Nova Scotia·Photos

Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir share talents with Nova Scotia figure skaters

It was a chance of a lifetime for about 40 Nova Scotian skaters who got a personal lesson from Olympic gold medal ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir on Tuesday.

Virtue and Moir host skating clinic at Dartmouth Sportsplex

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      It was a chance of a lifetime for about 40 Nova Scotian skaters who got a personal lesson from Olympic gold medal ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir on Tuesday.

      Virtue and Moir were at the Dartmouth Sportsplex hosting an hour-long clinic, leading skaters through a series of exercises focusing on arm position and footwork, then the importance of music to a routine.

      The students had the chance to free skate on the ice to various songs and work on their artist expression. The clinic ended with a performance from the pair.

      "We were thrilled with the prospect of going across Canada, getting into clubs and having that one-on-one interaction with the next generation of skaters," Virtue said after the clinic.

      Dartmouth was just one stop on a cross-Canada tour for Virtue and Moir. They are holding the classes, sponsored by Lindt, in six cities this summer.​

      'I've looked up to them'

      "We had the great advantage of meeting skaters that we looked up to when we were young and it's so nice for us to be able to give that back to the skating community now," Virtue said.

      The Nova Scotia skaters who participated on Tuesday were ready to go, said Moir.

      "They brought all that enthusiasm and excitement and they were ready to learn," he said.

      Kylie Landry, a 17-year-old girl from Yarmouth, has been skating most of her life. She was delighted to skate with the pair.

      "It was really an amazing experience. I've looked up to them and their skating for a long time so it's really amazing to be on the ice with them and learning from them," she said.

      Dawson Munro, from Wolfville, says he will be able to use the skills he learned next season. The 13 year old has a background in ice dancing and skates with a partner.

      Not just about learning skills on the ice

      Virtue and Moir said they hope the young skaters will learn some life lessons from them as well. Between sessions, they shared their life story and hosted a question and answer period.

      They told the group about their start, moving away from home to Michigan for more intense training when they were young teenagers.

      Virtue was too young to drive and relied on Moir to drive her to practice and even take her grocery shopping, she told the kids.

      "We were each other's family because we had to be," she said.

      "Hopefully they can learn about maintaining a balanced life in the all consuming world that is figure skating. Being well-rounded people and also things like goal setting and working hard to achieve what you're passionate about and what you set your mind to."

      "Whether that's figure skating or not," Moir added.

      The pair have been skating together since Virtue was seven and Moir was nine. Their close relationship was on display during their interview. They finished each other's sentences and reassured one another after the interview about their answers.

      Moir said he and Virtue stay well rounded by taking a break from competitive skating to spend more time with family.

      "There's so much opportunities out there so we want to make sure we take advantage of those," said Moir.

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