Area figure skaters will learn from champion Elvis Stojko
Posted Mar 18, 2010 By Jeff Maguire
EMC Sports - When Denise Pigeau thinks about the opportunity that lies ahead this month she admits to becoming "teary-eyed".
"I think everyone who comes into the dental office knows about it now," she laughs.
Outside of her day job in a busy Carleton Place dental practice Pigeau, or "Coach Dee" as she is known to her mainly young students, spends much of her time teaching figure skating at the Carleton Place Skating Club. She also instructs both male and female hockey players in power skating.
The opportunity she refers to is a two-day skating seminar which will be taught by "the best". Canadian men's world figure skating champion Elvis Stojko.
"I get emotional just thinking about it," she states.
A total of 55 invitees and their coaches from several area skating clubs, including an even dozen from the Carleton Place organization, will spend several hours with Stojko and his personal choreographer Roselle Soussana Doyle, learning the finer points of the sport.
The sessions, organized under the auspices of the Athens Skating Club, will be staged at the Youth Arena in Smiths Falls on Monday and Tuesday, March 29 and 30. The event is "private" meaning the public will not be permitted to attend during the actual instruction.
Stojko, a Newmarket, Ontario native who grew up in nearby Richmond Hill, is now a professional skater, coach and celebrity with a very busy schedule. The Smiths Falls visit was finalized last September.
Stojko's list of accomplishments and awards is virtually endless. He is a three-time world figure skating champion including back-to-back titles in 1994 and 1995. He won silver medals in men's singles at both the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway and the 1998 Nagano, Japan games. Beginning in 1994 and ending in 2002 he powered his way to seven Canadian championships.
His "all-out" style earned him world-wide attention and acclaim! In 1991 Stojko was the first male skater to land a quadruple double jump in combination (quadruple toe-loop, double toe-loop) and at the 1997 Grand Prix finals he won the event after landing the first-ever quadruple/triple jump in combination.
More recently his career has been dedicated to specific skating performances, media work, charity events and other public appearances. His business is conducting figure skating seminars.
Pigeau, who has taught at the Carleton Place club for 10 years and fellow coach Sue Cadieux, who has instructed for 16 years in Almonte and for more than 12 years in Carleton Place, admit to being as awestruck as their students.
"I have one girl - she's at the end of her club skating now - whose lifelong dream has been to meet Elvis Stojko," Cadieux says.
The teenager, Tori Patterson who has skated at the local club from age four to 18, is among the 12 Carleton Place athletes invited to participate in the seminar.
"So not only will she meet him, she will learn from him," Cadieux observes.
Pigeau says it is "a wonderful opportunity for our kids.
"Learning from Elvis Stojko - it doesn't get any better!"
She explains the "invitation-only" nature of the event means the 55 young people involved will gain one-on-one experience from the former world champion and his choreographer, who will work in combination providing both on-ice and off-ice instruction.
"Elvis will teach them about jumps, movement and will give a motivational talk.
"Roselle will provide on-ice instruction in movement and improv," Pigeau notes.
With 12 skaters involved and three coaches (including Pigeau and Cadieux) in attendance, the Carleton Place club will have the highest number of any participating club at the Stojko seminar.