Our Coaches

Elena Bechke

  • Rate: $80/hour
  • Email: eybetchke@gmail.com
  • Facilities: Cary, Garner, Wake Forest, IcePlex and eventually WCC
  • Specialization: Singles, Moves in the field,  Pairs,  Power,  Jumps,  Spins
  • PSA/USFSA member; Registered and Certified in FS category
  • Personal Skating Achievements: 1992 Olympic Pairs Silver medalist; 1996 World Professional Champion in Pairs
  • Skater Accolades: 2006 National competitors in Pairs, 2007 and 2008 Junior National competitors in singles and pairs. Lots of Gold tests in Moves in the Field and Free Skate categories
  • Experience: 24 years coaching
  • Coaching Philosophy: Learn everything new every day. Use your time wisely.  Keep your chin up and keep working hard.

“If at first you don’t succeed….Try doing what your COACH told you to do the first time”

Janet Ford

  • Coaching rate: $42.00/30 min, $84.00/hour
  • Email: albford@msn.com
  • Cell: 919-815-0483 (text preferred)
  • Facilities: Iceplex (home base), Cary (limited mornings)  but will and do teach at all Polar facilities based on scheduling
  • Specializations: Singles/Freestyle, Moves
  • 26 years coaching experience
  • Personal Skating Background: USFS National Competitor 1991; USFS Collegiate National Champion 1990; Trained under National, World, and Olympic Coaches;
  • US National Technical Specialist; Cornell University Graduate
  • Students: Regional and Sectional Coach.   Multiple Regional Championship Round competitors and top 10 finishes. 6 USFS Dual Gold Medalists (Gold MIF, Gold Freestyle); 21 total Gold Medalists (15 moves, 6 freestyle); PSA Member
  • Coaching philosophy: I focus on the athlete as a whole person, developing not only just skills on the ice but life lesson skills that will stay with the athlete forever.   I am a firm believer in team teaching and collaboration.  None of us has all the answers.    I also believe in the “long term process”, where the longevity and the “bigger picture” is more important than small, instant, early successes.    Mental process and confidence building are huge.   Youth will rise to the expectations set for them.

Kristy Hemstreet

  • Rate: $70/hour
  • Email: Kristy.Hemstreet@polaricenc.com
  • Coaching for 17 years, Polar Skating Director since 2015
  • Facilities: WCC, Cary, Garner, Iceplex
  • Coaches: Singles, MIF, Jumps, Spins, Power, Strength & Conditioning
  • PSA Master Rated Program Director, Master Rated Group Instructor, Registered Rated MIF
  • Personal Skating: Regional competitor, Gold Medalist MIF, Adult Championship Masters Int/Nov Sectional Medalist, Adult Nationals Championship Masters Int/Nov Competitor
  • Coaching Philosophy: My goal every time I step on the ice is to instill the love and passion for the sport of figure skating in each of my students first.  Success cannot happen in this sport without the love of sport first to drive you towards your goals and success.  I create a strong grassroots foundation in each of my skaters from the moment they step on the ice to create the ideal well rounded skater that helps them achieve their jump and spin goals.

Marilyn Nolte

  • Coaching rate – $60 per hour
  • Email: builderskater@gmail.com
  • Facilities you teach at – Cary, Garner, IcePlex (occassionally), WCC
  • Specialization – Singles, MIF(first 2 tests), Intro to Hockey, Beginners of all ages – just getting started with skating.
  • PSA/USFS Accolades – Registered Group, Hockey Power Skating Club, Adult competitive skater, Eastern Section Bronze Competition Series winner 2017-2018
  • Skater Accolades – Adult Competiton Series sectional placements since program began.
  • Coaching since 2007
  • Philosophy- focus on beginner skaters of all ages, and having skaters develop a desire to skate throughout their life

Kara Taylor

  • Rate: $72/hr
  • Email: karavtaylor@gmail.com
  • Facilities: Raleigh Iceplex & WF
  • Specialization: Singles, MIF
  • Member of USFS & PSA Basic Accredited
  • Personal Skating Achievements: Former Regional, Sectional, & Junior National Competitor; Former Disney on Ice Performer – 5 Tour Seasons; Gold Moves in the Field; Silver Freestyle; Silver Free Dance; Bronze Pairs
  • 5 Years Coaching Experience
  • Coaching Philosophy: I strive to help students’ create habits that strengthen them as a person on and off the ice. Skating can be a lifelong journey that keeps challenging you to overcome obstacles, to finetune your skills as an art, to constantly learn new things, and to enjoy the process.

Nathan Truesdell

Rate: $84/hour

Contact: idanc.org Nathan Truesdell is the founding director of the Ice Dance Academy of North Carolina (IDANC). With 25+ years of experience in elite competitive figure skating, his vision is to bring more cultural appreciation to figure skating through education. He facilitates engaged training by augmenting on-ice work with off-ice strengthening and conditioning, various dance classes, and education on the rhythms and dances used in skating. Nathan’s students have competed at the US Figure Skating Championships, US Adult Figure Skating Championships, US National Solo Dance Series, international competitions representing Team USA, and earned US National medals. In addition to being the highest placing African-American ice dancer at the US Figure Skating Championships, Nathan is also the first African-American figure skating coach/choreographer to produce US National Champions and Team USA athletes in ice dancing. He’s also committed to giving back to the figure skating community, and making it an inclusive environment for all—he has served as the following:

  • Member of the US Figure Skating Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Task Force & Working Group
  • Member of the US Center for Coaching Excellence Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee
  • Chair of the Professional Skaters Association Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee
  • Board member of DiversifyIce Foundation

Katherine Xing

  • Rate: 60$ per hour
  • Email: kxing1415@gmail.com
  • Facilities: Cary and Iceplex
  • Specialties: Singles, MIF, Power, Jumps, Spins, Choreography
  • Awards: 3x Regional Finalist, 2 Gold Medals (MIF, FS), Honorable Mention of the 2019-2020 Scholastic Honors Team
  • Experience: 4 years of coaching
  • Belief: There comes a time when trying your best is no longer enough. You have to strive to be the best.

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