Elladj Baldé – January Skater in Residence Blog #1

Hello! Elladj Baldé here!

I am thrilled to have been asked to share a little bit about myself for the Skater in Residence blog. I thought I would use this opportunity to talk about my company Skate Global, what we do and the purpose that drives it as well as how it connects to my own life experience.

I will start by telling my story little bit about myself. Born in Moscow, Russia, my mother instilled her passion for figure skating in me at a very young age. During my childhood, I started to realize that I had a deep love for performing. Beyond my competitive career, I started to get invited to perform for audiences all over the world from the young age of 16. Performing and entertaining has always been something that fuels me and fills me up. It is something that I have become known for in skating and I have had the opportunity to be involved with so many wonderful projects and shows since my retirement from competition.

Throughout my own competitive career, I was constantly struggling with adversity and times of low self confidence. My mind was so concerned with the stress of technical execution that I wasn’t allowing myself to do what I love; Perform. As many know, it is in this performance area where I was able to find my stride as well as my individual purpose as not only a skater, but an entertainer to audiences. The day that I decided to connect with my passion and embrace the artist inside of me was a turning point in my life as well as my career. I started to feel in control of my destiny and in turn, my technical training didn’t feel so draining and I started to enjoy the journey of competitive figure skating.

I truly believe that the lack of balance between technical execution and artistic development is something that is preventing a lot of figure skaters from enjoying their journey and harnessing their own uniqueness within the sport. My decision to start Skate Global came from this very issue that I experienced myself in my own career. I decided to create a training opportunity where the focus is just as heavy on mental strength, artistic connection and performance quality as it is technical execution. I am personally invested in helping Canada’s next generation of figure skaters to unlock this key component to success within their performances and give them that new tool which will further propel them to success.

We have designed a seminar called The Art of Performance. This is a weekend seminar dedicated to technical and artistic execution led by myself and my amazing faculty team of Kaetlyn Osmond, Patrick Chan, Dylan Moscovitch and Elizabeth Putnam. Beyond the amazing sessions we offer in skating skills, jumping, rhythm, off ice and mindset discussions, one of the highlights of the weekend is our signature Art of Performance class. This class is designed to reconnect athletes with the art form and performance aspect of figure skating. By remembering why we do this in the first place and using our skills as a therapeutic release, we are able to dive further into becoming the most capable and honest performers possible. I truly believe that it is my love of connecting with audiences that has helped me overcome setbacks and obstacles within my technical training. We empower athletes to make room for finding their unique artistic connection which provides lasting motivation to drive them through their competitive careers.

It makes me so excited to give back to the next generation this way and to feel the impact we are making on the skating community. We are hosting two wonderful weekends in 2020 in Vancouver on July 3-5th and then Montreal on July 10th-12th . If you are interested in signing up, please visit our website at www.skateglobal.ca for registration or check out our Instagram at @skategloblainc to see more about what we do!

Thank you again to the Skater in Residence blog for giving me the chance to share my story! Spread love and be a light in the world!

-Elladj

Check out some photos and this video that show a little bit more about Skate Global, you may even see some familiar faces!

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