March 6, 2013 - Season: 2012-13
In her third year as a snowboard instructor at Sunshine Village, Manuela details her love of snow sports and teaching the Lady’s Freeriders program.
Manuela Olibera-Dorn is a ski instructor at Sunshine Village Ski and Snowboard Resort. She hails from Toronto, Ontario, but grew up skiing on the French Alps. Manuela discovered snowboarding in her home province as a teen because she missed her days skiing on the European slopes.
How did you start teaching at Sunshine Village?
Sunshine is the first place that I ever visited out West, so when it came time to choosing where to teach, I didn’t even apply anywhere else. On my first visit to the resort, I couldn’t believe the vastness of the terrain. It was so beautiful and like nothing I had ever seen before.
What did you do before Sunshine?
I have actually been teaching snowboarding for 10 years, and three of those have been with Sunshine. I was teaching with a travelling group called the Snowhawks back in Ontario. We travelled to Mount St. Louis Moonstone and the Blue Mountain Resort. We took the smaller kids to Snow Valley in Barrie, Ontario. After that, I was a full-time bilingual coordinator at a French school when I decided to take the plunge and move out West.
What is the best part about working at Sunshine?
My favourite part about working at Sunshine Village is the snow, of course. A close second are all of the lovely people who work at the ski school. Guests comment that we are always smiling and I contribute some of that that to the fresh air, but it’s also because we have such a good time together.
What is your favourite program to teach?
I really enjoy the recent Lady’s Freeriders program. The class runs one day a week for five weeks, for both skiers and riders (Manuela taught the Lady’s Freeriders snowboarding class this season). I love it because it really fosters a sense of community with female snowboarders. We are definitely a minority and so it’s neat to see how far these women grow in the five weeks that I am with them. This year, I had a total of five women between the ages of 19 and 38. On the last day of our training, we went to Lake Louise for the Billabong “Flaunt it” contest which is a girls-only slopestyle and rail jam competition. It was nice to try out a different mountain, but we all agreed that the snow was better at Sunshine. On Sunday, we celebrated our last class and after boarding all day, had a few drinks and laughed about all the fun we’d had together. I’m always a little bummed when the program ends, but I’m also thankful to have met a great group of new friends.
Where do you spend your free time?
When I’m not teaching, you’ll find me boarding at Sunshine. I spend a lot of time on Goat’s Eye on run number 76, The Big Woody. I’m not quite sure how it got that name, but it’s my favourite!
What do you do après ski?
My favourite après ski activity is relaxing by the fire at my home in Banff, or doing yoga. I have to make sure that I’m good and limber to do it all over again tomorrow!
For more on ski school programs at Sunshine Village, visit http://www.skibanff.com/lessons-rentals/