Hamill to Welcome Adult Skaters to Nantucket for Skating Fantasy Camp

by Joanne Vassallo Jamrosz, special to U.S. Figure Skating Online

Dorothy Hamill will host adult skaters at her skating fantasy camp next month in Nantucket.
Photo courtesy of DorothyHamill.com
(8/13/09) - Olympic and World champion Dorothy Hamill has a special place in her heart for adult skaters and, because of this, she has created "The Figure Skating Fantasy Camp" to be held Sept. 20-25 on Nantucket Island, Mass.

"I love adult skaters," Hamill said. "I'm always trying to encourage adults to be brave and take the plunge. You are never too old to skate. It's a healthy exercise. It's creative, and it's a great activity for adults."

Camp requirements are few. Participants must be at least 21 years old and need only bring a "pair of skates and a fun attitude," according to Hamill. Skaters from all levels are welcome, from the very beginner who has never stepped on the ice to the expert. Skaters will absorb every aspect of the sport through week-long presentations by Hamill and a number of celebrated guest instructors including Olympic pairs silver medalist Peter Carruthers, World champion Randy Gardner, Hamill's personal choreographer Timothy Murphy and choreographer Nathan Birch. Hamill, Birch and Murphy all skated together in the John Curry Skating Company.

Skaters will spend four hours on the ice every day. Classes will focus on such topics as spins, moves in the field, jump skills, choreography and basic skills for beginners. There will be off-ice presentations as well on health and nutrition, choosing music, and costumes and makeup. The camp will provide attendees plenty of time to interact with the coaches, and for question-and-answer sessions.

"My coaches and I will share what it is like to be a skater," Hamill said. "We will tell stories and share the good and the bad. We want to pass on our love and passion for the sport. We have all been through so much, and the stories shouldn't die."

Hamill, who makes her home in Nantucket, has dreamed of a "destination" skating camp for adults for some time and finds the island of Nantucket perfect for such an event. The skaters will spend their on-ice time at the Nantucket Ice Rink, home of the Nantucket Skating Club.

"It's a beautiful rink and a wonderful facility, and the quality of the ice is the best I have ever skated on," Hamill said.

The historic and quaint island of Nantucket also offers fishing, boating, sailing, shopping and fine dining. The camp fee will include accommodations in a local bed and breakfast, all breakfasts and lunches, and several dinners hosted by Hamill and the other staff. Attendees will have plenty of free time to explore the island and its many activities.

The Brant Point Lighthouse is one of the many attractions Nantucket Island has to offer.
Photo courtesy of the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism
"We needed to do something for the adults where they could go away and experience 'camp' again. Many skated when they were younger; maybe there are some who would like to skate again," Hamill said. "Skaters can do as much or as little of the camp as they want. They can enjoy Nantucket, too."

The camp will conclude Friday with an exhibition performance highlighting skills the skaters learn throughout the week.

"We will choreograph a skating program for each of the participants, and everyone will have a chance to do a solo in the final performance if they so desire," Hamill said.

Participants will also receive a gift bag and souvenir DVD of the camp.

Adult skater Katie Brower of Wake Forest, N.C., is enrolled in the learn-to-skate "Adult Four" class at the Polar Ice House at the Factory, and will be attending.

"I'm most looking forward to the whole experience," Brower said. "I love being on the ice and look forward to the challenge of four hours a day. I've never been to Nantucket and love to see new places. I look forward to meeting new people who share a passion for skating and, of course, I feel it is an opportunity of a lifetime to get insight into the world of figure skating from those who have achieved its greatest goals."

Brower, a recreational skater, doesn't have much desire to compete or show off what she does, and believes this camp will help her achieve her personal goals.

"I skate for myself," Brower said. "This gives me the opportunity to work on skills and not feel pressured to go with private lessons. I was thrilled at the prospect of learning from people that really know what it is like to skate for a lifetime, and being with other skaters that understand the changes and challenges the adult skater goes through."

Registration is available on Hamill's web site at www.dorothyhamill.com, and interested skaters can e-mail questions about the camp to fantasycamp@dorothyhamill.com. Groups are also welcome, and group rates are available. Information on group rates is available through the fantasy camp e-mail address.

Hamill is looking forward to a week of sharing tips and stories as well as interacting with camp participants, not to mention the opportunity to be with her longtime coaches.

"Skating is a wonderful world, and I am so lucky to be a part of it," Hamill said. "My fellow coaches and I have become great friends, and we want to share the love we have for this lovely sport."

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