Testimonials

beginning quote“As a figure skating instructor and sports medicine professional, I was ecstatic to find Annette who has extensive experience in classical ballet and knowledge of skating. With this background, she is uniquely qualified to teach ballet to figure skaters. Her classes focus on teaching progressive classical ballet skills and relating these movements to skating. She ends each session with character dances for added fun and culture and the bow for a sense of completion. I believe this approach is more effective at developing a well rounded skater than merely teaching a dance routine without building a foundation of skill. Having taken an eight week session with Annette I can say from personal experience that the classes were mentally and physically challenging with age appropriate modifications made for all skaters. The skaters learned many valuable ballet secrets which helped them perform popular skating specific skills. In addition to teaching specific skills, her systematic approach to training emphasizes the development of the whole skater so that unlimited skills and movements can be performed.

As a clinician and mom of a nine year old skating daughter, however, I was most impressed with Annette’s knowledge of functional anatomy and biomechanics. Her classical style of teaching gives yield only to injury prevention as she has a gentle approach to improving turnout, lumbar extension and core strength. Annette’s unique approach to ballet training for figure skaters resulted in immediate improvements in focus, confidence and posture. Teaching the skaters how to feel the movements, building critical muscle memory, is a benefit that will stay with the skaters for life.

Annette has extended all of these valuable teaching methods to the skating community in her new book ‘Lessons in Classical Ballet For the Figure Skater’ providing the most artistically and technically comprehensive book on the market today.”

Susie Christensen, ATC, CSCS
Performer’s Advantage LLC


beginning quote“Annette Thomas has written two wonderful guides for anyone looking to take their skating to the next level. With the GOE (Grade of Execution) scores being of the utmost importance in today’s competitive skating world, the exercises, tips and suggested training methods to improve posture, alignment and movement are crucial for every skater to know and be aware of. These books are great resources for anyone wanting to “improve their ability to become the best that they can be!”

Dorian Shields Valles
USFS National Singles Technical Specialist


beginning quote“‘Fundamentals of Alignment and Classical Movement for Figure Skaters’ blew me away! Annette’s exquisite application of figure skating and her holistic view of developing artistry can be used as a competitive advantage for any aspiring figure skater. She is absolutely right that there is no way artistry can be added after skating technique is perfected. I took ballet three times a week for about 10 years while I was competing. I could not have achieved the skating quality or competitive success that I did without submitting myself to ballet’s classical training. It is a ‘must have’ for any competitive figure skater.”

Ryan Jahnke
2003 World Team Member
7-time National Medalist
10-year U.S. Figure Skating Team Member
Founder of MySkatingMall.com


beginning quote“I finished reading your book and it is amazing. Well done on writing it – there is so much detail and so much to learn. I am so looking forward to the next book – I just can’t wait!

I have leant it to the ballet teacher who is working with Courtney and she is also so enjoying your book and it has inspired her. I just want to say a very BIG thank you to you for putting your life’s work into a book like that and sharing it – amazing that here we are at the tip of Africa so very far from the US but being inspired by your work and knowing that it will make a better skater out of Courtney – it blows my mind! Thank you it is awesome.”

Karin Kuhn
Cape Town, South Africa


beginning quote“Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced skater, we are all interested in proper body alignment and form. Annette’s book is tailored for all levels — choose the chapters that most resonate with you and you WILL learn something to take with you on the ice! There are so few great books out there that connect figure skating and ballet,” AND which are an accessible read to skaters of all levels. This one in particular is a must have on your bookshelf!”

Susan Chun
Editor of Lifeskate


beginning quote“When I first took to the ice 55 years ago at age 10, there also began in me a love of classical music and ballet. I would visualize how the dances and the flow of the music could transfer to the ice. Imagine my joy when, years later along came Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean to bring my ‘daydreams’ to life. I’ll never forget their Westminster Waltz! Still on YouTube today! After a 30 year gap, during which I qualified and worked as a Nurse and Midwife (and raised a family), I returned to the ice 2 years ago (you’re never too old!), and rapidly knew that I needed far more than on-ice coaching. Annette has MORE than exceeded my hopes! This is FAR more than ‘just another how-to’ book. Everything about it sets it WAY above any other book I’ve ever seen!

