How long have you been skating?
What got you going?
My best friend skated, and she always talked about how much fun it was, so I went to the rink following her one day and liked it a lot.
And do you compete around here?
I competed Saturday, actually. I competed all the time at home. The Bay State Games are here, so I just figured I might as well compete.
But you continue to practice?
Yes, at the rink and in North Adams.
I’m gonna claim ignorance about how skating competitions work since I’ve only seen them on television. Do you choreograph your own routines?
I did this time, but usually skaters don’t. It was to Yanni.
And you were in a longer competition recently, weren’t you?
Yeah, well, in a show. In Mississippi. I wanted to do a show last summer, and e-mailed this one company and sent out my video to everyone, but they were all cast. Then they called me and asked if I wanted to do a Christmas show, so I said sure. It was six weeks – I was gone from November 20 and got back December 29. I had to take three of my finals there and one over Winter Study, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
What’s the difference between a show and a competition?
In a competition, there are judges watching and you’re competing against other skaters. In the show I did, the professionals get paid a lot of money to do it and it’s more like entertainment, since there are no judges. You just go out there and make audiences happy. It makes it so much better ’cause in competing, there’s so much pressure. Skating in shows, all you have to do is smile and look good out there, and everyone cheers. You get standing ovations. Audiences are a lot less picky than judges. [laughing]
With the Winter Olympics coming up, do you have any favorite skaters?
I like Michelle Kwan – I think she deserves to win. She should have won last time.
What about her style do you admire?
All those triple jumps! And she can land them when it counts! But she’s really fun to watch. She’s really artistic and able to express herself and get into the music. She’s just a step up from everybody else.
Is figure skating more like gymnastics or dance?
It’s a combination of the two. It’s different ’cause it has both the musicality and the athleticism.
And so graceful to watch. Especially since I know that I’m incapable of doing any of it myself. But wow, eight years is a long time to commit yourself to something. . .has it ever been difficult to keep practicing?
Oh my gosh, no, not at all. Definitely not. The hardest thing that I ever had to do was come to college and not be able to skate all the time. If I’m ever injured or if there’s some reason I have to miss skating, that’s when I get the most upset out of anything in the world. I love it so much. What keeps me going is thinking about skating and going to skating, and it’s really my favorite thing.
So you use it as an outlet?
Definitely. If I have any stress, or pressure, or something going on, if I go to the rink and skate, then everything else just disappears. It makes it so much easier to have control over everything I have no control over. The only problems there are “Am I going to land these jumps?” or “Am I going to get through my program?” and “How am I going to skate today?”