Signe Ronka Biography
Signe Ronka was a National and International level figure skater representing Canada in multiple events throughout her career, where she medalled at five international competitions. She placed third in Canada at the 2001 Canadian Championships in Junior Ladies. In 2002, Signe represented Canada at the Junior World Championships. In 2003, she was the second Canadian skater to ever make the Junior Grand Prix Finals, competing with the top Junior level skaters in the world. Signe ended her skating career in 2006, with a top ten finish in Senior Ladies.
Signe kept her passion for figure skating going even after she ended her competitive career. She began coaching skating in 2006, and continues to pass on her love of the sport to each and every skater. Signe coaches and does choreography at the Granite Club and East York Figure Skating Club in Toronto.
While coaching, Signe pursued her post-secondary education at the University of Toronto, where she graduated with Honours in Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Psychology and Bioethics in 2010. While attending university, she continued skating on the University of Toronto Varsity team for two years, where she placed first at the OUA Championships in 2007 and 2008. In 2008, she was awarded as the Competitor of the Year.
Listen to the interview with Signe Ronka on @SkatingPj Podcast
See Signe Skate
How did Figure Skater Bootcamp begin?
Over the many years of competing, Signe often had to withdraw from competitions due to injuries, which ultimately ended her career. She spent most of her hours on the ice and very little time in the gym. At the time, fitness training was not considered a big part of her routine.
After Signe retired from the competitive world of figure skating, she started to spend most of her hours training in the gym. She loved fitness so much that she decided to study further and learn all about the fitness world, she is CSCS (Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. As she was learning about different techniques and methods of training, she started believing more and more that fitness training is the key to a successful, injury-free athlete. This is when Figure Skater Bootcamp was born.
Figure Skater Bootcamp was founded in 2010, with the goal to help figure skaters achieve ultimate strength through fitness training in order to prevent injuries and maximize individual potential on the ice. Signe provides specialized fitness training for figure skaters of all levels to help achieve peak performance on the ice. By progressing through each stage of the program skaters build confidence and the feeling of being a packaged skater.
In 2012, Signe released her first DVD, "Reach New Heights", which has sold hundreds of copies worldwide, teaching the fundamentals to sport specific training for figure skaters.
How was inspired?
In 2013, Signe created the Flexafit Methodology of training after years of experimenting and studying various forms of fitness training. The Flexafit Methodology is a 3-Part System, which includes Strength & Conditioning, Balance & Coordination and Mobility & Flexibility training. This method was inspired bytraining done for figure skaters, but has now extended further to apply for everyone. This method will help build a confident, well-rounded individual. Signe believes you don't have to be an athlete to train like one.
Balance & Coordination
Balance and Coordination is the foundation to all exercises performed in fitness and sports. It is important to be well trained in this area in order to maximize the proper execution of exercises and decrease the chance of injury. Participants will learn exercises and techniques to enhance better balance and coordination, which will be applied to each of the following phases of the method.
Mobility & Flexibility
This phase of training focuses on not only flexibility of the muscles but the ability to have proper range of motion in the joints in order to perform exercises efficiently and effectively. Participants will learn exercises to increase range of motion in the joints, which will then be applied to more challenging exercises in the next phase of training.
Strength & Conditioning
This phase focuses on conditioning participants with metabolic circuits, plyometrics, and anaerobic training to increase endurance and metabolism. Strength training is achieved through various forms of exercises and circuits using free weights, body weight, and high performance equipment, which forces participants to apply knowledge of training from the previous two phases.
We were proud to open our first Flexafit Studio in the spring of 2013. Our studio is located in the heart of the Toronto Film District Area, in the historic Munition Factory building. It is a spacious studio with natural lighting, hardwood floors, mirrors, ballet barres, professional sound system, and high performance equipment (plyometrics boxes, TRX system, Bosu/Swiss balls, hurdles, ladders, weight rack etc.).
