Skating Fridays

Pairs Lesson with an Olympian

Happy 2024! I hope that everyone rung in the new year safely and had a blast celebrating the start of 2024. I haven’t had the chance to share these videos until now, but I had the distinct opportunity to take a pairs skating lesson with Olympian Philip Dulebohn when I traveled to Delaware for work. Phil and his partner, Tiffany Scott, won the 2003 US Championships pairs title and competed for the USA at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

As luck would have it, Phil is a “lefty” skater like myself, which means that we rotate our jumps and spins clockwise. Being a lefty on ice is a rare thing. I want to say at least 90% of skaters rotate counterclockwise, so it’s often difficult for me to have to “flip” instructions from a coach around so that they apply to me. I was grateful to have learned from Phil since he was able to easily explain what I needed to do without having me to decipher it for skating “the other way.”

I asked Phil to help me with the pairs death spiral, which is an element that I am determined to execute. I have trouble on the descent and don’t know what I need to do with my body (my pairs partner and I are mostly self-taught and learn from YouTube and Instagram videos). Having Phil explain the woman’s part was super helpful, and he gave me some exercises to try at home and on the ice with my partner.

In addition, I asked for guidance on viable spins that my partners and I could execute. We have a very limited spin repertoire at the moment, so I asked Phil for some ideas that we could try at home. He came up with a few fairly simple spins that seem doable. Only time will tell at this point.

Thanks again for Phil for a fantastic and informative lesson. I hope to be able to work with him again and successfully execute what I learned with my own pairs partner.

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