Monument Adult Skating Camp Part I

by Mary on December 9, 2019

Meryl and Charlie’s Olympic Scheherazade costumes at the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame

After Sectionals this year I attended the Monument Adult Skating Camp put on by the Monument Skating Academy. I’d loved it in 2018. There have been big changes since then with the departure of Kori Ade and Jason Brown, but some of the folks I’d enjoyed working with like Tiffany Dombeck and Lara Ladret were still there. And, big draw for me, Ben Agosto was going to come and teach. 

We had a great seminar from a sports nutritionist and a nice blend of on and off ice seminars, including an hour of pampering our feet with every imaginable way to massage and stretch them. The Monument crew was very welcoming and helped me get right to a skate shop when (eek!) my blade got loose (my fault for waiting too long to put in more screws).

A trip to the U.S. Figure Skating Museum and Hall of Fame was a highlight. We talked to the U.S. Figure Skating staff, as a bonus, the person I talked to managed to release the hold that had been on my juvenile moves test for a while. And we got a guided tour. So many skates, videos, medals and costumes from throughout the years. I took lots of pictures.

The last day of the camp was our time with Ben Agosto and Katherine Hill. Based in Colorado Springs, they coach, give seminars, and have choreographed the new Cirque Du Soleil ice show ‘Axel’ together. A huge blizzard was predicted to hit Denver that day, so instead of a full day of camp the organizers decided we would work with Ben and Katherine all morning and stop at noon. Campers had been nervously checking their phones for the weather forecast since the previous night and some folks decided to skip the last day to beat the storm.

Ben and Katherine are engaging and Ben has a performer’s personality that stays on, he’s full of clowning and funny sayings and stories. They gave us some great tips for working on alignment and balance.

Ben says that the children’s song “Head, shoulders, knees and toes,” is incorrect for balancing on skates: for us it should be “Head, shoulders, hips and heels.” We should keep our weight over the heels and under the head. The way to do that is to think of bending your ankles a little more. And he had a fun mnemonic for “squeeze your glutes tight while bending your ankles,” “glankle.” When I think of that word “glankle” it really does help!

After such a fun morning I had a real shock when I opened the front door of the rink to a driving blizzard. (More on that here.)

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jo December 14, 2019 at 12:10 am

Foot massages AND Ben Agosto? Be still, my heart! I will be singing “Heads, shoulders, hips, and heels” next week at practice. So glad you had fun, Mary–thanks for sharing.


Mary December 21, 2019 at 6:58 am

I thought that ditty might be right up your alley! And it really is useful, too.


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