Ballet for Figure Skaters

home-iconFigure Skating’s premier online resource for Classical Ballet training presented exclusively to meet the skater’s needs. Ballet for Figure Skaters was developed by Annette T. Thomas and introduced as an educational website in 1999. As the very first of its kind, it continues to be hailed as one of the most unique and informative websites available.

Equipped with two generations of Classical Ballet and conditioning experience (Annette’s mother was also an international dancer and teacher who was trained in Vaganova Method pedagogy by John Barker and Mme. Maria Nevelska of the Bolshoi Ballet), Annette shares her wealth of knowledge in her internationally acclaimed book: Fundamentals of Alignment and Classical Movement for Figure Skaters. This outstanding textbook offers coaches, adult figure skaters and ballet instructors of figure skaters a step by step guide to thoroughly explore the fundamentals of both off-and on-ice movement training from the “inside out” while using mind, body and spirit.

Annette’s second book, Lessons in Classical Ballet for the Figure Skater, provides everything the professional ballet instructor needs in order to offer the most relevant and highest quality Classical Ballet training expressly designed for figure skaters. Based on the Vaganova Method, this Lesson book contains 20 full length 1 and ½ hour lessons from the beginning through the advanced levels including: body awareness and alignment floor exercises, warm-up, stretching and suggestions on teaching methodology, style and Character Dance. Four “Ballet on Ice” lessons are also included for each of the Beginning and Intermediate levels which reinforce what has been learned during regular ballet lessons. A graded syllabus is provided for each level with evaluation questions and test suggestions.  Also included is an invaluable section on figure skating jumps, spins, footwork and edges in order to equip the ballet instructor with the technical information needed to teach skaters as effectively and relevantly as possible.  A section on “How to begin and maintain a Ballet for Figure Skaters program” is given in the index along with questions and ideas to use as a springboard for discussion between board members, coaches and the ballet instructor.

Sold in over 15 countries around the world Annette’s first book Fundamental of Alignment and Classical Movement for Figure Skaters along with her latest book Lessons in Classical Ballet for the Figure Skater and Video, Lessons in Ballet for Figure Skaters, Level 1, make available all the tools needed to develop and maintain a quality Ballet for Figure Skaters program at your rink, on any continent, around the globe. Annette also teaches personalized on-line certification courses In Ballet for Figure Skaters in conjunction with American Ice Theatre.

Annette is a current member of:

beginning quoteAnnette is one of the best teachers I have seen in the USA. To me a teacher is the one who never should stop learning and Annette is constantly learning, she has knowledge not only in classical ballet technique but the history of ballet. She is one of a very few teachers in the USA that appreciate character dance and understands the importance of that discipline. She is a very passionate teacher who seeks for her students to succeed. I had introduced myself to Annette’s work with the wonderful book she wrote on fundamental alignment for figure skaters, which I learned a lot from. It is clear to me that for Annette the health of a dancer or figure skater is very important, and not just when they are young, but their future health. When I have questions Annette is always available to answer professionally and in a very helpful way.

Also I love the approach Annette uses for Vaganova Teaching Method. She carefully works and prepares her students by working with them on the floor exercises that are crucial for the Vaganova Method. I had a great opportunity teaching Annette’s students, they were prepared for my class mentally and physically; they understood my corrections and immediately responded to them. Teachers like Annette keep the Vaganova Method alive and successful in the USA.

Inna Stabrova

Inna Stabrova is a graduate of the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg Russia where she was taught in a direct line with Vaganova’s students. She is a former principal dancer with Eifman Ballet, St. Petersburg, Russia, Owner/Director of the Ohio Conservatory of Ballet and the Stabrova Youth Ballet Company of Ohio. Inna Stabrova is also the creator and director of an award winning series of teaching DVD’s on the Vaganova method, which is available on-line.

beginning quoteAnnette’s video: Lessons in Ballet for Figure Skaters Level -1″ is SO important for the figure skating community! Here is the first time I’ve seen a course readily available in proper ballet training especially geared and made for figure skaters. Annette’s explanations of beginning to advanced techniques are easy to understand, easy to follow, and incredibly valuable for all athletic levels. There is no replacement for the basics of body alignment taught here – whatever genre of skating/dance you are interested in.

Her exercises with skates on are genius – instead of being inhibited by the skates after leaving the barre, wear them for class! What a perfect way to translate floor work onto the ice while also building seriously great strength! I love this and recommend Annette’s work to everyone.

Mauro Bruni

Mauro Bruni is a previous multiple time national and international competitor for the United States and a graduate of the University of Southern California. He was taught most extensively in the later years by Olympic coach Frank Carol and continues to embellish his performance quality with choreographer Patricia Curio, dancer with the New York City Ballet. When not performing around the world Mauro coaches and choreographs for young students in the Westchester New York area.

beginning quoteAfter taking the Ballet for Figure Skaters 16 Week Coaches Certification Course I now have a deeper understanding of both  myself as a teacher and the path that I would like to take to help my students, on and off the ice. I successfully completed a degree in dance education, thought I had knowledge of both dance pedagogy and how to write and implement curriculum. It wasn’t until I took Annette Thomas’ course that I came to understand my knowledge was only surface level. The in depth look at biomechanics, lesson planning, and science driven technique dug deeper than any other class I have taken. This class was equivalent to a college level course and required careful planning and work every week. That being said, I couldn’t be more happy that I enrolled. The fresh approach I have to teaching is helping me to grow every day and in turn motivating my students to work harder and progress with me.” – Angela M. Como

beginning quoteAnnette 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 quoteAnnette T. Thomas delivers this remarkable “must have” book that, if followed, will increase the level of skating we will see in the future. She covers every important topic, and explains herself well. Though her explanations are easy to understand, the material can be complex and covers a lot of ground. She goes into much detail, all things serious skaters, coaches and those others who work with skaters should know. Reading and following this book can truly make a difference in your skating! You will learn to work more naturally from the inside out, you will learn the importance of breathe while skating/performing. You will learn more about your body, and thus learn to better control your body. This book is full of tips and exercises that are easy to follow. Don’t waste another minute! Start to apply these concepts and see the skater you will become!Annette has poured her life into this book and it shows. The quality of the advice and writing is excellent. “Fundamentals of Alignment and Classical Movement for Figure Skaters”, together with “Lessons in Classical Ballet for the Figure Skater”, can truly have a measurable effect on the world of figure skating. Absolutely superb and a great contribution to the skating world!

Deldre Arianne Kellogg
The Skaters’ Consortium
Director of Ballet for Figure Skaters at The Skaters’ Consortium
Choreographer/Artistic Coach Educator/Consultant/Writer

beginning quoteThe scope of this subject matter is so vast and very dear to the hearts of both Salome and myself.  I am so impressed with the work of Annette Thomas on this very interesting, very important, and very complex subject and we would like to thank her for this wonderful resource.

Salomé Brunner
Choreographer to Stéphane Lambiel and Sarah Meier
Lesli Wiesner
Former dancer and ballet teacher to figure skaters working together with Salomé Brunner

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

beginning quoteThe 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 quoteAnnette Thomas has written an important book for the skating community that, if followed, will prepare skaters to reach their ultimate capacity. This book is intelligent, insightful and educational. If every skater and coach used it, I am sure we would have a higher caliber of skaters.

Ricky Harris