Christine B. is a nurse in Colorado Springs. She signed up for a Level 1 Group lesson on Nov. 27th. Heidi is a new instructor at Monarch this year and was allowed (asked) to “shadow” this lesson. The lesson began at 9 am and was scheduled to last 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Christine is originally from Alabama. She moved to Colorado with her husband who is stationed at Ft. Carson. She’s 22, and the last time she skied was 12 years ago. Her husband loves to ski, so her goal for the lesson was to get back up to speed to spend time on the slopes with her hubby.
Heidi’s goal was to see how I teach a level 1 group lesson.
Turn’s out Christine still had lots of muscle memory, more than she thought she had (like riding a bike). We did go though the typical exercises that I would normally use in a level 1 lesson but at an accelerated rate. Once I saw that she possessed a certain balancing/movement skill I was able to build and move on to more advanced movements. Within 30 minutes we were taking our first chairlift ride to midway on Tumbolina. We did a series of traverses near the top of Snowflake, getting practice at standing on the middle of our feet while sliding. Included in the exercise was lifting and stepping of the uphill ski in a straight traverse. I included this in our exercises because Christine had a tendency to lean up the hill (hmmm, I wonder if I over terrained her and leaning uphill was really fear). Once we were on the Flake’s more gentler terrain we talked more about turning and and using the gravity zone to help us start a turn. We talked about “femurs” since she is a nurse and how we can turn our legs to steer our turns.
This all seemed to work pretty well except that she said it felt like her ski (inside ski) was getting stuck. I reminded her about earlier in the lesson when we talked about balancing on one ski more than the other. We practiced balancing more on one ski while turning the other. This worked well for her.
We actually got to ski Rookie and got to practice quite a bit. I encouraged her to come back so we could explore more of the mountain and refine her skills so she would eventually be skiing parallel. I could see that by using these movements and gaining confidence and a little more speed she would be skiing parallel soon.
Later near closing time I ran across her and her husband. They told me all about how they’d been exploring the mountain and how she was “skiing with her skis together!” She said I was a good teacher, but I was thinking to myself that I hope she’d come back to build on her development. Not sure she will because it sounds like her husband is going to take over from here.