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The Pony Express

The student news site of Stillwater Area High School

The Pony Express

The student news site of Stillwater Area High School

The Pony Express

Stillwater Pony Express

Figure skating, challenging sport beyond varsity team

Photo submitted by Violet Johnson
Skaters skate on ice for their first practice. The team is getting ready to create their program for performing this winter. They challenge themselves in drills physically as well as mentally to further their individual skills.

The varsity figure skating team does more than just skate at hockey halftime. They compete individually, take skill tests and perform at exhibitions and shows around the area. The team’s first performance will be on Nov. 30 during the boys varsity hockey halftime. They have early practices before school during the week. Skating is a mentally and physically challenging sport that will definitely test limits. 

The team works together to perform ice shows and exhibitions. They make sure to do drills and continue to practice their program to synchronize with each other. Making their performance the best it can be is their top priority.

“We perform at ice shows and exhibitions,” senior captain Violet Johnson said.

 When compared to other sports, skating can be seen as mentally challenging. When skaters were asked what the hardest part of skating was they all mentioned the mental aspect.

“It’s mentally and physically challenging to do and harder than it seems,” freshman Amelia Privette said. “Competing and testing is still super nerve-racking,” Johnson added.

Skaters do not only practice on the ice but they also take time to run through choreography off the ice to perfect their performance. They also do strengthening drills and workouts off-ice. Privette´s coach “helps her where she needs to be and practice on and off ice” Individual coaches help with perfecting skills and teaching new ones. Coaches are also there when competing and will lead their skaters to new levels.

It’s mentally and physically challenging to do and harder than it seems.

— Amelia Privette

Competing individually is a big part of advancing skills as a skater. There are competitions all over the world. Sophomore Natalie Jansen went to Boston for a world competition this past summer.

There are two different skating programs ISI and USFS. St.Croix Valley Figure Skating Club is the club that most of the team is a part of they compete with USFS. Levels range from snowplow sam to gold. Completing USFS gold can set up an advanced skill level to go to the Olympics for figure skating. “My goal is to get my USFS gold and complete the level of free skate,” Jansen said.

All skaters on the team individually skate and have private coaches to compete at their own level and take skill tests. Requirements to be on the team include having a skill level of free skate three and being able to land a single axle which is a one and a half-rotation jump. One of Johnsons’ private coaches is the team’s head coach Sara Kiehl.

“The most recent test I have passed is my preliminary free skate,” Jansen said.

Within the last two years, two skaters on the team have gone on to skate collegiate levels with the University Minnesota Duluth hockey cheer team and Mankato’s ice hockey cheer team. Their younger sister Amelia Privette wants to follow in their footsteps.

“My sisters have maintained my interest in figure skating we all do it together and it made it more fun to skate with them,” Privette explained. 

Figure skating comes with so many things being on an ice cheer team, synchronized skating team, or competing individually. It tests skaters mentally and physically. Working individually is a big requirement before being able to join the varsity skating team. 

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About the Contributor
Anna Agnessi
Anna Agnessi, Online Editor
My name is Anna, I am a junior and I am an online editor. I play soccer and snowboard in the winter. I enjoy hanging out with my friends. I am most looking forward to being involved in  newspaper.  

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