Ade and Co. find new home in Rocky Mountains
Coach moves with students from Chicago area to Colorado; Ward plots comeback
|Kori Ade and Jason Brown have moved their base of operations to Monument, Colo. (Klaus-Reinhold Kany)|
Ade is coaching Jason Brown and Jordan Moeller, among others, at the Colorado Sports Center in Monument, Colo., about 20 miles north of Colorado Springs. Rohene Ward continues to coach and choreograph with her, and Ade said that dance coach Tiffany Dombeck has joined the group.
"I'm excited about building a program, and I couldn't be happier," Ade said. "I want to be where coaching is a passion and not just a job. I want to teach because I love teaching."
Ade, who had been coaching in the Chicago area, said that she had been looking for a new training environment for a while.
"I was fortunate enough to work at Lake Arrowhead for several summers, and I saw how the skaters would step it up when they were on the ice with high-level skaters," Ade said. "The rink I was at was really supportive, but I was on the ice alone, all day, every day. You don't think of Chicago as a destination for elite skaters the way you do with Colorado."
Ade cited the advantages her skaters have of training at altitude and having access to the Olympic Training Center (OTC).
"They have a lot of great sports medicine and information," she said. "And the opportunity to go to the dining hall and eat with elite athletes can't really be duplicated elsewhere."
"I love the environment," Brown said. "I love skating in Monument; it feels more like home. I can train the same way I did at home. Having access to the OTC is such a pro, and I'm trying to make the most of that resource."
Brown has been going to the Colorado Springs World Arena twice a week to work on jumps with Eddie Shipstad on the pole harness.
Moeller will join Ade's group in Colorado as soon as he finishes high school.
"I'm happy to have them go over and skate a national session, because they've earned the right to skate there," Ade said. "I want them to be around other boys who are doing quads and triple Axels."
"It's been great," said Brown, who moved to Colorado in March. "It feels so homey, and it's playing out better than I thought it would.
"I always have these fears: 'What will happen? How will I blend in?' It wasn't a flawless transition. With any move, it takes time. You can't totally submerge yourself in a new environment and be perfect from the start.
"We're all getting more comfortable and getting into the swing of life and training again. Over time, it just got better and better. I truly love it."
Ade had to move not only her students but also her family; she has a young daughter and a new baby girl, born at the end of April. She said her husband, who works for Sears Holdings Corporation, agreed with the decision to move.
"He has a lot of empathy to my career," Ade said. "Colorado works for him. He said, 'All right, I want to do this and support you.'"
Ward, who choreographs for Brown and Moeller, is going to return to competition himself next season. He's planning to take the ice at the Broadmoor Open in June. Ade said she is listed as Ward's coach, but he does a lot of work on his own.
"I don't want to take too much credit, because he's one of the most talented guys ever," Ade said. "Coaching is more like consulting with him. He's giving it one more shot for the joy of being out on the ice -- he feels that it doesn't matter what he does out there.
"He's got to be one of the most brilliant choreographers I've ever seen. His long for Jason is unbelievable."
Brown is open to the notion of competing against his own choreographer next season.
"I don't think it will be weird," he said. "The weirdest part of it will be that he'll compete and then stand at the boards with Kori for me, in his costume!
"I don't think about it like competing against him. I think it will bring a fun energy."