The Vail Recreation District has welcomed nationally- and internationally-known figure skating coaches to its staff who join current coach, Tara Lane, to elevate Dobson Ice Arena's skating programs. George Selimos, Robyn Sudkamp, Carolyn Skoczen-Kooiman and Anneliese Rooney bring with them broad experiences in coaching, show skating and competitive figure skating to share with Dobson's students. The new coaches' repertoire also includes skating highlights like Disney on Ice, National Champion Synchronized Skating Team and winning a World Junior Championship.
According to Dobson Ice Arena Manager Jared Biniecki, the talent and instructional offerings the coaches have brought with them are providing students with a heightened opportunity to learn and grow their skills at the arena. "We're thrilled to bring on board all the coaches and excited to see how our students are already thriving underneath their instruction," said Biniecki. "Dobson Ice Arena has always been a great arena for figure skating, and with the robust new coaching lineup, it will be the best place in the valley for both new and experienced figure skaters."
A summary of Dobson Ice Arena's skating coaches' includes:  
    •    Professional figure skater George Selimos brings a long commitment to growing the sport and art of figure skating to Dobson Ice Arena. Selimos' figure skating competitive history includes skating at the Canadian National Championships in 2001, 2003 and 2004, as well as a 2001 Bronze Alberta Provincial medalist, 2003 Silver Alberta Provincial medalist and 2004 Gold Alberta Provincial medalist. He has also earned his Canadian Figure Skating Association Gold Medals passing through the senior level in figures, free skate, moves in field and dance. Selimos' professional background includes skating internationally and nationally with performances at Busch Gardens/Sea World Parks and Entertainment, Live with Regis and Kelly, Royal Caribbean, Royal Glenora Club, Disney on Ice and many charitable events. A Professional Skating Association coach based in Denver, Selimos says his desire is to enrich skaters of all backgrounds and ages and to have students thrive as skaters and performers. 
    •    As a motivated and energetic professional skater, Robyn Sudkamp teaches all areas of figure skating, helping individuals develop and work toward personal aspirations. Sudkamp's figure skating history includes National Novice Pair Bronze Medalist, Sectional Novice Pair Champion and Regional Novice Pair Champion in 1991. She also competed as a Sectional Junior Pair and Ladies Competitor in 1992. Professionally, Sudkamp has traveled across the nation and the world performing for Disney on Ice, Royal Caribbean, New York Ice Theater and a live performance on the Today Show in 2002. Sudkamp teaches pairs both on and off the ice and focuses on lifts, tricks and choreography. Sudkamp is excited to bring her highly competitive performing arts knowledge to Dobson Ice Arena and is teaching all elements of figure skating and pairs skating.
    •    Carolyn Skoczen-Kooiman had a successful amateur skating career, including being the 1977 Junior World Champion. She represented Canada at international competitions and is a Canadian Figure Skating Association Triple Gold medalist in freestyle, dance and figures. Following retirement from competitive skating, she toured with the International Ice Capades professional ice show. Afterwards, Skoczen-Kooiman began her coaching career in Michigan and later moved to the Chicago area where she co-coached U.S. National Champion, Nicole Bobek. She coached in Denver until recently moving to the Vail Valley with her family to teach at the Beaver Creek outdoor ice rink. "I skate for the love and passion of the sport," said Skoczen-Kooiman. "It's my goal to teach with that same passion and love supporting whatever goals the student has."
    •    Anneliese Rooney grew up skating in Boston and was a competitive skater through the junior level. She passed the United States Figure Skating Association 7th figure and junior free skating tests. Rooney was also a member of the 1995 and 1996 National Champion Synchronized Skating Team. She has been coaching in Colorado since 1998, including at the University of Colorado Ice Arena, Dobson Ice Arena, Beaver Creek and the Eagle Ice Arena. Some of her responsibilities while coaching have included working with competitive figure skaters as a private coach, providing technical assistance, artistic work, power drills and psychological support, as well as choreography for group shows. Rooney has her Masters in Elementary Education from the University of Denver and is currently a first grade teacher at the Eagle County Charter Academy. 
    •    Tara Lane began coaching in 1988 and has been coaching figure skating and hockey power skating at Dobson Ice Arena since 2006. Lane's coaching style fosters education for skaters and their parents, progressive techniques for skills development and helping skaters reach their true potential both on and off the ice. Lane's experience includes competing at the sectional level for several years in individual figure skating. Additionally, Lane has earned her United States Figure Skating Association Gold Medals passing through senior level in figures, freestyle, moves in the field and dance and is a Professional Skaters Association Master Rated Coach. She is the head coach and owner of "Power On Ice" power skating clinics and camps in the Vail Valley; has helped with nationally-recognized power skating programs, including coaching Laura Stamm and Robbie Glantz; and was the power skating coach for National Hockey League Hall of Fame inductee Bryan Trottier's summer TNT hockey camps.

During the summer, the instructors are teaching public figure skating-specific classes for skaters who have a completed a Level 6 in a learn to skate program. Figure skating classes vary throughout the summer and students or parents may call the ice arena at 970-479-2271 each week for instruction opportunities. Additionally, the instructors are available for private lessons at the ice arena for all skating abilities. Fall Youth Hockey, Learn to Skate and Junior Prep, Jumps and Spins sessions will begin in September and last through the school year, with the complete schedule being announced soon.
For more information, go to http://www.vailrec.com/ice-arena or call 970-479-2271. For information on all other VRD offerings and programs, go to www.vailrec.com.


Phone: 970-479-2292     Website: www.vailrec.com
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