After working closely with our skaters to create pieces that fit them and the music so well sometimes we experience programs that never quite develop into what we see in our mind’s eye. Many issues can affect the final outcome of any program. Sometimes this disparity is due to a lack of focus and work on the part of the skater who needs to clarify the purity of the movements. Other times the coach makes changes by themselves rather than working with the creator of the choreography to facilitate the modifications they wish to accomplish. Another factor that can influence choreographic changes, although offered with the best of intentions, can come from judges and dignitaries from federations who have their own idea of what the choreography should be.
One of the things I loved about working with Michelle Kwan in the programs I choreographed for her was her desire to make the programs exactly as I intended them to be. Her greatness was so inspiring and it is no wonder she is such an iconic figure in our sport.
I just returned from a trip to the Broadmoor to fine tune Angela Wang’s new short program and Max Aaron’s new long program after their wins at the US National Collegiate Championships in Denver.
When I saw Angela skate my “Somewhere over the Rainbow” I was blown away at how beautiful and inspiring it had become. I knew in the moment I could tweak it and make it even better but to have the same feeling I felt with Michelle Kwan lifted my heart and soul.
I have always admired Angela’s skating and felt so excited to be able to create a piece of choreography on a song that is one of America’s hidden treasures. It is our job as coaches and choreographers to acknowledge the delicate and inspiring piece of clay we have and to mold it into something wonderful for all the world to see and enjoy. We long to help our athletes rise to the top.
The session is over and the Zamboni is coming out.