Five Ice Dance couples attended the camp which took place on the 13th – 20th August, all keen to improve skills and learn techniques to help them as a team.
Of the British couples, two came from Streatham and three from Bracknell, with NISA Coaches Pippa Towler-Green and Lucine Chaknakjian attending alongside the group.
The camp was designed to boost confidence, skillset and teamwork, while better equipping attendees with updated knowledge of this year’s competition criteria.
The Basic and Advanced Novice level skaters were also able to make the most of a number of off-ice classes to improve fitness, posture, rhythm and balance.
Pippa, Streatham Coach, said: “This camp was so good for the kids, and all the exercises were really well thought out.
“With the skaters being younger, different tools were used in some sessions, like balloons and hula hoops, to keep everyone engaged while they learned.
“Our group were able to meet loads of new people and share knowledge which was also great, and when they weren’t on the ice they were participating in fitness sessions, ballroom dancing and ballet classes.
“The classes were also very informative for myself as well as my skaters, with the combination of off-ice classes giving a good idea of what skaters can be doing while they’re training at home.
“The moderators worked so hard and were fabulous with the way they interacted with all of the participants.
“Their conduct was professional throughout but they also maintained a very fun atmosphere and kept the children engaged with the fun twists they gave to the exercises.
“My couples especially liked one session where they were skating with balloons to help their dance holds!”
Bracknell coach Lucine added: “I feel very privileged to now have attended 3 ISU training camps, this was my first visit to Torun and I sincerely hope to return. It was a fabulous experience for all the Ice Dance teams.
“The fitness element was challenging, however the skaters soon got accustomed to this training and really enjoyed pushing themselves - motivated by each other.
“Ballroom was very cleverly put together, they were taught by dancers who had also tried skating and they had a fabulous understanding of how the body has to move on the ice in relation to your feet.
“Drama is always something our skaters enjoy, Dorotto, the instructor, is fantastic. She listens to them and adapts her methods brilliantly according to the group. These sessions help the skaters with their performance skills, but she also helped them with relaxation techniques.
“The on-ice coaches were inspirational. They were constantly busy, moving from one team to another, ensuring that everyone got what they needed from these sessions.
“I have come home with some new ideas that I will be passing on to my coaching partner David Phillips.
“My teams have definitely improved their skills on the ice and are highly motivated by what they have leant, as am I.
“Huge thank you goes to all involved, coaches, organisers, the ISU and to NISA for supporting our skaters application. Looking forward to returning hopefully next season. “
Here at NISA we’d like to say a big well done to all British skaters for getting stuck into what was a very valuable experience. Thanks too, to NISA Coaches and organisers for supporting skaters to make the most of opportunities like the recent camp in Torun.
See below for testimonials from some of the skaters who attended the camp:
Alexandra and Sasha, Ice Dance couple from Streatham: “We both had an incredible time and learned so much while we were there.
“We started each day at 7am with breakfast before hitting the athletics track at 8am for the 800 metres. and an hour’s worth of circuit training – we certainly both feel much fitter as a result!
“The rest of each day was spent both on- and off-ice, involving classes in ballet, ballroom and theatre / expression.
“Our on-ice moderators, led by Sylwia Novak-Tebacka from the ISU, developed our skills as a skating couple and as a result we have returned to the UK significantly improved. It was a unique and wonderful experience and both of us are extremely grateful for it.”
Peter Nicholl and Harmony Mia Pond, Streatham Ice Dance couple: “Our favourite part of the Torun camp was the theatre classes and ballroom classes - it was fun and interesting to see the ballroom equivalent dances.
“I also enjoyed meeting the other nationalities and learning about skaters from all over the world.”
Adam Bouaziz, Bracknell skater: “The camp in Poland was an amazing experience and I feel that both my partner’s and my own skating have much improved. We’ll continue to practice what we have learned at home at our own rink.
“Want to say a big thank you to the ISU, the organisers, coaches Sylvia, Dennis, Michael and all the teachers in the athletics, drama, ballet and ballroom sessions.”
Ava-Mae Martell, Bracknell skater: “The Poland Camp was brilliant! We learnt a lot of new techniques in the pattern dances and I feel that Adam and I improved as the week went on.
“The camp helped me feel more confident in myself when I skate, and definitely helped Adam and me become stronger on the ice.
“Everyone’s fitness seemed to get better with all the gym work that we did. Ballroom was extremely fun and energetic and I loved learning the dances, especially the Cha Cha Cha!
“The coaches for all the different activities were really nice and very talented - they worked us hard. The schedule was very full; with gym, ballet, ice time, ballroom, theatre and more ice time.
“I am very grateful to NISA for selecting us to go and to Lucine Chakmajian-Phillips, our coach for taking us.
“Overall, it exceeded my expectations and I really hope that Adam and I get the chance to train this way again in other camps.”
Alexander Fairbridge, Bracknell skater: “The trip to Torun completely changed my view of Ice Dance. The coaches were phenomenal and taught us some great methods to improve all aspects of our skating.
“It made my skating much better, and I am also extremely grateful and can’t wait to do another camp like this in future. Thank you to NISA and the ISU.”
Katarina Fairbridge, Bracknell skater: “This was my first seminar camp in Poland, and it was fantastic. We got to make new friends and do amazing activities with great coaches to improve our skating.
“The training was hard and very exhausting (especially going to the gym at 8 o’clock in the morning!) but it was all so worth it. We really enjoyed the camp and would love to come again. Big thank you to NISA and the ISU.”
Emily Lucine- Phillips and Jayin Panesar, Bracknell Ice Dance couple: “This is the third camp we have been to, and we were really looking forward to going as we learnt so much from the two previous Oberstdorf camps.
“The Poland camp has been a fabulous experience for us. The strength and fitness training really helped us recover further from our various injuries since November.
“The fitness coach listened to us and adapted the exercises where necessary. He also helped us by applying physio tape so that we could take the exercises further and train harder.
“Drama with Dorotta was great, and was a lovely way to end the day – it’s really beneficial and fun. We have seen Dorotta at all the camps we’ve visited and feel we can really relax with her now. She is a lot of fun.
“The on-ice coaches were fabulous, they focused on making us better skaters and we feel this complimented what we do in training at our home rink.
“It was great to meet and make friends with other skaters too, we all mixed well and have stayed in touch. We hope to see them in competition.
“Overall It was a very worthwhile experience and we hope to attend again next season. Thank you to the ISU and organising committee and to NISA.”
British camp attendees:
Harmony Mia Pond and Peter Nicholl – Streatham
Alexandra Snowden and Sasha Buchholdt – Streatham
Alexander Fairbridge and Katerina Fairbridge – Bracknell
Emily Lucine-Phillips and Jayin Panesar – Bracknell
Adam Bouaziz and Ava-Mae Martell - Bracknell