Linnea Lindell: Ice skating has become more than a close bond – Post Bulletin
“Keep your head turned and your chin up, ladies!
That’s what we heard as the start of a familiar tune permeated the cool air of the rink. We quickly took our starting poses for the 11th rehearsal of what will become the final routine of the Rochester Figure Skating Club’s annual ice show.
For us figure skaters, the ice show is a rite of passage – our long-awaited opportunity to showcase our dedication and appreciation for the sport and the art in the public eye. Thousands of hours have gone into creating, planning, rehearsing and decorating for the pinnacle of our skating year.
I started my skating journey just a few months before I turned 10. My first wobbly steps on the ice weren’t very promising and, to be honest, I didn’t immediately appreciate it. Learning to skate is hard! And cold! But with the help of my new coach and my budding friendships, the sport quickly won my heart and became an integral part of my life.
After “graduating” from Learn2Skate courses and becoming a contract skater, I was both captivated and in awe of the skills and confidence of older skaters as they glided effortlessly through their components. Dr. Kathleen Cullen, a researcher at Johns Hopkins University, showed in her 2015 study that figure skaters rewire their brains through practice to allow themselves to overcome the natural tendency to avoid frightening situations such as spinning and jumping on the track. ice with blades for shoes. Figure skaters are not born, they are made.
However, it would be a mistake on my part to say that there is no talent in figure skating. The 2022 Winter Olympics really showed the extremes to which figure skaters can push themselves. Watching Nathan Chen’s leaps and Kaori Sakamoto’s grace easily conveyed not only the talent, but also the dedication and passion that figure skating can cultivate, regardless of skill level.
Through figure skating, I learned the importance of dedication, criticism, managing nerves and teamwork. I wouldn’t skate if I didn’t understand and appreciate the value of artistry and camaraderie. The RFSC fosters a close-knit community of dynamic peers and coaches and has helped me make lasting connections in the sport I love. It provided the fundamental environment for growth and achievement in figure skating and in life.
As this is my last year attending the Ice Show, I have come to realize that the Ice Show is much more than an entertaining display of skill. It is the mark of a new beginning, a symbol of friendship and a goodbye. Hearing the cheers of the crowd and seeing the support of friends and family makes before-school practices and nightly rehearsals interesting, and even more bittersweet as graduation approaches.
If you’d like to attend the RFSC’s 84th Annual Ice Show, a family showcase featuring special guest skaters, performance dates are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Come see!
Linnea Lindell is a senior at Mayo High School. Send your comments on the Teen Chronicles to Jeff Pieters, [email protected]