Private Lesson Coaching Staff
Kevin Franchini, Skating Director, Coach
Teaching Specialties: Freestyle and Moves in the Field:
Basic Skills through Senior and Adult Pre-Bronze through Gold; Ice Dance:
Preliminary through Silver; Choreography; and Hockey. All ages.
Coaching/Personal Skating Experience: Kevin is a long-time member of both the United States Figure Skating Association and the Professional Skaters Association. He started teaching private lessons in 1978 and has been taking his skaters to area competitions, including Regionals and Adult Nationals, ever since. Kevin started skating in Albuquerque in 1965 at the age of 12. He has trained in Albuquerque, Tulsa, Aspen, Denver, and Lake Placid. He was training at Lake Placid at the same time as Dorothy Hamill. Kevin has passed his Junior Freestyle test, 7th figure test, and Silver Ice Dance test. He has competed at Regionals as an Intermediate, Novice, and Junior and at Sectionals as an Intermediate. His coaches included Carlo Fassi, Tim Wood, and Tommy Litz.
Ian Ballinger, Coach
Teaching Specialties: Hockey and Power Skating. All ages.
Coaching/Personal Skating Experience:Ian has played hockey for 20 years, playing competitively through high school and college. He has been a hockey instructor since 2007, teaching power skating, beginning hockey, hockey skills clinics, and private lessons.
Brandy Benard, Coach
Teaching Specialties: Freestyle and Moves in the Field: Basic Skills through Senior. Brandy specializes in spins and jump technique and teaches all ages, including adults.
Coaching/Personal Skating Experience: Brandy has been coaching since 1994 and has been on the ice since age 6. Brandy trained at the world-renowned Pickwick Ice Arena in Burbank, California, under the Frank Carroll method. This method focuses on skating fundamentals that emphasize the biomechanical techniques of jumps and spin that prevent falls, injuries, & enhance performance. Brandy is a member of both the United States Figure Skating Association and the Professional Skaters Association and regularly attends annual seminars to keep current with skating trends and techniques in figure skating.
Dwanna Cooper, Coach
Teaching Specialties: Freestyle, Moves in the Field and Choreography. Basic Skills through Novice level and Adult beginner through Adult Gold level. Dwanna specializes in instruction for pre-teen and teen through adult.
Coaching/Personal Skating Experience: Dwanna has lived and trained in the Northwest for most of her ice skating career and began skating when she was 9 years old. At the age of 21 she decided to make ice skating her life's passion by training under gold medalists Peggy McAllen, Anna Matusezewski and with Walter Afalla. Dwanna participated in countless competitions, and was a regional and sectional competitor several times. Her background includes cheerleading, dance team, gymnastics and choreographing dance numbers for a several high school musicals. Dwanna began coaching at the Outpost in 1999. Her coaching style is detail oriented and one that entails understanding and working with each students individual learning style, abilities and goals. She loves coaching and makes it a point to help each student find her/his own unique style to let their personality shine through on the ice. She continues her ice skating education by participating in ice skating conferences and is currently pursuing her ice dancing tests. Dwanna has a Masters degree in business and human resources, has written a book about ice skating, and continues to actively write articles on the topic to help and encourage novice skaters just starting out in the sport. You can learn more about her at: www.theicecoach.com.
Chelsea Erven, Coach
Teaching Specialties: Freestyle: Basic Skills through Novice; Moves in the Field: Basic Skills through Senior; Ice Dance: Preliminary through Gold. All ages.
Coaching/Personal Skating Experience: Chelsea started skating at the Outpost at age 5 and has skated competitively since she was 8. Chelsea has passed all of her Gold Dance tests and is currently working on her Novice Freestyle test. She became the youngest skater in the state to pass her Senior Moves in the Field test at age 15. Chelsea has competed in Dance at the Regional and Junior National levels, as well as having competed in Freestyle. Currently being coached by Mary Walston and Barb Shepperson, Chelsea has also worked with National and Olympic Dance competitors Nick Hart and Carol Fox. She began teaching Basic Skills classes in 2007 and began coaching private lessons in 2010. Chelsea attends the University of New Mexico and skates on the Figure Skating Team (UNM).
Claudia Fluegge, Coach
Teaching Specialties: Freestyle and Moves in the Field: Basic Skills through Pre- Juvenile. All ages.
Coaching/Personal Skating Experience: Claudia started coaching in 2003 and is a member of US Figure Skating & the Professional Skaters Association, attending the annual PSA conference. Claudia started as a roller skater (that's quad skates, not inline), skating in dance and freestyle in the 1970's in Great Britain. In 1980 she converted to ice skating as a freestyle skater in Germany and, after taking a twenty-year break, she started skating at the Outpost Ice Arena in 2001. She is currently working on her Adult Gold moves and Silver Freeskate tests and is coached by Mary Walston and Kevin Franchini. Claudia also holds a degree in child development.
