When I was a fairly young figure skating coach, I had the honor of coaching at one of the rinks where a well-known figure skating choreographer named Ricky Harris worked her magic. Sometimes, I'd arrive at the rink early in the afternoon just so I could get some time to talk to Ricky alone in the rink's coaches room. I wanted to learn all I could from her about coaching and also I wanted to understand all I could about her unique approach to choreography for skaters.
There were a couple of things she said to me in that coaches room, that I have always remembered:
"Jo Ann, one day, after you've taught skating a long time, a younger person may come along who might think he or she can do things better than you. Allow that person into your sphere of influence. That person can learn from you and you might learn something from that person too."
She also told me that in the dance world, choreographers are treated like royalty, but in figure skating, that was not always the case. Then, years later, I came in contact with Ricky again after she wrote a unique book that had nothing to do with skating, but about how to exercise when you are too busy to exercise! Of course, I bought that book!
Last week, I was delighted to get a chance to talk to Ricky on the phone. She is now living in Mexico. Her popular Ricky Harris Figure Skating Workshops are now being given by Jodi Porter, the founder and director of American Ice Theatre. Ricky Harris's legacy lives on!
- About Ricky Harris and Ricky Harris Figure Skating Workshops
- Choreography and Style for Figure Skaters - By Ricky Harris
Ricky Harris Workshops Logo - Courtesy Jodi Porter