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.
Enjoy getting to know your colleagues from far and wide who share your passion for teaching skiing and riding! (And fill out this questionnaire for the chance to share YOUR story and insights in Member Spotlight.)
Name: Dory Breaux
Member Since: 2017
Primary discipline: Alpine
PSIA-AASI Division: Western
You, Your Gear, and Your Favorites
When did you start skiing or riding? Three years old
What is your best skiing or snowboarding memory? There are many, but one that stands out is seeing the grin on my dad’s face as I made a turn and got completely engulfed in snow. I was 15 years old and we were skiing Brighton, Utah.
What would you say to someone to encourage them to try skiing or snowboarding? Don't take it too seriously, and don't let a significant other teach you.
What are your favorite off-snow hobbies? I am passionate about fly-fishing, filmmaking, and photography. I don’t consider them hobbies, but other full-time pursuits.
PSIA-AASI and Your Snowsports Education Career
Certifications & specialties achieved: Alpine Level II
Resort you work at: Northstar California
What inspired you to become an instructor? As cliché as it sounds, I get super fired up about getting other people addicted to sliding down a hill.
Do you teach part-time or full-time? Full-time
What other profession(s) or endeavor(s) are you involved in? I like to think I'm a professional filmmaker and photographer. I also wrench on bikes in the summer. I'm hoping to start working as a fly fishing guide in the next few years.
What about your teaching style stands out? I've been complimented on my "chillness" more than once. I'm a huge fan of giving someone the tools to learn something, and then guiding them through the process. Some students need more guidance than others, but I think it makes for better understanding and retention.
What is you biggest accomplishment as an instructor? Last spring, I was sitting on a chair with some of the kids I coach every weekend when one of them turned to me and said, "coach, I think I want to grow up to be a ski bum, just like you.” I'm still not sure how his parents feel about that, but knowing I helped ignite his passion is the biggest feeling of accomplishment I can think of.
What’s your favorite PSIA-AASI member benefit? Chea – the discounted gear and lift tickets!
Who is your favorite PSIA-AASI Official Supplier – and why? Atomic. There's a lot of reasons, but primarily because their boot game is on fire and has been for years. They just work. Oh, and BCA because I'm still alive thanks to their beacons.
What are your current skiing or riding goals? Go bigger, get more face shots, and have more fun.
What are your current teaching goals? I want to learn more about bio mechanics. And to ruin more lives with an addiction to skiing.
Your Advice to Instructors
What’s the best piece of advice you could offer a new instructor? Be a sponge. There is something to be learned from everyone around you, and there is no one right way to do anything. Also, we tend to let our egos run a little wild – stay humble. Remember, we're all just sliding down a hill on expensive sticks.
What are some of your tips for teaching the following students
Beginners: Keep it fun.
Intermediates: Show them how to find the edge of their comfort zone. More fun.
Advanced students: Just because they are advanced, doesn't mean you can’t work on fundamentals. Yes, more fun.
What advice do you have for instructors preparing for certification?
Level I: Don't stress about it. Stick to your training. Be coachable. Be a sponge. Learn from your examiner. Don't argue with the examiner.
Level II: Be adaptable. Do what the examiner asks to the best of your known ability. Don't show off. Don't try to get fancy. Have a plan going into your teaching sections and be able to adapt it and back it up. Treat it as if you were teaching a real lesson; if you see something that needs to be corrected in a task, do it. Learn from your examiner. Be a sponge. Don't argue with the examiner.
Level III: I haven't gotten that far yet, but as an observation... BE HUMBLE! And be a sponge. And don't argue... you get it.
Sound off… Anything else you want to share? The day skiing becomes just a job, give your two weeks notice. It's supposed to be fun, remember? Don't obsess over training. Ski at different mountains, being at the same place every day of the season can get old fast. Be a sponge, learn from everyone, and DON'T ARGUE WITH THE EXAMINER!
Connect with Dory Breaux on Facebook: Dory Breaux and Instagram: @dory.breaux
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!