Annette has poured herself, and her love of life into every page – it’s like having your own personal coach and friend with you all the time – both at home, and at the rink. This book lives, breathes, and moves – the beautiful layout carrying the eye as each colourful section flows into the next – like a dance in itself. I love the different sizes and styles of the written words, so eye catching. The little boxes of ‘gems’ – hints, tips, quotations, words of wisdom, and ‘Reflections’, plus the very knowledgeable ‘In Depth’ sections are a delight.

I love the space (and encouragement) to make your own notes and make this YOUR book. This is a book to be used!

Annette has found the secret of blending a serious, incredibly knowledgeable work with artistic beauty – a unique blend of sport and beauty, with a healthy measure of FUN thrown in for good measure. Coming from a 30 year nursing background, and having also studied Traditional Chinese Medicine, I can really appreciate the depth of Annette’s technical knowledge. The anatomical artwork is excellent, and Annette’s knowledge and her ability to share it in an easily readable and understandable way is beyond par. However, this is not just a book for the professional or serious competitive skater.

This is a unique book that will be of invaluable benefit to ALL of us – young and old, novice and professional.

USE it – both at home, and at the rink with your coaches. If you sadly have no coach, this book is also for you. Because of the brilliant ring-binder effect, you can practice in front of a mirror and check your position with the picture very easily. Enjoy this beautiful book, and” enjoy your skating, and above all – HAVE FUN. THANK YOU, ANNETTE.”

Annie Lee SRN, SCM, (a ‘silver skater’)
Cardiff, Wales UK


beginning quote“‘Fundamentals of Alignment and Classical Movement for Figure Skaters‘ answers and illustrates what artistic skating is all about. This book is a treasure that will bring us back” to true form and grace. No one does it better.”

Rikki Samuels
Figure Skating coach at Rockefeller Center and Chelsea Piers
Gold Medalist in Figures and Freestyle
Former Mid-Atlantic Senior Ladies Champion
Four-time National Competitor and author of “Kids Book of Figure Skating


beginning quote“Annette T. Thomas is quite obviously a passionate, fabulous teacher who has left no stone unturned in her amazingly comprehensive, thoroughly researched workbook, Fundamentals of Alignment & Classical Movement for Figure Skaters. Skating teachers complain every year that the absence of figures makes it harder to teach because fewer skaters learn the necessary kinesthetic awareness that was developed over time through the practice of figures. Other acrobatic aspects of figure skating have developed by leaps and bounds. So have injuries. In her holistic approach of working from the inside out, Annette T. Thomas brilliantly guides you in developing this awareness through multiple learning styles. She covers in words, exercises and exquisite photographs how to achieve correct body alignment. Annette T. Thomas covers all 11 systems of the Human Body (skeletal, muscle, nervous, etc) injury prevention, core strength, flexibility exercises, posture, arm positions, hand positions, jumps, barre exercises, warm ups, muscle memory and much more. Some coaches say point your toe or straighten your leg, but Annette shows the right and wrong way (and why) to do it. She has great tips and fun exercises to do both on and off the ice. My skaters love how lifesavers candies can be used to develop beautiful hands! She makes complicated theories and concepts accessible to the reader with a fresh approach and a new viewpoint. Annette T. Thomas has given the skating world a great gift-I HIGHLY “recommend this workbook for coaches, skaters, parents and judges.”

June Clark, PSA
USFS Double Gold medalist
Teacher/Coach for 35 years


beginning quote“The most complete and detailed work that has ever been written for figure skaters and professional coaches. Great knowledge of classical ballet most importantly the Vaganova Method, the precise technique and system of instruction that includes development of lower back strength, upper body grace, flowing arm movement and the requisite strength, flexibility and endurance needed in figure skating performance. This method and base of training is a must for every serious skating pro and athlete. Methods of Implementations are easy to understand and they work. Finally, a book that really “explains the importance of classical education and ballet to the sport of figure skating.”

