Sunrise teams in Russia train the next generation of synchro skaters
Sunrise-1 executing their brand element called the “cvetochek”, meaning “floweret” in English. (Credits: Team Sunrise-1)
"Skating synchro with team Sunrise – 1 was the best decision in my life". So began our conversation with Polina Vlasova, who has been skating in the Russian team for three years.
Today, let's meet skater Polina Vlasova and her coaching staff. Polina used to skate in pair, but when her partner finished his career, Polina decided to try herself in synchronized skating. With her teammate Sofia Grinko, they are the two captains of the team Sunrise – 1.
Over the years of working with the teams, a large coaching staff has been formed, where each coach has their own and specific tasks.
Three main coaches work with Sunrise – 1 and Sunrise – 2 on the ice: Shikirun Tatiana, Govenko Natalia and Irina Jancen. Sunrise – 3 is led by Olga Sereda, the head coach of the youngest Golden Prize, and Tatiana Shikirun.
Pavel Drozd helps the teams not only improve their skating skills but also participates in the program creation. Two coaches are working with the teams during off-ice practices: choreographer Sergey Shtykov and general physical training coach Olga Belkina.
Sunrise teams are characterized by soft and slight skating with deep edges and smooth work of the knees. They also present exciting programs which always full of details and new choreographic ideas. By the way, the creative spirit in the editing of the programs comes from Tatiana Shikirun.
Of course, while creating programs and working with our athletes, we build on our coaches' experience: clean body lines and hands, strong leg positions, precise steps and elements, beautiful posture, soft gliding, choreographic fullness of performances. Every season we try and come up with programs that differ from the previous one.
Skating by creating new images is interesting to the athletes themselves, as well as to the audience and judges. Another distinctive characteristic is the development and introduction of new transitions or modifications to the elements that no one has done before.”
The idea of its creation appeared after watching the performances of the roller teams, which sometimes perform so fantastic elements in their programs. The coaches were also inspired by Russian dance groups, whose round dances are traditional and very spectacular elements.
Sunrise introduced this remarkable circle idea on the ice. From last season, this element became very popular and many teams all over the world tried and repeat it. “We are very positive about it! We really want the creators of "floweret" to be known not only in synchro but also in the whole figure skating world.” – said Polina Vlasova.
The last time Sunrise-1 took the Nationals silver medal was back in 2013 and the team’s dream to go to the Junior Worlds is so long-standing and especially important now.
We’re preparing in the usual mode: we work out and improve elements, pay attention to unison, expressiveness and emotions.” – told us Polina Vlasova.
According to Natalia Govenko, their strongest point is the training system developed by the coaching staff. Thanks to such organization of the practising process, they can prepare athletes for each their team and work productively in conditions of limited time. This system has been developed for many years, but Sunrise continue to improve and strengthen it every season.
Discipline, good organization of all team members (athletes and coaches) and mutual respect help the coaching staff to cope with a large number of athletes, each of whom requires an individual approach.
A crucial role is played by captains, who much help in working with teams. We are also assisted by sports psychologist Tatiana Svidlova, who works with the teams' athletes and teaches the coaching staff how to work with teenagers in sports properly. This complex professional approach makes the team stable and confident and indicates its development; undoubtedly, the team Sunrise-1 pretends to leadership at Russian and international level.
There is an increase in the number of young skaters preferring synchronized skating among other figure skating disciplines. More and more teams from different regions are formed, more and more teams of different categories take part in international competitions and perform there successfully. The geography of national competitions, as well as their number, is expanding.
This is very inspiring and motivating! You are waiting for the start of the season with excitement because you want to see new productions of the strongest teams! The ISU Technical Committee is constantly working to ensure that innovations in the rules stimulate teams' development and increase their level of skating. All this allows the sport to develop and become more and more progressive and interesting for athletes and the audience.”