Growing Black Representation in the Sport of Ice Skating at Dream Detroit Skating Academy – CW50 Detroit

Southfield (CW50) – The sport of ice skating was largely dominated by white Americans in the states, especially the suburbs. But in recent decades, the sport has become largely populated by Asian Americans, increasing the representation of minorities in the sport. However, ice skating has never been a popular sport in the black community, mainly due to the accessibility of skating clubs and rinks in urban areas. An ice skating club in Detroit is trying to change that.

Dream Detroit Skating Academy Co-Founder Candice Tamakloe with Coach Crystal Stewart and Co-Founder Angela Blocker Loyd

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Born and raised in Detroit, Candice Tamakloe began skating at age 9 with the first and only African-American figure skating club in the United States, the Renaissance Figure Skater’s Club. As a youth, she competed in Eastern Great Lakes Regional competition representing the Berkley Royal Blades Figure Skating Club and later the Detroit Skating Club at the Intermediate, Novice and Junior Freestyle levels. Her career took her to Ebony on Ice, which was the first show of its kind to spotlight a cast of professional African-American figure skaters. As one of the few competitive African-American female skaters in her youth, Tamakloe believed there had to be a way to expose the black community to ice skating easily and affordably.

The Dream Detroit Skating Academy team trains young skaters in the program

Tamakloe had been approached by a friend of hers, Angela Blocker Loyd, who was another African-American competitive skater from the area, to open a skating club with her. The two came together to co-found Dream Detroit Skating Academy, Detroit’s first black women-owned skating club. The idea behind the club was to provide easy access to the space, skills, equipment, and skating basics needed by Detroit’s black youth. The hope is that one day students at the club will be able to compete competitively at the highest levels of skating.

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Community Connect host Jackie Paige with Dream Detroit Skating Academy co-founder Candice Tamakloe

Tamakloe joins Jackie Paige on Community Connect to discuss why back representation matters in ice skating and what it can mean for a young city kid to have access to the sport.

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look Community Connection, Saturday at 7 a.m. on CW50

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