A Sit Down with The World Class Aviator Skate DirectorFebruary 17, 2017
A Sit Down with The World Class Aviator Skate Director
By Cabril DeAbreu
It’s not often you find an entire team of dedicated, top of the line figure skating coaches at your disposal, but Aviator Sports and Events Center is happy to be an outlier. We sat down with Slava Rozanski, Aviator’s skate director and coach at the 1998 Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan, the 1997-8 World Championships, U.S. Nationals and U.S. Junior Nationals, to find out what makes the group so unique.
How long have you been a figure skating coach?
S: I’ve been coaching figure skating for the past 25 years.
Were there specific levels of competition?
S: I’ve coached all levels of skaters, from the 3-year-old first timer to the recreational skater, all the way to top level competition.
What do you think are the most important qualities that separate the good, from the top of the line coaches?
S: I would say patience is the most critical quality in a coach. Skating improvement takes time and a lot of repetition. Without it, you won’t develop and master skills. Second, you need knowledge of the craft. The coach should be able to break down any skills into individual exercises. In jumps, for example, one should be able to demonstrate the take-off, the rotation, and the landing. Each aspect has a unique approach. Third, is the importance of safety. Younger skaters tend to let excitement get ahead of safety when practicing a new skill. A top-notch skate coach makes sure to stress the importance of being cautious.
What makes the figure skating staff here, so unique?
S: The skate team is full of members who, not only have immense figure skating knowledge but also experience competing at the highest levels. They are also dedicated. Typically, skate coaches are self-employed, meaning most of them will coach as a second job. The Aviator staff is comprised of multiple, full-time coaches. Figure skating is their primary focus day in and day out. They are dedicated to maximizing the talent of every student.
What else can you tell us about your background?
S: I came here 16 years ago, after being a competitive coach in Isreal for nine years. I quickly realized the skating environment in the United States was extremely competitive. That fueled my determination to be one of the best, and I invested in it. I went to additional training, attended seminars, and learned new skills. Despite being an established coach, I went above and beyond to perfect my craft.
Are there any coaches on your team that you would like to highlight?
S: The staff is comprised of talented and accomplished coaches, which is something I am proud to be able to say. If I were to pick one coach to highlight, it would be Flora (Magid). She is my right hand and one of the fastest rising coaches on the staff. The rate at which she has developed her knowledge base is impressive and some of her skills she learned even more quickly than I did.
Are there any other key components to your team?
S: We have a very professional staff, capable of working with the newest skater on fundamentals, to the established or elite skater working to add to their routine.
What are some of your coaching staff’s accolades?
S: 2 of our coaches participated in the Olympic games, multiple world championships, European championships and The Grand Prix. Beyond competition, there is also extensive coaching experience on those levels. This level of accreditation is not usually found on one staff.
This rare blend of patient and experienced coaches make Aviator Sports and Events Center a must for anyone looking to learn to skate or to improve their routine. Learn more about the Aviator Skate School coaching staff here.