Meet ice dancer Mina Esfandiari

On this Q&A, we introduce you to Mina Esfandiari, an ice dancer who competes within the junior solo mixed dance occasions. She completed eighth on the 2022 U.S. Nationwide Solo Dance Finals. She trains with Krigor Studio at Montclair State College and is coached by Igor Lukanin and Kristin Fraser. 

Inform us about how your skating journey started. What drew you to the ice? Do you’ve any particular recollections? 
Once I was 7 years previous, I used to be invited to a celebration at an ice-skating rink in Virginia. At first, I used to be holding on to the board and couldn’t even arise. Then once I walked out of that get together, I began telling my mother that I beloved it and needed to start classes. Ever since then, my love for ice skating has solely grown!

The particular recollections from once I was little embrace my mother taking me to the rink once I first started and I’d simply skate across the boards, not caring about anything on the planet. I had simply began and all I needed to do was skate, as a result of the sensation made me really feel so free in these moments.

When and why did you select to do solo dance?
At age 8, I used to be competing as a freestyler and after my third season, I requested my mother if I may take ice dance classes to enhance my edges and step sequences inside my program. From there, I began taking classes in January 2019 with my first coach and he thought I had potential, so he enrolled me into the solo dance collection. That 12 months I started competing Pre-Bronze Patterns, whereas I used to be nonetheless competing as a Juvenile freestyler.  My love for ice dance grew with every competitors I entered. That 12 months, I certified for Solo Nationals and gained Bronze.  From that day on, I knew that I belonged as an ice dancer, and I made the change.

What do you want most about Solo Dance? What sort of music to you wish to skate to the most effective? Why?
Solo dance has matured me as a skater, whereas it additionally made me really feel snug in my physique. The Solo Dance group is such a beautiful group of individuals, and everybody assist one another it doesn’t matter what occurs.
My favourite fashion of music consists of Latin or hip-hop. Though, I like skating to the upbeat kinds of music, I get pleasure from studying all totally different sorts of applications. For instance, this 12 months I’m attempting one thing fully new that I’ve by no means finished earlier than.

Inform us about your coaching website. (Location, services, dance mates, courses, coaches, and many others.)
My head coaches are Kristen Fraser-Lukanin and Igor Lukanin. I practice at Montclair State College Ice Area in Little Falls, New Jersey. The coaching facility is the campus of a school which incorporates tracks, tennis courts, and many others. To begin our morning, we now have a day by day edge class and many types of off ice courses day-after-day. The off ice courses embrace totally different types of dance, conditioning, and stretching.

Who choreographed your applications. What do you want finest about dancing them? 
Igor Lukanin choreographed my applications for this season. What I like most about Igor is that the choreography comes pure to him. I study choreography fast which permits us to have extra time to excellent the applications. In my Rhythm Dance, I like how I’m ready present my ardour for tango. My favourite a part of my free dance is certainly my choreo step. I exploit a whole lot of physique motion that I’ve by no means finished earlier than which permits me to point out everybody what I’m able to performing.  

Solo Dance will likely be a global self-discipline this season? Share your ideas about this alteration. 
I’m so excited solo dance is a global self-discipline this season. All my life, I’ve been ready for today as solo dance has turn out to be a giant a part of my skating profession. This was a giant step ahead, because it reveals everybody that this can be a group now. Solo dance has grown over time and has made so many adjustments to match the dance crew guidelines.

In skating, what are you most wanting ahead to this season? What will likely be your greatest problem(s)? 
This season, I’m wanting ahead to stepping out onto competitors ice and performing the most effective applications attainable. I’ve been coaching onerous to point out the totally different kinds and what I can do. My greatest challenges and targets are qualifying for Nationals and putting.

For those who may have a lesson with any ice dancer previous/current, who wouldn’t it be? Why?
If I may have a lesson with any ice dancer, it could be Caroline Inexperienced & Michael Parsons or Tessa Advantage & Scott Moir. Each of these groups have distinctive physique actions and expressions, in addition to unbelievable edges and method.

What are your favourite off-ice actions?
My favourite off-ice actions embrace hanging out with my household and pals. It’s good to take my thoughts off of skating for a day and be round all of the people who I like.

Please share anything you desire to our readers to learn about you as a skater?
I’m endlessly grateful I gave ice dance a strive, as a result of it has introduced me superb individuals and the most effective skating household I’ve all the time needed. Thanks to Kristen, Igor, and my former coach Andrejs Sitiks who’ve made my dream come true. I’d by no means have been the place I’m now with none of them.