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A Fresh Start

As we wrap up this arduous year dealing with the pandemic and its ramifications, it’s time to look forward with hope and anticipation. The strength and commitment of all of the health care workers and doctors who gave of themselves unselfishly to keep Americans safe and healthy are to be thanked and congratulated. To the scientists who worked tirelessly to expedite the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, we applaud and thank you for giving us hope.

I am feeling the anticipation and excitement that is building in our skating community to being able to have a fully competitive season, hopefully beginning in June of 2021. Receiving that first call to start to create new choreography for this spring made me realize that there is light at the end of the tunnel as more and more people around the world get vaccinated. This particular coach and long-term colleague, and her skater, decided they wanted to forget the programs we developed for an almost non-existent season and have a fresh start.

What a great and beautiful idea. Thinking about the possibilities for the 2021-2022 season hit me in such a positive way. How wonderful to march forward to normalcy by preparing for next season, just like we would have done in any other year.

Weathering this “non-season” season opened new windows for creativity with Zoom lessons to keep skills and existing programs moving forward as well as for refining and enhancing the choreography of programs. Right from my own home in California, I had the opportunity to create quite a few programs.

One of my senior men, Will Hubbart, enjoyed exploring this video medium with me, experiencing it first-hand. I choreographed his short program with both Will and I on the floor in our respective homes. Once the rinks reopened, we took the program to the ice, via Zoom as well. Everything transferred beautifully except I had allotted too much time for the flying spin. No problem, I just filled in the music with additional choreography. As I choreographed his new long program, Will was now on the ice and I worked on the floor as we Zoomed those lessons. Although it is not something many of us have done before Covid, I found that it was extremely easy to create and add the nuances needed to craft complete and well-rounded programs.

Adversity leads to opportunity was my mantra and I attacked each lesson and task with a ferocious vigor. It is important to me that all of my skaters, no matter their level, are resilient and resourceful in accomplishing any task placed before them by their coaches and their sport.

This coming season I will have the opportunity to travel for choreography and also to continue to work with the skaters on Zoom to clean and edit programs, or to choreograph their programs on Zoom, as I did for some of my higher-level skaters this year. Over the next few weeks, I will begin choreographing for one of my coaching colleagues, Kara Johnson, in Australia. Coordinating time differentials is always a challenging task and I look forward to starting Kara’s Novice Lady’s program on Zoom.

We are almost there everybody, help is on the way with these vaccines. Get excited and motivated to look forward to a successful season next year with a fresh start.

The session is over and the Zamboni is coming out.

Auf Wiedersehen

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