Coaches

Figure Skate Chicago’s coaches are experienced and highly skilled figure skaters who are dedicated to teaching technical and performance skating techniques for all ages.

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Irma Sveiteryte, Founder & Head Coach

Irma has taught skating and coached competitive figure skaters in the United States for over 10 years.

Focusing on Building Champions in Chicago
Irma saw a need for a skating school in downtown Chicago. In 2010, she started Figure Skate Chicago Skating School with the intention to build a team of competitive figure skaters.

In 2012, Figure Skate Chicago became a United Skates Figure Skating (USFSA) Basic Skills Program. Her competitive skaters have been successful at USFSA competitions by placing first and second place in every competition.

The Competitive Years
During her competition years, she was Lithuanian Junior Champion in 1991 and has several Senior Level Figure Skating titles.


Katarina Svrckova

Katarina was born and raised in Slovakia.  She devoted her youth to figure skating where she discovered her passion for physical activities and sports.

She moved to Australia for two years to attend the International College of Sydney with a Major in Marketing. After returning to Slovakia she coached figure skating while finishing her studies at the University in Bratislava with a major in Sports Management.

Katarina moved to the United States in 2002 where she he discovered the benefits of GYROTONIC®. After observing how the exercise method positively affects health she decided to become a certified GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® instructor.

Katarina moved to Chicago in 2012 and began coaching with Figures Skate Chicago Skating School in 2013. Her experience with Gyrotonic helps to implement the improvement of flexibility and overall physical condition for skaters.  She enjoys teaching both Figure Skating and Gyrotonic because it brings her more energy and happiness.


 Maria Jezak-Athey

Maria Jezak-Athey is a former three-time Polish National Champion.  She has trained under the tutelage of Easter European and North American Coaches. Ms. Jezak-Athey joins Figure Skate Chicago Skating School with 31 years of coaching experience at the Developmental, Regional, National and International levels, and three years of show experience gained while performing with Ice Capades.  One of her most successful pupils was 2002 Olympic Champion Evan Lysacek. Currently, her former student Alexa Scimeca is on the road to 2016 Olympics.

Ms. Jezak-Athey helps our skaters with all aspects of the sport. She passionately works with al levels on skating specific techniques of Jumps, Spins, Skating Skills, Competition Preparations and much more needed to develop a successful athlete and a figure skater.


Justin Brachat

Justin Brachat is a Chicago native who skated for the United States in Regional, Sectional and National competitions, achieving Gold Medal in Moves in the Field and Freestyle. After competing for 15 years, Justin turned to coaching in 2007 where he specializes in jump technique with harness training to help students land their axels, doubles and triples.  He also has extensive knowledge of the International Judging System to help our competitors understand how to achieve the most points during their routines.

Justin believes that there is a spot for everyone in skating. He takes pride in working with his students to find their paths, and passing along life lessons he learned on the ice to encourage success.

 


Valerie Kim

Valerie Kim was born and raised in upstate New York. She began her skating career at age four and continued skating competitively for thirteen years, completing her Senior Level USFSA Moves in the Field, Senior Freestyle and Pre-Silver Ice Dances. In 2010, Valerie graduated from Connecticut College Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biochemistry.  She moved to Chicago in 2014, soon after earning her certification as a Yoga Instructor. She found her way back to the ice in 2016 and is now grateful to be coaching under Irma Sveiteryte at the Figure Skate Chicago Skating School. She also studies with Katarina Svrckova and Maria Jezak-Athey.

Valerie loves the finesse and athleticism of the figure skating sport. Most importantly, she loves working with the kids and teaching from her own years of experience out on the ice. Her knowledge of human anatomy and the need for strength balanced with flexibility guides students through the many dynamics of learning to skate competitively.