MVFS has a soft spot for synchro skaters

Photo Credit: Sheila Wignal

Varsity figure skating pulls skaters from all different disciplines, from free-style to synchronized, to Learn-to-Skate beginners. Two of MVFS’s A-Moves team members skate on behalf of the Crystallettes in Dearborn. Both senior captain Caitlyn Gordon and junior team member Katie Urbin joined the Crystallettes with hopes of developing their skating careers. They both knew that committing to a synchronized skating team was an immense task that required a lot of dedication, but they welcomed it with open arms (Gordon skates for the Crystallettes’ Junior Team and Urbin skates for the Crystallettes’ Senior Team). Gordon admitted that joining the team had a huge impact on her in a positive way.

“My favorite thing about synchro is the whole team aspect.  I love getting to experience traveling and competing with a group of girls I know I will share memories with,” said Gordon “I wouldn’t have some of my best friends if it were not for synchro.”

Urbin agrees with Gordon as she, too, has formed several life-long friendships.

MFVS is very different from the skating that these girls and many other free-style skaters on the team are used to. During the high school competitions, skaters are asked to complete a variety of elements; however no music is included and no routine is performed.  Gordon explained the difference in this way:

“[Synchro and MVFS] are on opposite sides of the spectrum.  In synchro, you compete with all the girls on the ice at once, skating to music,” said Gordon. “There is also a program that includes different elements such as wheels, blocks, and circles.”

Both skaters dedicate a significant chunk of time to their teams; Gordon practices on ice for five-and-a-half hours each week and off-ice for two to three hours; Urbin practices five days per week with the Senior Team in addition to countless hours of off-ice.

So as you strap on your skates and join into the hustle and bustle of open skating this winter season, imagine what it would be like to slip on the skates of Gordon or Urbin. These are skates that haven been worn down by hours of practice and competition; these are skates that have experienced good run-throughs and bad; these are skates that have been taken-off and put on countless times per day, sometimes way too early in the morning, or way too late at night. Skates are so much more than the stiff leather boots that are laced-up in the winter time. For some, skates are the slippers of life.