My life as a coach in the figure skating world is not quite as physical as it was when I was competing, but the mental aspect is just as grueling. I seem to keep my perfectionism in check, but I never want to miss any stone unturned when it comes to my competitors.
I returned home from Oberstdorf, Germany in 1998, where I had spent 10 wonderful years training under the direction of Martin Skotnicky with my partner Hendryk Schamberger. I had fulfilled my dream of skating in Worlds (6 times) & Olympic competition & decided it was time to move back to the states since we had decided to turn professional. I knew that I wanted to be closer to where my family was, so I started my adventure in Michigan.
I packed up my belongings and went on a road trip all over the USA. Stopping along the way at many competitive training centers and ice rinks. When I hit Florida I immediately fell in love with the beach, sun & palm trees, as I had spent my last 10 years in the German Alps! What a change……I started teaching in a small rink in Sunrise, Florida, but after a year there I wanted to find a more competitive arena. I moved to the Miami area and was content, for the time being.
I started competing with Hendryk as a professional for competitions and shows both in America & Europe. Then when ever we had time off we would go back to Germany to work with his dance teams in Berlin. It would take me back to Germany every Summer and I liked staying connected! I also danced (off ice) with a dance troupe in Miami and that let me use my creativity to choreograph & perform small dance numbers with my colleagues.
In the mean time, I fell in love with a coach who I met while teaching in Sunrise. Kyle was also a previous world competitor in ice dance & we hit it off immediately. He decided to move to Miami with me and we started team teaching together. We found that our styles were very much the same and that we worked well as a team both on & off the ice. 3 years later we were married at the Delano Hotel in an outdoor dream wedding on South Beach, and a year after that we had our first child. Her name is Jordyn and she is presently 4 years old.
After family life really kicked in we decided that if we wanted to make skating our career, and not just a hobby, that we needed to get serious and move to a rink that would allow us to support our growing family by teaching high level competitors. We also wanted to build a base to call home. We ended up moving to Westminster, Colorado a year later. In the last 4 seasons of teaching in Colorado we have produced Regional Champions & Junior National Medallists. We are truly content with our jobs and the students we have been blessed to work with. We were also blessed with our second child last year. His name is Rush and he is just 18 months.
Our careers are going well & we really enjoy our family life. Together we continue to look ahead to the future to see where it may take us. The journey, so far, as a competitive coach has been a blast. I hope to continue to motivate, develop, & challenge myself & the skaters I work with to allow me to be a part of this small world of figure skating for many years to come…