Gizo Ujarmeli
Executive Manager and Founder of SkateGold LLC
Two-Time German National Cup Winner
Former Member of German National Team


beginning quote“What Annette Thomas has shared with the students fortunate enough to work with her on and off the ice, she now offers to skaters and their coaches everywhere in Fundamentals of Alignment and Classical Movement for Figure Skaters. Like Annette herself, the pages deftly combine passion and discipline, theory and practice. Annette treats skaters with the respect they deserve, and her approach is refreshing in its emphasis on physical and emotional health and common sense. Not only every skater and coach, but every parent should own a copy of this visually appealing, easily accessible, highly intelligent book.”

Mrs. Lisa Rivero
Mother of Former Skating Student and Former WFSC Board President


beginning quote“As a skater with a biomechanics PhD, I’ve noticed that most skaters fail to reach their full potential on the ice because they simply do not understand how their bodies work. Annette’s book covers all the necessary theory, with clear explanations and many instructive illustrations. Just as importantly, it provides a series of exercises and self-study questions that teach skaters how the theory applies to their own bodies and their skating. I believe reading this book will help skaters by making them more aware of their movement both on and off the ice, making them more balanced, graceful and aware. Highly recommended.”

Ian Fisher


beginning quote“This book is an excellent resource for any student or professional of Figure Skating. It combines an impressive foundation of anatomy with an emphasis on core strength and control for proper body alignment. The masterful focus on mind-body awareness is also an important component to the quality and precision of movement for all figure skaters.”

Janeen H.
Physical Therapist and Mother of Figure Skaters


beginning quote“This is one of the most comprehensive books for figure skating. Annette Thomas has defined the inner body structure and how it works with an intelligent presentation that will enhance the performance of figure skaters and athletes. The invaluable knowledge in this book is a must for coaches in athletic sports.”

Jon Sorkan
National U.S. Figure Skating Coach


beginning quote“As parents of a son and daughter skating together as an Ice Dance team, we try to provide our children with all the tools so that they can develop as skaters, athletes, and true artists. Annette Thomas’ Workbook, which combines Art and Science, along with a wealth of experience in dance and figure skating, all written in Annette’s unique inspirational and motivational style, is one of those tools. The anatomic, physiologic, and kinesthetic principles presented will provide coaches, choreographers, skaters, and parents with valuable information to help the serious skater become a more dynamic, powerful, flexible, injury free, graceful, and artistic performer. Our own Coach and Choreographer were both able to use the Workbook to specifically identify a postural problem with my son (the typical boy problem, skating like a ‘dunking duck’ with shoulders up around the ears), and then plan an exercise and training regimen to solve the problem. His “line” and posture is now greatly improved!  Anyone who is serious about Figure Skating MUST read this labor of love. Congratulations Annette! A Gold Medal performance!!”

Dr. Andrew T. Hasegawa and Jennifer Hasegawa
Montreal, Canada


beginning quote“I was interested in the effect of ballet and other off-ice exercises on the skating performance. That’s why when I saw the title ‘ballet for figure skaters’ on the internet, I started waiting for the book impatiently. I can say that the book exceeded my expectations. Since the first chapter I was amazed of the professionalism and the rich content. Earlier this year I began working with a Russian instructor. Since the first lesson, without knowing your book she started to correct my errors and surprisingly most of the things she was warning were inline with the topics you’re stressing in your book. We quickly went over the exercise pages and she said they are very useful. I was doing many mistakes (tendency to bend while skating, not keeping my back straight, the spine strong etc…) that I discovered already thanks to your book among many other beneficial info and I was trying to correct in my practice sequences. Now, my new coach’s warnings are also in line with the topics you’re stressing in your book. He finds the exercises very useful too. More than the effect of other disciplines on the skating performance, the book touches on various aspects that skaters should take into consideration for success. For me, it was a kind of ‘awakening’. Before, I was trying to learn just by repeating what my coach was instructing me to do. Now, I’m aware of what was missing before and I’m trying to follow the advices and improve myself as much as I can. I think, with its rich and professional content this book can help skaters of all levels to improve their capacity. Thank you again.”

Sibel Ozgundogdu
Adult Figure Skater – Istanbul, Turkey


beginning quote“Many of my skaters have taken ballet for years and never been shown how to hold their hands. In one lesson Annette showed each skater how to hold their hands correctly and the improvement was amazing… I’m so glad you included this very important detail in your book!”

