Over the next few weeks we will be posting coach bios so their stories can be shared by our skating community. For example—did you know some of our coaches performed professionally? Did you know at least one of them competed at the Olympics? Neither did I!
As the 2018 Olympics start continue to build momentum, we here at FVIA hope to introduce you to our skating staff and highlight the immense talent at your fingertips!
Starting off our staff is our very own Olympian, Stefania Berton!!!
Stefania Berton is The Skate School’s assistant director. If you have taken classes here you have undoubtedly seen her dashing around the rink answering questions and helping students learn to skate on the ice. Seeing her in that arena one might think that her passion was teaching, but you would be wrong.
Born in Milan, Italy, Berton started skating when she was four and a half years old. A group of her friends were taking lessons and she wanted to join them. Skating quickly became the focus of her life and by the time she was 5 she was competing. But don’t think it was always smooth sailing. She admits that during her first competition she forgot her entire routine and a coach had to come on the ice to help her though the performance.
Skating provided Berton with the drive to continue to better herself. When performing there is always something to work on—a new jump to master or spin to perfect. Skating gave her structure and allowed her start dreaming of success
Family is an important aspect to both Berton’s life and without her parent’s support and dedication to her dreams she would not have achieved her dreams. Her first coach, naturally, became like a family member to her. This coach pushed her to always better herself. Berton says that it was those strict guidelines that gave her the lifelong discipline for work that she thrives on.
And the discipline worked! Berton started competing as a single skater until she was 19, when she switched to pairs skating. In her competition career Berton and her partner became 4 time Italian Champions, won bronze in the European Championship, became the skate Canada champ in 2013 and placed fourth in the 2014 Olympics. That is a long way from forgetting your routine in the middle of a performance!
She has since retired from competing and she and her husband, Rockne Brubaker, run The Skate School here in Geneva. She looks forward to helping other young skaters achieve their potential and fall in love with the ice as she did. “There is nothing like gliding across the ice,” she says. “It is like flying.”