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STARSkate Coaches

Each skater who registers for a STARSkate session -- Pre-Junior through Senior -- must also have selected a coach for private lessons.

All SMSC coaches are contracted by the Club to coach our CanSkate sessions as well as stroking sessions for our STARSkate sessions. Coaches are self-employed and set their own hours and fees.

A STARSkater’s main coach will teach all disciplines – freeskate, skills and dance. As a skater becomes more advanced, his or her coach may recommend adding a specialist coach – in dance, choreography, interpretive, etc – to supplement lessons from the skater’s main coach.

Each of our coaches must be certified by Skate Canada, which includes coaching proficiency as well as First Aid training and insurance. Our coaches’ qualification level -- as mandated by the Coaches Association of Canada -- are based on the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP). Our coaches are certified as CanSkate coaches or NCCP levels (1 through 5). As part of maintaining their coaching certification, our coaches each participate in continuous learning through Skate Canada.

Coaching Fees

SMSC’s professional coaches are all self-employed, and therefore set their own schedule and fees.

When registering for a STARSkate session, it’s important to note that session fees cover ice rental costs (for Pre-Junior sessions, session fees also include group lessons). In addition to session fees, each skater will have a certain number of private or semi-private lessons.

Coaches provide each skater with a bill -- usually each month during the fall/winter season – for their lessons. Coaching fees are expected to be paid in a timely fashion. Skaters with unpaid coaching fees may not be considered members in good standing, which could prevent a skater from registering for competitions or test days.

Finding a coach

Our coaches differ in style and philosophy, and it’s important for parents to make an informed choice on behalf of their skater. Parents know their child best, and are in the best position to assess what type of coach would best enhance their child’s learning and development. Be sure to give some thought to your skater’s learning style and personality, and then talk to a few coaches -- in addition to other skaters or parents -- to determine which coach would be the best fit for your skater. When talking to prospective coaches, it’s useful to have a frank discussion about your skater’s aspirations, your coach’s expectations of his or her skaters (including the number of sessions per week and number of lessons recommended), as well as any expectations of parents.

Before making a final decision on a coach, be sure to check on his or her availability for the sessions you wish to book, as not all coaches teach on every session.

Once you’ve chosen a coach, it’s important to have an open and ongoing dialogue about your skater’s objectives for each season.

It’s also important to remember that our coaches are all professionals, and they will participate in a constructive dialogue to address any issues. Keep in mind that a coach develops a learning plan and allocates lesson time to each skater for a full season.

If you already have a coach

Before registering for the season, be sure to confirm your coach’s availability for all of the sessions your skater hopes to book.

Once you’ve chosen a coach, it’s important to have an open and ongoing dialogue about objectives for each season. Keep in mind that a coach develops a learning plan and allocates lesson time to each skater for a full season.

Download the Coaches Code of Ethics


Leslie Baker

Leslie Baker

leslie.baker@sympatico.ca
905-464-4310
Coaching: 27 years
Certification: Level 3
Availability: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday
Teaches: STARSkate Competitive/ Freeskate/ Skills/ Dance, Dance Partnering, CanSkate Coordinator, CanPower Certified
Specialization / Additional Skills: Choreography
Coaching: 20 years, national and international skaters, as well as beginners from ground up
Certification: Skate Canada Certified, Olympian, former National British Ice Dance Champion, Olympic, World and European competitor
Availability: Wednesday
Teaches: STARSkate Dance, Dance Partnering, Power Skating & Stroking
Specialization / Additional Skills: Ice Dance, Choreography

Allen Carson

Allen Carson

allencarson@rogers.com
905-821-7826
Coaching: 45 years
Certification: Level 3
Availability: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
Teaches: STARSkate Competitive/ Freeskate/ Skills/ Dance, Dance Partnering, CanSkate, CanPower Certified
Specialization / Additional Skills: Pairs, Skate Sharpening

Linda Carson

Linda Carson

lindacarson@rogers.com
905-821-7826
Coaching: 45 years
Certification: Level 2 (3 Technical & Theory)
Availability: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
Teaches: STARSkate Competitive/ Freeskate/ Skills/ Dance, Dance Partnering, CanSkate
Specialization / Additional Skills: Pairs, Dance

Julie Gryniewski

Julie Gryniewski

lj_gryniewski@yahoo.ca
905-820-1964
Coaching: 27 years
Certification: Level 3
Availability: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
Teaches: STARSkate Competitive/ Freeskate/ Skills/ Dance, CanSkate, CanPower Certified
Specialization / Additional Skills: Choreography, Music Editing

Lawrence Gryniewski

Lawrence Gryniewski

lj_gryniewski@yahoo.ca
905-820-1964
Coaching: 27 years
Certification: Level 1
Availability: Tuesday and Thursday
Teaches: STARSkate Dance, Dance Partnering, CanPower Certified
Specialization / Additional Skills: Music Editing, Dance

Amanda Kolapak

Amanda Kolapak

akolapak@gmail.com
647-520-9085
Coaching: 15 years
Certification: Level 2
Availability: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday
Teaches: STARSkate Competitive/ FreeSkate/ Skills/ Dance, CanSkate

Connie MacKenzie

Connie MacKenzie

mackenzie.connie@gmail.com
905-332-1151
Coaching: 43 years
Certification: Level 3
Availability: Upon Request, Through Base Coach
Teaches: Consultant for STARSkate FreeSkate/ Skills/ Dance
Specialization / Additional Skills: Special Olympics

Susan Ritchie

Susan Ritchie

skating@susanritchie.ca
519-496-6372
Coaching: 23 years
Certification: Level 2 Certified, Level 3 Theory and Technical, Multiple Level 4/5 Task Completed. Graduate of the Advanced Figure Skating Coaching Techniques program at Seneca College.
Availability: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday
Teaches: STARSkate Competitive/ FreeSkate/ Dance/ Skills, Power Skating, Synchronized Skating, CanSkate
Specialization / Additional Skills: Music Editing

Judy Swallow

Judy Swallow

judy.soulutions@gmail.com
647-235-9443
Coaching: 40 years
Certification: Provincial Coach Certified, National Coach Trained
Availability: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday
Teaches: STARSkate Competitive/ FreeSkate/ Skills/ Dance, CanSkate

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