Sarah Kawahara

Sarah Kawahara

Christina Gandolfo
June 29, 2023
Me and My Emmy

Me and My Emmy: Sarah Kawahara

The choregrapher loves bringing the speed and sport of figure skating onto film.

Emmy Tally: Two

How She Got the Gold: For outstanding choreography in 1997, for Scott Hamilton: Upside Down, and again in 2002 for the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics opening ceremony.

Now for the Noms: Kawahara won each time she was nominated.

Life's Little Surprises: "My Emmy statuettes are on my bookshelf. They are a constant reminder that, as my dad would say, you never know what life will bring you. As an ice skater and choreographer, it was beyond my wildest dreams to win an Emmy."

Peggy's Protégé: "I had a long career as a performer and wanted to get into production work. Peggy Fleming had seen me perform in the Ice Capades and thought our styles would align. She asked me to choreograph for her guest spot in the Ice Capades and for her theater show for Harrah's Lake Tahoe. I went on to choreograph a show for Radio City Music Hall starring Peggy, called ICE: A Theatre of Symphony & Skates."

Gold-Medal Gig: "The Olympics opening ceremony was the culmination of my career, as I was able to use all of my experience from working with cameras for television ice specials plus what I had learned about live arena shows."

Skating on Screen: "Winning Emmys validated my crossing over from performance sport to entertainment on film. I love every aspect of working with cameras, bringing the speed of the sport of figure skating, and the art of its movement, onto film."

Click here for more Me and My Emmy articles.

This article originally appeared in magazine issue #7, 2023.

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