Midwest U.S. Figure Skating Coach


beginning quote“Dear Annette, My good friend Renita has purchased your book for skaters. She brought it to our rink and showed it to me. It is just what we have been looking for. It is easy to follow, comprehensive, with great illustrations, so I purchased one for my daughter Lauren who is in Junior Ladies. Lauren is concerned about ‘bulking up’ with the type of exercise regime the sports physiologist has given the girls here. I too would prefer to see her strong and lean as a ballet dancer is. So thank you for putting this book together!!! The strength work for abs are the exercises that have helped Lauren the most in that her previous back injury has not reoccurred. She now ‘switches her abs on’ when she skates and I have to say that the quality of her jumps has improved and they are more consistent. What Lauren loves about the exercises is that one must exhibit great control to execute them effectively and see a result. She also loves the fact that there are no weights involved, so that she does not increase her muscle bulk, but rather is working towards a longer and leaner look with nice definition.”

Lauren and Nadia Hansom
Junior Ladies Figure Skater and Mom – New South Wales, Australia


beginning quote“Yes I have received the workbook – it’s AWESOME. Tried a few of the exercises with some of my athletes last night and had an instant (though small) improvement on sit spins, loop jumps and axles. My skaters range from 8yrs to 13yrs.”

Roller Skating Coach
New Zealand


beginning quote“Hi Annette, Thanks for sending the book to our ballet instructor she is delighted with it and is using the book to train the girls. As it is so good I would like to get three other copies one for each of my daughters and the other book I am giving to Sue Brooks, who is the girls skating coach. Sue is a top level international coach and world level judge in quad roller skating and in-lines. She judges in Europe and the Oceania areas, “so although she is not an ice skater this type of training is very relevant. She takes girls to train in Italy, and off skate ballet work is very important there.”

Audrey Clarke
Perth, Western Australia


beginning quote“I learned more in six weeks of lessons with Annette than I did in an entire year of taking ballet at a local studio.”

Adult Figure Skater
Wisconsin, USA


beginning quote“WOW! What an amazing book! The pictures alone tell the story. I have used these pictures to show my students the correct positions from head to toe. So many skaters today use only their feet and forget the entire body (sadly missed since we dropped figures) or add arm movements completely unrelated to “either music or skating technique; what a foundation for basics in skating! How lucky we are to have this book!”

Caryl Johns Gill
U.S. Figure Skating Coach


beginning quote“I became acquainted with Annette Thomas when I had the opportunity to view and partake in a dance master class that she taught at Revolution School of Dance in West Bend, Wisconsin. Her ability to teach effectively by gaining the respect of the students thru patience, grace, and open-hearted generosity was touching. Her knowledge of dance and of all that pertains and relates to it physically, mentally, and emotionally was immediately apparent, and her personal dedication, discipline, and life-long passion and professionalism have become an inspiration. Annette’s artistic knowledge incorporates the depths of experience and skill that she has achieved as a dancer and educator. Her advocacy and efforts to pass on the volumes of insight that she has accumulated are tireless. Andrew Carnegie once stated that ‘the best means of benefiting the community is to place within its reach the ladders upon which the aspiring can rise.’ Annette embodies these words in her teaching of dance and training of ice skating, as well as with the publication of her detailed training workbook, Fundamentals of Alignment and Classical Movement for Figure Skaters. This book includes a thorough and easily accessible volume of pertinent information relating not only specifically to ice skating, but also to the poise and grace of ballet and dance training. The contents of the chapters and topics covered are written in a style that promotes complete comprehension, and include a detailed investigation of all that is necessary to maintain health and well being in the vigorous pursuit of excellence within the demanding studies of ice skating and dance. In this fast paced, technical world where dedication to long-term goals is so immediately replaced with throw-away plaudits and instant gratification, Annette’s work in life represents the underlying empowerment that is the result of a cultivation of artistry through balanced, healthy training. What is most apparent to those under her tutelage, whether attending a class taught by her or reading her workbook, is that Annette stands for a return to value- “to realizing the importance of inspiring artistry thru education while becoming aware of the benefits that result from a devotion that never ends.”

Jon Zautner
Co-Owner Revolution School of Dance – West Bend Wisconsin, USA