Radical Recreation: Go figure

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Figure skating is filled with beautiful techniques, the graceful gliding across the ice and the countless spin moves captivates its audience. The beauty of figure skating performances makes many forget about the difficulties of executing each trick to get a perfect landing on ice. It’s refreshing to see the figure skaters at Dimond Mall when taking a break from shopping. Along with those figure skaters, is Jennassy Regal, early childhood education major, flowing across the ice doing a variation of spins on her skates.

Regal started figure skating at the age of seven after being inspired by her family friend at the Dimond Mall who was taking beginner ice skating lessons.

“Her mom encouraged me to try it because she knew I never skated, so I tried it and I ended up loving it,” Regal said. “I thought it was so much fun and I wanted to keep doing it, so that same day when I got home I asked my mom if I could start taking lessons. She said yes and signed me up that next week.”

In Alaska, Regal participated in competitions until the age of 16 and traveled two to three times a year for figure skating competitions and skate camps. After participating in competitions over the years, Regal decided that competition skating was not for her.

“As much I loved skating, learning new skills and traveling, I absolutely hated competing. It wasn’t my thing,” Regal said. “I don’t know if it’s because I started competing at a very young age, and I trained a lot in elementary and middle school. [However], I found it very stressful and after doing it [for] so many years, I got burned out of competitions, but I still participated in skating shows sometimes just for fun.”

Like most team activities, there is a lot of bonding time with teammates, which is Regal’s favorite thing about ice skating.

“My favorite thing about figure skating was the traveling with the skating team. Even though we spend most of our time skating, we made time for team dinners, sleepovers and doing touristy things,” Regal said.

Although Regal hardly participates in figure skating competitions, she still makes time to skate a few times a week and is teaching skate lessons at Ben Boeke in their Learn to Skate Program.

“Every Saturday during the Learn to Skate weeks, I would teach usually beginners and some experienced skaters,” Regal said. “I taught them the basics such as falling down and getting up, then marching and after that, gliding. My favorite was the toddler class. It was definitely a lot of work, but I had so much fun teaching them.”

Currently, Regal is working on getting insured so she can start teaching private skate lessons. Teaching children is something Regal is passionate about, not only in skating. In the future, she wants to become a special education teacher.