On this Q&A, we introduce you to Amanda City, an ice dancer who competes within the junior solo mixed dance occasions. She trains with ,at Ashburn Ice Home and is coached by IKatrina Shalin, Vitaliy Shalin, and Ruslan Goncharov.
Inform us about how your skating journey started. What drew you to the ice? Do you have got any particular recollections?
My skating journey started in 2015 when my mother and father signed me and my sister up for a be taught to skate summer season camp. I had no concept the way to skate and had by no means actually tried it earlier than the camp. I bear in mind the primary time I stepped on the ice, it felt a lot totally different than how I anticipated it will be, however I beloved it. After the week-long camp, I actually wished to proceed studying the way to skate so my mother and father signed me up for be taught to skate lessons and it just about took off from there.
When and why did you select to do solo dance?
I started my skating journey competing on a synchronized skating workforce. On my third season of synchro, my coach advised that I strive ice dance classes to assist with issues like my timing, posture, skating abilities, and so forth. I ended up taking classes and I beloved it! After only a few weeks of classes my coach, Vitaliy Shalin, requested if I wished to strive competing within the solo dance collection. He defined that I might compete within the preliminary patterns, and that if I scored excessive sufficient I might qualify for nationals. After all I stated sure, and in 2019 I competed in preliminary patterns, and I ended up qualifying and competing at nationals in Provo, Utah. I’ve competed yearly since, and I’m now competing Junior Mixed. Ever since my first season, I’ve completely beloved competing within the solo dance collection.
What do you want most about Solo Dance? What sort of music to you wish to skate to the most effective? Why?
I really like that solo dance provides dancers the chance to nonetheless compete with out a associate. I like to compete and whereas I’m looking for a associate, I’m so grateful I’m nonetheless capable of carry out and keep aggressive. In solo dance, the junior and senior ranges have a rhythm dance and a free dance, similar to the ice dance groups. This season the junior rhythm dance theme was tango along with your alternative of fashion from the choices they gave. I selected to skate to a flamenco together with the tango, and I actually have loved it! I wish to skate to all types of music however I feel the flamenco and tango types this yr have been one in every of my favorites. After I hear my music I really feel I have to skate with numerous energy, I have to be quick and fierce, and I actually get pleasure from that. I additionally actually like skating to up to date or lyrical items of music, I like to simply skate and really feel the music, it’s the most effective issues about skating.
Inform us about your coaching web site.
I’ve skated on the Ashburn Ice Home in Ashburn, Virginia for the reason that first time I’ve ever stepped foot on the ice. This summer season, I’ve began coaching extra at SkateQuest in Reston, as now we have dance solely ice time Monday via Thursday which has been tremendous useful because it will get fairly busy on summer season freestyle periods. My teaching workforce consists of Katrina Shalin, Vitaliy Shalin, and Ruslan Goncharov. I can’t think about a greater workforce of coaches, all of them contribute various things to my skating/packages and are simply so useful to me. They’re every extraordinarily devoted at what they do and spend a lot of their time perfecting my skating, and all of their different skaters as properly. It is rather necessary to me to not solely have coaches who can train properly, however to have coaches who actually care about their college students and wish the most effective for them. Now we have a fairly large group of solo dancers, skaters from the decrease ranges to the upper ranges, however all of us assist each other. This season we even have 5 junior dancers, together with myself. All of us are aggressive, after all, however we’re all associates and we cheer one another on. We’re all a workforce and really supportive of one another, it’s a terrific group!
Who choreographed your packages. What do you want greatest about dancing to them?
Katrina Shalin and Ruslan Goncharov did my choreography this season. They’re very inventive and know precisely what every program wants. This yr I selected to skate to the “Avatar” film soundtrack for my free dance. Initially I selected a up to date model of music, we choreographed rather less than half this system however then I made a decision it simply didn’t really feel proper. As a way to skate to music, it is advisable have a reference to it, which I didn’t really feel to that piece of music. I advised my coaches and we instantly started looking for new music. I used to be looking for one thing with extra of a storyline. I wished one thing distinctive and funky, one thing that might actually be attention-grabbing to observe. I heard the “Avatar” soundtrack and I actually appreciated the thought. I then advised my coach, Katrina, about this concept and she or he helped discover some extra songs and brainstorm new concepts. We bought this program accomplished in a short time, simply in time for the 2023 Solo Dance Camp in Dallas, Texas. At solo dance camp I had the chance to work with Randi Sturdy who was additionally very useful in including issues to each of my packages.
Solo Dance will probably be a world self-discipline this season? Share your ideas about this modification.
I’m so excited to listen to about Solo Dance changing into a world self-discipline! I feel this actually helps open the door for a lot of dancers who’re struggling to discover a associate, or simply wish to compete in ice dance with out a associate. Since my first yr of solo dance, again in 2019, I’ve seen it develop. I consider since it is going to be on the worldwide stage, extra consideration will probably be dropped at it, and extra folks will wish to strive it. I feel it’s additionally nice to not solely compete in opposition to skaters out of your area or inside your nation, however to have the chance to compete in opposition to skaters from different international locations as properly. I’m simply so blissful to see that solo dance will probably be worldwide, and might’t await the alternatives that this may convey.
In skating, what are you most trying ahead to this season? What will probably be your largest problem(s)?
I’m most trying ahead to competing at my final couple of qualifying competitions, and hopefully the Nationwide Solo Dance closing in Chicago, IL. I’m actually excited to compete in Lake Placid, New York. It’s a enjoyable competitors, and skating on the rink the Olympics happened is known as a nice expertise. I feel my largest problem will probably be nationals. I’ve been working more durable than I ever have in previous seasons and I actually do really feel it’s paying off. My objective this season is to skate two skates that I’m happy with and earn a medal at nationals; I might like to win. Up to now I’ve earned a gold medal from all six of my competitions, and I’m actually happy with that. If you happen to had been to inform me final season and even simply earlier than this season began, the place I’m at proper now, I might not consider you. I’ve actually stunned myself to this point and I’m excited for what’s subsequent!
If you happen to might have a lesson with any ice dancer previous/current, who wouldn’t it be? Why?
It is a laborious choice as there are such a lot of superb ice dancers I look as much as. However, If I had been to select, I might say both Maddison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue or Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron. Each groups have such distinctive types of skating that basically encourage me. I really like their energy and easy types of skating.
What are your favourite off-ice actions?
It is a query I get requested usually and I by no means know what to reply as a result of I wish to be on the ice just about all day on a regular basis. It’s one thing I don’t get uninterested in, but when I needed to decide I might say purchasing and touring. I journey quite a bit for competitions and I’ve gone to essentially cool locations, a few of my favorites have been Provo, UT, Lake Placid, NY and Nashville, TN. All of them are actually fairly areas and I’ve actually loved visiting there.
Please share the rest you want to our readers to learn about you as a skater?
One thing I would like folks to see once they watch me skate is my ardour for skating. I don’t simply skate as a result of I’ve been doing it for some time or for every other purpose. I skate as a result of I really like it and luxuriate in coming to observe day by day. I feel that’s what actually could make a skater stand out.