If we want to talk about home grown ice dance in this country one of the places we need to look at is Vancouver, B.C. Megan Wing and Aaron Lowe are well-known Canadians in the ice dance world, and aren't having any problems keeping busy.
If we want to talk about home grown ice dance in this country one of the places we need to look at is Vancouver, B.C.
Megan Wing and Aaron Lowe are well-known Canadians in the ice dance world.
In amateur careers that started at nationals in novice in 1990 and finished at worlds in 2006, Wing and Lowe were consistently on the international stage representing Canada.
What I remember best is the great technique and lovely style exhibited by two skaters who really wanted to express themselves in their own way.
Both Wing and Lowe are articulate and educated, and speaking with them at various points over the years, I would have thought that they might have made their living outside of skating. Wing has a Masters in Applied Psychology and Lowe a Masters in Human Kinetics.
The skating world is sure glad they didn't go very far. They have emerged as huge stars in coaching, winning both the Skate Canada and B.C. Competitive Coach of the Year awards in 2011.
At the recent Canadian national championships, Wing and Lowe's teams captured the top three spots in novice dance, gold and bronze in junior dance and a bronze in senior dance.
Their top team, Nicole Orford and Thomas Williams -- the senior bronze medallists -- just finished in sixth at the recent Four Continents Championships in Osaka, Japan and Wing said this of them making the Canadian team:
"It was a goal after results of the summer competition and Grand Prix this year," she said. "The more experience they get at the international level the better as every competition is a learning experience."
With great results in all levels across the board, it would seem as if the program that Wing and Lowe have created at the Centre of Excellence Burnaby 8 Rinks has really taken off. Their success has not gone unnoticed and Ted Barton, the director of the B.C. section, acknowledges how.
As far as coaching philosophies are concerned, there is something to be said for coaches who have been where their students are. Wing and Lowe started to skate together when they were 11 and 12 years old respectively and have been each other's only partners.
In total, they competed at the Olympics in 2006, five world championships and earned 10 national medals. In my mind, this wealth of experience gives them all that they need to be able to pass along to their own skaters.
With as many as five teams competing on the junior and senior Grand Prix circuits this season, these coaches have been winging their way around the skating world. The travel is still ongoing as they have two teams on their way to the junior world championships in Milan, Italy next week.
Canada's junior ice dance champions, Madeline Edwards and Zhaokai Pang, have the distinction of having been champions in every other national dance category up to this point (2009 juvenile, 2010 pre-novice, 2011 novice and silver in junior dance in 2012 before winning the category this year).
They have a promising future as indicated by two bronze medals at their junior Grand Prix events this season. As one of two teams competing for Canada, Edwards and Pang are looking to make their presence felt.
As if managing Canadian dance teams wasn't enough, Wing and Lowe are also making a name for themselves internationally as coaches. They are the steering force behind two-time national junior ice dance champions Sarah Aghai and Jussiville Partanen who represent Finland.
It's been a busy time for Wing and Lowe; the multi-tasking coaches, choreographers, partners and parents. And if their success, work ethic and talent are any indication it's only going to get a lot busier.
PJ KwongPJ is a self-proclaimed Word Broker who goes by the motto: I read them. I write them. I speak them. A degree from the University of Toronto studying Modern Languages has been put to good use as a bilingual PA announcer for, among other things, the last 5 Olympic Games, the FIFA U-20 2007 Men's World Cup and numerous international figure skating events since 1993.
Working as a figure skating coach for the last 25+ years led to commentating opportunities from CTV/TSN, ABC, Tokyo Broadcasting, CBC, Fuji TV, Seoul Broadcasting and CCTV among others. CBC has been home to Pj's skating voice, writing and commentary opinions since 2007. She would tell you that although working in skating is where her passion lies; she is the voice of lots of commercial projects, a blogger on her own site, a public speaker and with "Taking The Ice: Success Stories from the World of Canadian Figure Skating" a published author. You want opinions? She's got them. Follow her on Twitter to see.
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