By Alicia Dziak

Calling all intermediate and advanced female skiers! Now is the time to focus on you. On Jan. 26 and 27, Lisa Densmore Ballard returns to Holiday Valley to lead the “Your Turn” women’s ski clinic. Densmore Ballard is a widely acclaimed coach, instructor and ski racer, and will be assisted by several of Holiday Valley’s female instructors during this two-day clinic.

“All ‘Your Turn’ women’s events are geared to gals who are at least an intermediate or high level skier,” said Densmore Ballard. “If you can at least ski the groomed trails rated with blue squares on Holiday Valley, you’ll love the clinic.”

She added that, “Even women who are experts can always get better. I think upper level skiers who would not consider a ski school class come to a ‘Your Turn’ event because they can get the fine tuning not available elsewhere.”

Densmore Ballard explained that attendees are split into smaller groups. “ I split everyone into groups not only based on ability level, but also what you would like to ski better, e.g. powder, moguls, steeps, firm snow… We’ll even run a few gates the second morning,” she noted.

The clinic will include a continental breakfast each day, talks about ski equipment and proper boot fitting, two lunches and one dinner, plenty of skiing with Densmore Ballard and HV Instructors, video analysis of each participant, demo equipment, door prizes and more.

This will not be the first time Densmore Ballard is making a stop in Ellicottville.

“I love Holiday Valley!” she said. “This will be my fifth winter hosting a ‘Your Turn” event there.”

The first year, Densmore Ballard was invited by HV’s Marketing Director Jane Eshbaugh and former Snowsports School Director Ron Kubicki. “Holiday Valley gave me such a warm welcome and lots of support,” she stated. “The mountain has the terrain, the snowsports school and the facilities to make an event like this, which has both indoor and outdoor components, run very smoothly and makes the participants feel special. Since then, I’ve had women from as far away as Cleveland and Pittsburgh ask about the event. It’s a great excuse for a trip to one of their favorite resorts that’s drive-able. Girls day out!”

Since her last trip to HV, Ballard has been busy taking her knowledge of skiing and applying it to print. “I have a new book out, called Ski Faster! I’ll have copies with me in case anyone wants me to sign one ($29.95).” The book is also available through her web site,, and at

Among the benefits Densmore Ballard hopes attendees will get from her clinic, she lists: “A fun time!

A break-through in their skiing. A better understanding of trends in women’s ski gear. More confidence on the slopes. A few new ski buddies.”

The clinic will begin on Jan. 26 at 8 a.m. with registration and breakfast. Pre-registration is advised as attendance is limited. Stop at or call the Snowsports School Desk, (716) 699-2345, ext. 4422 or the Creekside Lodge Children’s Desk at (716) 699-2345 ext. 4424.

Cost of the clinic is $290. Specially priced lift tickets will also be available, as well as lodging specials at the Inn at Holiday Valley (call 800-323- 0020 for info).