INDUSTRY PROFILE: Holly Harrington
Position/Organization: Power skating instructor for both the Arizona Hockey Union and for AZ Ice Gilbert.
Arizona Rubber: How long have you been with AHU and what is your role with the organization?
Holly Harrington: I joined them in 2007 when they were still the Polar Bears. I work with every team and run all of their power skating clinics. Just watching the development weekly or at games, I make sure their development is up to par.
AZR: What are your duties at AZ Ice Gilbert and how long have you worked for the facility?
HH: I’ve been with them since they opened. I make sure the entry-level programs are filled up and make sure kids are learning how to skate properly. I help the coaches at the Mini Mite and Mite level with the kids’ development with agility and balance and control and stuff like that. I also work with Goar Hockey and help out with their camps and stuff like that.
AZR: What’s the age range for skaters you work with?
HH: It’s two years of age to the adult skills groups. I’m a multi-faceted skating instructor, so it’s ages two to 40.
AZR: What’s your skating background like? How did you get into this business?
HH: I was a professional figure skater and I came back from being on tour in 1998 and walked into Oceanside Arena. They were looking for a skating instructor to help with their teams over the summer.
AZR: How long were you a professional figure skater and was what that experience like?
HH: I skated professionally for five years from 1993-98. I toured with Disney on Ice and the Hermanos Fuentes Gasca (a circus-type performance on ice). When I was with Disney, I was in Asia, Australia and Europe. And for Fuentes Gasca, I was in South America. We basically went through all of Central and South America. I pretty much got to see the entire world by the time I was 21. Sometimes I wish I would have enjoyed it a little bit more, but you’re moving fast and it was pretty exciting.
AZR: If you had to give a youngster one piece of skating advice, what would it be? Is there something you always tell the students that you are teaching?
HH: One of my slogans is, “If you can’t skate, then you can’t play.” I really try and tell them that anybody can skate, you just have to want to do it. I think it’s hard for kids to understand that, sort of like me going on tour and not enjoying it as much as I should have. I shouldn’t have made it so much about work. If your skating is really good, then your game is going to be even better. You can really have a lot more fun if you can skate really well. It makes life easier out there.
— Compiled by Eric Smith