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A quaint Spanish-Mexican atmosphere and beautiful sunny skies will be ready to greet the 2014 adult skaters at the annual Dorothy Hamill Figure Skating Fantasy Camp to be held at the Ice Den in Scottsdale, Ariz. on Oct. 19-24.
The camp, which began in 2009 on the island of Nantucket, Mass., is Hamill’s sixth annual skating camp.
Hamill loves the Ice Den location because the on ice and off ice facilities add to the skaters overall experience.
“There are three sheets of ice for private lessons, all kinds of equipment like a jump harness, and a wonderful off ice atmosphere with restaurants and a coffee bar,” Hamill said. “The location is perfect, too, with the airport located close by for the convenience of the skaters.”
Adult skaters of all levels are welcome at the annual figure skating fantasy camp from the beginner who has never stepped on the ice to the adult gold medalist. Skaters absorb every aspect of the sport through week long presentations by Hamill and her guest coaches. Campers also join the coaching staff for off-ice events and dinners where they can get to know one another.
Steven Cousins, an eight-time British champion, will return this year as a camp coach along with world champions and U.S. medalists Randy Gardner, JoJo Starbuck, Julie Patterson, Elin Gardiner-Schran and Hamill.
This year’s camp will also include a new program where campers will be collaborating and then choreographing their own group number with help from the coaches.
“We are going to have teams, and each team will draw music and put together a program that they will present at our exhibition at the end of camp,” Hamill said.”We want them to work together to create a program that tells a story and then deliver that story on the ice. Everyone will be grouped by their level so that everyone will feel comfortable participating.”
Hamill also promises a “surprise” speaker or two and a surprise “theme” for camp week which will only be revealed when the skaters arrive.
Many campers are “repeaters”, some have attended all six camps, and Hamill loves it when campers return.
This is the second year for Ice Den adult skater Holly Schreiber who skates at the intermediate adult level. She returned to skating in her 50’s after marrying and raising a family. She couldn’t wait to attend the camp again.
“It was a wonderful experience last year,” Schreiber said. “I got to work with Olympians and the top people in our wonderful world of skating that I wouldn’t have gotten a chance to work with.”
“I love my repeaters. They create a special bond,” Hamill said. “They are so friendly and welcoming to the new people too. They bring out that nice balance of old and new.”
Hamill loves that the camp has come to be a special bonding experience.
“I love that there is this one week where we can share what we want about skating with the skaters,” Hamill said. “But we get to know them as people. It’s just a wonderful week of being together and helping everyone achieve what they want to advance.”
“We want to make sure they can express their goals and creativity. I’ve made so many new friends through the skaters, and I think what makes it so special is the bonding experience. We truly want to make their week an unforgettable one. It’s fun to get to know each one of the adults and watch them become comfortable with their skating. It’s very exciting.”
The 2014 camp is filling up quickly but a few openings are still available. Interested skaters can contact www.dorothyhamill.com and click on the camp link for information.
Last year's (2013) campers at the Dorothy Hamill Figure Skating Fantasy Camp.
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