Live at 6 | SU Synchronized Skating
Jenna Babyak – Syracuse, N.Y. (CitrusTV) – Seventeen girls stand completely still on the ice, their arms down by their sides and their heads glued to their chests. When the music starts, their chins are instantly up, their faces beaming. One skater in the middle of the rink begins dancing to and mouthing the lyrics of “Good Morning, Baltimore” from the musical “Hairspray.” When her shining moment is over, she joins into a line with her teammates, and together they skate counterclockwise in a perfect five-pointed star formation.
Synchronized skating is a category of figure skating that is all about performing in unison. Nicole Saltini, a freshman on Orange Experience, says one thing that sets skating apart from other sports is the way it combines art with athleticism.
“What I love about it is that it’s such, like, an athletic sport and takes such athleticism, but it’s also beautiful to watch and it has the artistry which a lot of other sports don’t have,” she said.
Everything must be perfect about their appearances; from slicked back hair with absolutely no flyaways, to crisp, unwrinkled costumes, to perfectly tied laces on the skates, these skaters have about a million things to worry about when they step into the rink. And unfortunately for sophomore skater Katherine Barry, she’s had her fair share of wardrobe malfunctions.
“I’ve had [the costume] come undone at the top,” she said, remembering the stressful moment. “You have to play it off really well. You have to do some arm movement or something and then just try to like clip it back or something.”
Regardless of age, years of experience, and infinite hours practicing and performing, it seems that no one is safe from wardrobe malfunctions–even professionals. Last Monday, French ice skater Gabriella Papadakis’s top came undone during her routine, exposing her bare chest to all those watching in the South Korean Olympic ice rink, and to those viewing on televisions around the world.
Although skaters spend months practicing their routines multiple times a week for hours on end, nerves kick in and mistakes can inevitably happen. Freshman skater Hanna Martin says that if she makes one small mistake in her routine, it can undermine the rest of her performance.
“My coach used to call this ‘the sweater unraveling,’” she said. “So, it’s like when you fall on one jump, and then you fall on another jump because you let it get to your head, and then you fall on another thing, and the sweater just unravels in front of the judges. It’s like when you lose your cool.”
Luckily for the ladies on Orange Experience, it doesn’t look like any sweaters unraveled at their most recent and final competition. The skaters took first place at the Reflections Synchro Invitational this past Monday night.