As I was sitting at the gate at San Jose International Airport waiting to board my flight home to Southern California, I found myself overcome with emotion. I assumed this was triggered by the wonderful four days I just spent working in the Bay Area with two of my former students, who are now coaches.
The ultimate compliment any teacher can experience is when their former students become teachers themselves and ask you to work with their athletes as you did with them for many years when they were competitors.
Kristen Mita was a National Junior Ladies competitor whom I choreographed for working with her coach, Cindy Caprel. Dennis Phan was a Junior Men’s National Champion whom I worked with alongside his coach, Tammy Gambill.
What impressed me the most about working with Kristen’s and Dennis’ students was how conscientious they, as coaches, were about every detail involved in the development of their skaters. The trust and bond we have is unwavering and so rewarding to me. I thank them both for entrusting their skaters to me.
I wanted to share these links of both of these coaches competing back in the day so that you might enjoy these wonderful performances. Here, Dennis Phan skates his Nationals program in 2008: Watch video. And here is Kristen Mita’s Junior Ladies short program from the Midwestern Sectionals in 2003. Watch video.
I must say that the pride I feel in how well they are training their students makes my heart sing. They asked if I would come back to work with their skaters and I replied, “You two are like my children. And a parent will do anything to help their kids.”
Of course I will be back!
The session is over and the Zamboni is coming out.