Welcome to the Member Spotlight, which gives well-deserved shine to some of the incredibly skillful and devoted ski and snowboard instructors who make up PSIA-AASI. Whether instruction is a full-time career or a part-time pursuit balanced with other endeavors, PSIA-AASI members have valuable insights to share, gleaned from their experiences on snow.
Read this post to learn about a colleague who shares your passion for teaching skiing and riding! (And fill out this questionnaire for the chance to share YOUR story in Member Spotlight.)
Name: Tarrah Seymour
Primary discipline: Alpine
You, Your Gear, and Your Favorites
How long have you been sliding on snow? 43 years
Where did you learn to ski or snowboard? Washington State
What is your best skiing or snowboarding memory? Skiing with my 70-year-old dad a few years ago at Mt. Spokane. I was leading a member school clinic that had 18 people in it. My dad used to be the director at Mt. Spokane in the early 70s. He was famous up there, and even named some of the runs.
What would you say to someone to encourage them to try skiing or snowboarding? You only live once!
What’s your favorite ski resort or area (aside from your own)? Alyeska, Alaska
What’s your all-time favorite run or trail? The North Face, Alyeska
What equipment are you skiing or riding on? I am on the Blizzard team! I ride the Samba, Black Pearl, Quattro, and a race ski.
Camber, rocker, flat, or hybrid? All the above
Describe your first ski or snowboard setup. K2 skis with flip-up binding, safety straps
What’s the one ski or snowboard accessory you can’t live without? Cute ski pants
What’s your favorite ski or snowboard movie? “Color of Winter” (Warren Miller 1974)! I am in it, with my parents.
What is your favorite off-snow hobby? Yoga
What’s your favorite summer destination (or one you’re dying to get to)? Cuba
What’s the last book you read, or a podcast you’re currently into? Yoga Anatomy
PSIA-AASI and Your Snowsports Education Career
PSIA-AASI Division: Northwest
Certifications & specialties achieved: PSIA Division Clinic Leader and Children’s Examiner, Alpine III, Telemark I, Snowboard I, Children’s Specialist 2, Freestyle Foundation
Resort you work at: Mt Bachelor, Oregon
How long have you been instructing? 36 years
How long have you been a PSIA-AASI member? 22 years
What inspired you to become an instructor? My parents both were. My dad was a PSIA examiner.
Do you teach part-time or fulltime? Part-time
What other profession(s) or endeavor(s) are you involved in? Yoga teacher, long-distance runner, mom of two.
What about your teaching style stands out? I teach in a very guided-discovery way. It's very student-centered.
What is your favorite age group to teach and why? I like leading the CS 1 and 2. I love to see the “a-ha” moments in other instructors. I love sharing new ideas to help them become stronger ski instructors.
What is you biggest accomplishment as an instructor? Becoming valuable to my division
What’s your favorite PSIA-AASI member benefit? Getting to travel to ski areas all over the Pacific Northwest.
Who is your favorite PSIA-AASI Official Supplier – and why? Blizzard! They make amazing skis
What are your skiing or riding goals for next season? Train hard to improve my personal skiing.
What are your teaching goals for next season? Work as much as possible for the division. Teaching to inspire others.
If you could leave any legacy behind in the snowsports industry, what would it be? That I inspired others to push boundaries, challenge beliefs, and always try something new!
If there was one thing you could accomplish as an instructor, what would it be? Make the PSIA-NW Tech Team, to inspire more people.
What’s the best piece of advice you could offer a new instructor? Enjoy everything about it! You are the gateway to their mountain experience
What’s one thing an instructor should never do? Tell somebody to give up
Describe a scenario where you had to teach a difficult lesson and how you handled it: Wow, so many! As divisional staff, I get some know-it-all instructors sometimes. I tell them to share with me what they know, then ask if they might be willing to hold their beliefs tight but be open to adding new ideas as well. Usually it works.
Who has had the most positive influence on you and your career as an instructor? My husband! We met as ski instructors. I could not do what I do without him. I travel so much in the winter. He supports me in ways I never dreamed of. He is my editor as well. He has helped me get published twice in 32 Degrees, and several times in our Northwest publication.
Your Advice to Instructors
What’s your advice for teaching…
Beginners: Find out what they do outside of skiing; relate that back to skiing
Intermediates: Practice and mileage; challenge them with new terrain
Advanced students: Push their limits and boundaries. Find out what they want to ski like, or who inspires
What advice do you have for instructors preparing for certification?
Level I: Focus on consistency throughout the skiing. Keep the teaching simple and easy to understand. Demonstrate real skiing movements, not static poses.
Level II: Use just one fundamental and stick to it. Keep the teaching on task. Ski your best and observe the other candidates before you teach. Keep it fun and interactive.
Level III: Teach to the group. This is more like leading a clinic. Give specific feedback to each individual. Keep your feedback consistent. Ski hard! Also, continue to check for understanding along the way.
Sound off… Anything else you want to share? This sport is my life! I love to travel, ski, and inspire. I continue to grow and push myself in everything I do. My love for this sport is contagious!!!
Connect with Tarrah on Facebook: Facebook.com/Tarrahbeth; Instagram: @Skiyogabum
Want to see yourself in our next "Member Spotlight?" Fill out this questionnaire for a chance to be featured across our social media platforms, the eNewsletter, and our website. You could even make it into 32 Degrees!