providing therapeutic skating opportunities for those with disabilities: “The feeling was so freeing and made me feel more confident, and that take away is so powerful for anyone, including people who have vision loss,” says Stephanie Hurd, executive director of Future In Sight.
IDI also builds community through skating by teaching in innovative ways in its home outdoor rink, Labrie Family Skate, at Dover Ice Arena, at Troubh Ice Arena in Portland, ME with community classes affecting people across New England by serving coaches and students, and also in camps and clinics across the United States. IDI offers a new way of experiencing and developing skating that is non competitive, inclusive and focused on community and hopes to share the joy of flight and flow with all. Check out class schedule here:
IDI’s skating school is called SKATE 360 and offers a multi dimensional way of thinking about skating and movement.
Based on the huge success and popularity last season; pop-up experiences, which generate much community goodwill and appreciation for live performances, will again be a part of our residency at Strawbery Banke Museum in January/February 2022. These short live performances, offered for free to the public, provided a bright spot last winter during the pandemic when so much was closed. With many performances live-streamed, we increased our reach and community impact. The enthusiastic response has generated new supporters for IDI, and we will seek additional opportunities for pop-up experiences this year.
We hope our programs provide joy and inspire a sense of wonder about skating and the gifts it can provide for a life long activity.
IDI STRIVES TO BUILD COMMUNITY THROUGH SKATING
A winter community engagement highlight since 2019 and of the upcoming IDI Winter Residency is the Annual Seacoast Skating with the Stars (SSWTS), to be held February 5, 2022. This community event pairs six local “non-skater” contestants with professional IDI company members to battle it out for the SSWTS Championship, in the spirit of Dancing with the Stars. The ticketed show promotes all aspects of our residency, from a focus on health and wellness, creativity through dance on ice, recreation, inspiration, and gathering. Each novice community skater learns a routine, created by IDI’s Artistic Director Douglas Webster over the course of 2 months. The locals will begin rehearsals with their Pro IDI partners at the start of the IDI residency in January. The event is judged by renowned skating stars from IDI’s Board of Directors and past SSWTS Champions including Little Harbour School’s Physical Education Director, Sean McGrimley and 2020’s winner, Exeter Hockey Coach and leader with NH Special Olympics, Jim Tufts. The performance draws over 500 fans, and audience members are able to vote for their favorite competitor, which comprises 50% of the total score.
The Skating with the Stars show allows people to see adult skaters of different shapes and abilities enjoying the recreation and physical aspects of skating as a lifelong healthy activity. This is an underlying goal of IDI. With participants spanning a large age group, dancing on ice transcends the boundaries of “for kids only” and opens our eyes to what is possible: skating through life. Community performances help advance IDI’s mission to increase appreciation of ice dance.
Past Contestants Include:
2019: Anne Weidman, Donna Ryan, Jim Proulx, Sean McGrimley, Tod Mott
2020: Abigail Douris, Melissa Paly, Junichi Fukuda, Dan Houston, Jim Tufts, Amanda McSharry
WATCH THE PERFORMANCES
December 2021 will mark the return of Ice Dance International’s vintage skaters performing each weekend in December during Strawbery Banke’s Candlelight Stroll.
The skaters have become one of Stroll’s most enjoyable experiences creating an Early American Holiday feel.
Stroll also gives IDI the opportunity for local adults and competitive kids a chance to perform for appreciative audiences and provides IDI one of its most important ways to engage with the local community.
2021 will be IDI’s 8th year of participating in Strawbery Banke’s special holiday event.