SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – It’s an exciting time for a South Dakota figure skating team as next week they’ll be heading out to Alabama to compete in a national competition.
They have been chosen to represent South Dakota at the 2019 National Theater on Ice Competition,
But their success didn’t happen over night. Training to be a figure skater requires a lot of hard work…
“It takes a lot of discipline: you have to enjoy the cold, be able to work hard, be a great team player and a good listener,” Coach of the South Dakota Stars Tiffany Thornton said.
But the feeling for young skater Clare Carlson is out of this world.
“I feel like when I’m on the ice it’s just a different world from everything else and it’s fun to do jumps and spins and you just feel like you’re on the moon,” Figure Skater for the South Dakota Stars Clare Carlson said.
Carlson, who has spent years as a singles skater, is in her first year with the South Dakota Stars.
“I think it’s really fun because now all of the stress isn’t – it’s still on you but it’s not just you going out there and it’s fun to have a team around you to comfort you,” Carlson said.
In fact, this is the first year of this version of the team. They may spend several hours a day training on the cold ice, but the team has only been getting warmed up for what lies ahead.
“We’re going to nationals; I’m a little bit nervous, but I’m super excited because I think it’s going to be fun to see and compete with teams all over the country and to see what it’s really like to be in theater nationals,” Carlson said.
The South Dakota Stars will be the first team from South Dakota ever to compete in the National Theater on Ice Competition. They’ll be one of 80 competitors from across the nation.
Theater on Ice is much different from typical figure skating.
“The girls work together in different patterns and formations, working on jumps and spins and staying on time to the music while also telling a story,” Thornton said
Tiffany Thornton is in her first year coaching figure skating in South Dakota.
“It’s fun to see all the ideas she comes up with, like that I would never even think of,” Carlson said.
“I feel like when she’s choreographing our program, she’s done a great job of working with the team and making sure we all feel comfortable with the steps before we move on,” Skater for South Dakota Stars Lillian Derynck said.
But Thornton believes that it’s their effort as a team that will lift them into victory.
“They are the example of kids that know how to fall down and get back up and keep working hard: day in and day out,” Thornton said.
The team leaves this Saturday for the competition.