During Masters, the first national competition of the season, we met with Tiffany Zahorsky, who was giving a hand to Villard de Lans coaching team.
Hello Tiffany, what are you doing these days?
Tiffany : I'm back in France since last year. Right now, I'm coaching Villard de Lans ice dancers. I am also doing shows. I was part of a Japanese gala recently, and I have plans to carry on with shows. I also try to spend time with my family. I am making the most of it. I have had quality time with my mother and my cousins who I had not seen for a long time. It was great. I try to move on with my life outside of figure skating.
Was it difficult to leave Russia and come back to France?
Tiffany : Yes. I had made myself a life in Russia, I was all settled. I was there for eight years, I had my routine, my friends, some stability. Starting again from scratch at my age, even if I'm not old (laughs)... It was really tricky. All the more so as I didn't have nice memories of my last years here. [for the record, she had a hard time finding a new partner, then French federation declined her release for a very long time]. At first, coming back felt like taking a step back. But over time, I reconnected with friends from the past, I made new ones, I had jobs here and there. I started feeling at home in Lyon again. I feel very much better now. I enjoy again life in France, the culture, the food (laughs). I really feel better.
What kind of work do you do with Karine Arribert?
Tiffany : I am a coaching assistant. I give a hand whenever the team needs one.
Who else did you work with since you are back in France?
Tiffany : Last year, I worked at a figure skating camp managed by Romain Gazave in Andorra. This year, I worked with Daniel Peinado [former figure skater from Spain]. I have been to summer camps all over the map, Andorra, Megève, etc...
Do you have a specific career plan for the future?
Tiffany : Right now, becoming a full time coach isn't my dream. Well, never say never... But I would not mind distancing myself from the figure skating world. OK, right now, I'm right inside (laughs), I love sharing my knowledge. So, to be true, I'm not yet totally ready to leave this particular universe. Still, I would like to broaden my horizons, to explore new territories.
Tiffany : I have a thousand ideas and none of them is really fixed. That's a bit where the problem lies: I can't focus on a definite plan and think "let's go, let's try it". I am currently more into searching. I have a few plans, more or less linked to sports, to events planning, but they are not defined enough yet to be worth telling.
What is Jonathan [Guerreiro, her competitive partner] up to these days?
Tiffany : He went back to Australia with his family and he is a coach. He wants to help Australian ice dance grow, but he also works with pairs. And he does choreographies. Unlike me, he doesn't want to leave figure skating. We meet again for shows. I love shows! We are so free, and the connection with the audience is incredible! The atmosphere within the shows is wonderful! There is no pressure,we chat with other skaters at practice and rehearsals, we have a lot of fun while working. It's a vibrant way of life that suits me perfectly, I want to keep on doing shows!
What is your take on Villard de Lans ice dancers here at Masters?
Tiffany : I had already worked with them last year. Observing their progression is fascinating. I am only here on and off, sometimes I don't see them for months, and when I'm back, I notice they have improved like crazy! I love the atmosphere here. Family-like and hard-working all at once.
Is it easy to work with Karine [Arribert]?
Tiffany : Very! She is so experienced! Her creativity is out of this world! I learn so much when I work with her! For now, I don't have much experience and perspective. She coaches her dancers and she coaches me too... to be a coach! (laughs) I am impressed by her work capability, by how easily she explains things, how she passes her knowledge on, with such a generosity! And her musicality... Such an inborn sense of music, it's crazy!
Kate Royan - Skate Info Glace