Ice queen

Precision, detail, key components in figure skating routines

Erin Brush | Managing Editor

pagekickPhoto contributed by Paige Osterwisch

Figure skating isn’t all just rhinestones and glitter.

According to senior and nationally ranked figure skater Paige Osterwisch, figure skating routines have intricacies that most spectators don’t recognize.

“The judges are evaluating your five elements: spins, twizzles, line sequence, short edge, and long edge,” Osterwisch said. “They look at how difficult (my routine) is and how I perform.”

Junior Akane Ohara said that the key to mastering difficult routines is the repetition of the different jumps.

“People definitely underestimate the difficulty of figure skating,” Ohara said. “They say, ‘Oh, you do all of those tricks and twirls, right?’ But they don’t understand how much work and time goes into that. You start off with basic skills…and go up by level. Basically it’s all practice. (Your coaches) teach you the technique and how to place your body because a lot of it is just physics.”

But physics isn’t always kind, according to Osterwisch.

“There’s a lot of falling involved,” Osterwisch said. “Right now I’m working on my double axle, which is the last double jump before the triple jumps. If you don’t go full out, you’re going to fall. Basically, you just have to go for it. Your coaches will show you how to do it but you’re the one who has to go out there and do it. You can’t do anything halfway in skating.”

According to Ohara, ‘going for it’ is the only way to successfully master a jump.

“(A jump) doesn’t come unless you go for it,” Ohara said. “If you don’t go for it, then you don’t understand what’s right.”

Making the leap had big payoffs for Osterwisch. She placed third at the US Figure Skating National competition in the Solo Dance category.

“The season started back in January,” Osterwisch said. “I did a minimum of three competitions to qualify. You gain points throughout the year. I ranked high enough to make it into the top six in the midwest. The regions are midwest, pacific coast, and east coast, and the top six from each section make it to nationals in Colorado Springs, which is where I placed third.”