“It’s not how you look when you learn to ski that’s important. It’s how you feel”. So says My Dahlström, our favourite ski instructor in the ski resort of Are, Sweden (she’s everybody else’s favourite too – judging by the rave reviews she gets).
Dahlström specialises in teaching ski beginners and early intermediates, and her attitude to ski technique is refreshing, to say the least. “The best skier is the one having the most fun,” she says. And to get everyone in the mood, she suggests singing a song.
I’m afraid I didn’t need any more encouragement than that, as you’ll see in this video…
Actually, there’s a serious point here. Skiers of all levels can get way too hung up on their technique. Yes, we all need to know the theory, and yes, we need to know how we’re deviating from the ideal when it comes to posture, weight distribution, and angulation of our skis (see our feature on how to ski better on pistes). This is not something our friends can teach us: we needed qualified instructors to show us how.
But almost always we make the biggest advances when we’re feeling relaxed and happy. For my own part, my attitude usually leads the way on the slopes, and my body falls into place – or not – behind it. If I’m with the right people, and we’re all in a good mood, and the banter on the chair lift is right, then I’ll ski three times better than if I’m mooching about on my own.
I also know that my favourite ski instructors over the years have been the ones who have the most brightest, most fun-loving attitude. The more they enjoy being on the slopes, and the happier they are to share a few laughs, the more I want to learn from them.
So remember – if you’re going to the mountains to learn to ski, don’t forget to pack a few songs in your suitcase. And a sense of humour.
Many thanks to Neilson for the flights to Are, Sweden. The company runs an extensive holiday programme to the resort with all levels of accommodation included. Click on this link to read our resort report. You can also find lots of news and information about the resort at www.skistar.com/en/Are/.