Odetha (Odie) Hill, Coach
Teaching Specialties:Freestyle, Moves in the Field, and Choreography: Basic Skills through Pre-Juvenile and Adult Pre-Bronze and Bronze. Odetha specializes in ages 5 though adult.
Coaching/Personal Skating Experience:Odetha started skating at age 15 and has been coaching since 2006. She is a member of both the United Figure Skating Association and the Professional Skaters Association. Odetha has completed her Preliminary and Adult Bronze tests and has competed in the Virginia Commonwealth Games, which qualified her to compete at the State Games of America 2009 in Colorado Springs. She was also a competitor at the 2010 Adult National Championships, where she tied for second in Bronze Ladies II. A native of Albuquerque, she has training in classical ballet and is currently attending UNM to become a physical therapist. She also skates on the Figure Skating Team (UNM).
Michele Jakubowski, Coach
Teaching Specialties: Hockey, Power Skating, Freestyle and Moves in the Field: Basic Skills through Adult Bronze.All ages.
Coaching/Personal Skating Experience: Skating since the age of 5, Michele began taking formal & lessons when she was 18 and is still taking lessons. She is currently working on both her Adult Silver Freeskate and Adult Bronze Moves in the Field tests and has passed both the Preliminary and Pre-Bronze Dance tests. Michele began Power Skating in 1992 with Hockey North America and taking lessons at the Cabin John Ice Arena. She has taken lessons from Mark Ciaccio with MC Hockey Skills and has been playing hockey with NM Hockey since 2007.
Krista Keay, Coach
Teaching Specialties:Freestyle and Moves in the Field: Basic Skills through Pre-Juvenile. All ages.
Coaching/Personal Skating Experience:Krista has been a competitive skater for nine years and has been a Learn to Skate instructor since 2006. Having trained in Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico. She has passed her Novice Moves in the Field and Intermediate Freeskate tests. She competed at the 2009 Southwestern Regionals and the 2009 National Showcase competition, in addition to many non-qualifying competitions. Krista has also skated in our annual Christmas shows. Currently a University of New Mexico student, Krista is also a member of the Figure Skating Team (UNM).
Barb Shepperson, Coach
Teaching Specialties: Freestyle and Moves in the Field: Basic Skills through Senior; Power Skating. All ages.
Coaching/Personal Skating Experience: Barb has been teaching since 1987. She has the PSA Registered Rating in Group Instruction and Moves in the Field, the PSA Certified Rating in Free Skating, and the PSA Certified Rating in Level II Power Skating/Hockey. She has coached skaters through the Senior Field Moves and Senior Freestyle Tests and coached the 2000 Intermediate Men's Junior National alternate. Barb is a USFS Silver Medalist in Figures and Freestyle and a Bronze Medalist in Ice Dance. She started skating in Albuquerque, training with Gilbert Sosa and then trained in Denver, CO with Norma Sahlin, coach of National and World Champion, Charlie Tickner.
Tara Hosterman Thomson, Coach
Teaching Specialties: Freestyle, Moves in the Field, & Choreography: Basic Skills through Senior; Power Stroking. All ages.
Coaching/Personal Skating Experience: Tara has been coaching for over 30 years and has taken skaters to Regionals, Junior Nationals, & Junior Olympics. She trained the 2000 National Mexican Champion and her students performed in the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Tara was a headliner with Dorothy Hammil in the Ice Capades from 1980-83. She is a USFS Gold Medallist in Figures, Silver Medallist in Freestyle, and Pre-Silver Dance. Tara is a certified USFS coach, and continuing her professional development. She has a BA with the Professional Skaters Association and apprenticed under World & Olympic coach Kathy Casey. She has also worked with competitive hockey league players on endurance, power, & technique.
Romilly Tsinhnahjinnie, Coach
Teaching Specialties: Freestyle, Moves in the Field, & Choreography: Basic Skills through Intermediate. All ages.
Coaching/Personal Skating Experience: Romilly started skating at the Outpost Ice Arena in 2000 at 8 years old and became a Basic Skills instructor in 2007 and a private lesson instructor in 2009. She has passed her Senior Moves in the Field and Junior Freestyle tests. She has been a Southwestern Regionals competitor several times and was a finalist at the 2009 Nationals Showcase in Colorado Springs. Romilly has studied ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and modern dance for seven years and she is coached by Kevin Franchini and Mary Walston. A student at the University of New Mexico, Romilly is a member and president of the Figure Skating Team (UNM).