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Jo Ann Schneider Farris

Dear JO ANN: How Do I Choose an Ice Dance Coach?

By December 29, 2012

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Recently, I received the following letter from a figure skating parent:

Dear JO ANN:

My child is interested in pursuing ice dancing.  She is a Juvenile level singles skater and I'm hoping we can find a partner so she can also compete in ice dancing and take ice dance tests.  How do I choose an ice dance coach to meet our goals and needs?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

Figure Skating Parent

Here's my reply:

Dear Figure Skating Parent:

First of all, if possible, take your time. Your child's future as an ice dancer and figure skater can greatly be affected by who you decide to train with.

There are really four kinds of ice dance coaches. There are competitive ice dance coaches, test-only ice dance teachers, ice dancers who charge to partner figure skaters through ice dance tests, and all-around ice dance coaches who may teach recreational skaters, adults, test skaters, social ice dancers, and competitive ice dancers.

Find out if the ice dance coach you are interested in has trained successful ice dance teams or has been able to help skaters pass many ice dancing tests. Learn about the coach's competitive ice dancing experience. Does the coach design costumes? Will the coach help your child find a partner? Does the coach get along with other coaches?

Most of all, make sure the coach likes children and is patient. Your child's ice dance career can flourish under the right person.

Happy Skating!



JO ANN Schneider Farris

Guide to Figure Skating


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    January 7, 2013 at 9:02 pm
    (1) Lee Gamelin says:

    As a parent of a senior ice dance team, I suggest strongly that if your child wishes to compete as an ice dancer,and is serious about it, you get the finest coaching you can find. The investment of time and money warrants nothing but the best tutelage available.

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