Signe Ronka is the founder of Flexafit (Figure Skater Bootcamp). She is Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Signe created the Flexafit method of training that applies scientific foundations in order to maximize potential and prevent injuries. Signe is also a National Competitive Certified Coach (NCCP 3), where she coaches at the East York Skating Club, Richmond Training Centre and the Granite Club.
Recently, Signe published a magazine called Figure Skater Fitness, based on a scientific approach to sport specific training. It is the number one source for fitness training, mental training, injury prevention, nutrition, glamour and more. www.figureskaterfitnessmag.com
Flexaballet, Flexastretch & Flexfusion Dance Instructor
Martha formerly trained with the National Ballet of Canada and continued her dance career with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. After many years her career began to shift to ballroom dancing and is now a competitor of dancesport. She is looking forward to being on the competitive floor in 2014 . Having taught in many studios and fitness facilities in Toronto her ballet classes, ballroom styling and her unique Deep Flow Stretch classes have been in high demand. Martha has taught as a private coach to many top athletes to improve their performance in sport and can't wait to share her skills, creative thinking, performance techniques and her endless passion at the Flexafit studio.
Figure Skater Bootcamp/Dance Fusion Instructor
Olga Korsak is a new addition to our team at Flexafit. She is a former figure skater, a multiple Latvian champion, represented Latvia in the European and World Championships, won gold at the Baltic States Winter Olympic Games in 2008. After finishing her competitive career, she moved to Toronto. Olga has a Bachelor degree in Dance Stage productions/Fitness. She is a Certified Fitness instructor.
Besides teaching dance and fitness part time, Olga is also a musician and actress, She released her first CD "Behind Closed Doors" in June 2014.
Figure Skater Bootcamp Instructor
Charlotte Lawson is the newest member to the Figure Skater Bootcamp Team. Charlotte is certified under Figure Skater Bootcamp Inc. and has over three years of practical experience. She is still competing in Junior Ladies, representing Central Ontario Section. Charlotte is a great role model for the younger skaters.
Figure Skater Bootcamp Instructor
Rachel Micay is a certified personal trainer and currently studies Kinesiology at University of Toronto. Rachel was a former competitive figure skater representing the Granite club. She continues her passion for figure skating on the University of Toronto Varsity team. Outside of training and school, Rachel is a proud Ice Girl for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Flexafit is honoured to have Rachel as part of our team. She brings tons of energy to the studio and makes sure you give 100% effort each time.
Matoe Galindo Torres
We are honoroud to have Mateo as part of the dance fusion team at Flexafit. Mateo Galindo Torres is a dancer and choreographer, with side projects in film, photography and music editing. His most recent professional experience includes work with Peter Chin, Alan Gilsenan, Lemi Pomifasio, Aria Evans, Jacob Niedzwiecki, Danny Grossman, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, William Yong, Kaeja d’dance, Maxine Heppner and Toronto International Ballet Theatre. Torres is the artistic advisor and guest choreographer of the newly founded company Form Contemporary Dance Theatre. Torres’ work is often politically charged, inspired by social subject matters, and fuses his eclectic movement background.
Beginning her dance career in 1999, Karen Kus has professionally grown as both a teacher and performer, delving into her intrinsic passion. Throughout her career Karen has taught for various studios in Mississauga including Lechowia Dance Co. (Step by Step Ballroom) and Blueheel Dance Studio. She had the opportunity to perform in competitions and festivals at both local and international level, performing (and teaching) in the following countries: Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Mexico, Poland, USA, Ecuador, and Thailand.
Receiving a number of awards and medals for competitive dancing, Karen has exceeded mastery level for the following styles of Latin and ballroom dance; Cha Cha, Rhumba, Samba, Salsa, Jive and Waltz. Additionally, she is experienced in other styles including Yoga, Hip hop, Jazz, Zumba and Polish Folklore. She is a devoted teacher and is committed to ensuring her students obtain an abundant learning experience that is both challenging and rewarding. Outside the world of dance, Karen has a Masters of Education degree in Adult Education and Community Development and works as an academic educator.