Alexander Esman

Alex was born in Odessa, Ukraine. Although he started skating at the very late age of twelve, he was fortunate to have been selected by the world renowned ice dancing coach Natalia Dubova to join her elite group. Under her tutelage, Alex had a successful junior skating career during which he became the Ukrainian Dance Champion and Master of Sport by the time he turned seventeen.

At eighteen, Alex joined the army and upon serving his rounds, he moved to Moscow and re-joined Natalia Dubova's dance group alongside dance teams Maya Usova/Alexander Zhulin & Marina Klimova/Sergei Ponamarenko. Alex's partner at the time, Irina Polunina, suffered an injury and chose to quit skating thereby breaking up their promising junior dance team. At that point, Alex decided to leave amateur skating and join one of the largest Soviet figure skating companies at the time, The Moscow Ballet on Ice. The Moscow Ballet on Ice was a traveling company that gave 3 hour performances, sometimes twice a day, across all the cities in the entire Soviet Union and Continent.  The best and most famous Soviet ballet masters and choreographers worked with the troupe, namely: Elena Tcherkasskaya - prima ballerina of the Bolshoi Theatre, Mikhail Godenko - founder of the Krasnoyarsky Ansemble of Siberia, Vladimir Shapovalov - famous mass group choreographer, Igor Belsky - artistic director of the Kirov Ballet. While touring with the Moscow Ballet on Ice, Alex met Marina and there they started skating together as principals and also as husband and wife.

In 1990, they were both invited to one of the world's top skating companies, Tatiana Tarasova's Russian All-Stars, which was a showcase of Russia's top Olympians, European and International Champions, with stars like Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Gorinkov.

In 1992, Alex and Marina moved to NY to work with the Ice Theatre of New York and even got an opportunity in the winter of '93-'94 to perform as principles at the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Show Spectacular.

In the spring of 1994, Jane Torvill & Christopher Dean were putting together their farewell world tour called Face the Music. Having previously worked with Alex and Marina at the Russian All-Stars Company, they reached out to the Russian pair to join the tour. Alex and Marina continued traveling the world with Face the Music for two years and upon the completion of the tour, they returned to NY to establish themselves as figure skating coaches on Long Island.


Marina Koulbitskaya

Marina was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. Introduced to figure skating by her mother's love for the sport at the age of six, she started skating in a children's group at an outdoor rink. Marina had a precocious gift for skating from the start and the group coaches advised Marina's mother to show her to a skating expert at the age of 8 (in the Soviet system, promising kids were hand-picked in groups through a selection process appointing the few chosen juniors for professional development by government sanctioned Olympic coaches). Marina's mother took her to try out for the most famous coach in the USSR at the time, Igor Moskvin. Moskvin had an elite group of skaters at that time, among them, Yury & Natalia Ovchinnekov & Igor Bobrin. Moskvin took Marina into his group making her his youngest protege.  When Marina turned 10, Igor Moskvin's wife, Tamara Moskvina had just retired from her titled amateur pair skating career with partner Alexei Mishin, and started her coaching career alongside her husband. She took Marina under her wing and found her a partner, Vladimir Bogolyubov, and in doing so, she formed her very first pairs team. Marina was the youngest competitor at the Soviet Senior Nationals but a week prior to the Junior National Championships, their team fell apart as Marina's mother insisted that she be a singles skater despite the good results that she was showing in pairs. At thirteen years of age, Marina was awarded Master of Sport by placing 6th at the Spartakiad of the Peoples of USSR in singles.

That same year, she started skating under Alexei Mishin as a singles skater. With Mishin's help, Marina won bronze at the 1976 & 1977 USSR Championships. Unfortunately, those years the USSR was only allowed to send the champion to the European championships as well as to the Olympics, since the Soviet skaters failed to place in the top 10 and by the International Skating Association rules, the country could not send more than one skater. 

At the age of seventeen, Sergei Chetverukhin, Olympic skater and principal of the Moscow Ballet on Ice invited Marina to become the youngest principal skater at the Moscow Ballet on Ice. There she enjoyed a fruitful twelve-year career, working with the Soviet Union's best choreographers and champion partners. In those twelve years she performed in tragic, classical, comical, folklore numbers and often performed up to six programs in each show, making for a vast choreography repertoire.

Marina met Alexander at the Moscow Ballet on Ice, and shortly they got married and started skating together as a team. From that time, Marina and Alex worked with various companies mentioned above, from the Russian All-Stars, to the Ice Theatre of New York, Radio City Music Hall and Torvill and Dean's Face the Music World Tour traversing the globe for years. Since the end of their amateur and professional careers, Marina has been coaching on Long Island with Alex and they are both known for their technique and choreography.



Marina holds a BA from the Lesgaft Academy of Physical Education Sport, St. Petersburg, Russia. Alex holds a BA from the Moscow Institute of Physical Culture and Sports Moscow, Russia.