Welcome to the world of synchronized skating. A unique sport Nantucket is lucky enough to have, synchronized skating, or synchro, involves a team of eight to sixteen skaters that perform different synchronized elements, creating a program. There are many different levels, starting from Synchro Skills, going all the way up to Senior. Depending on the level of the team, there are local, national, and international competitions to attend. Synchro not only requires a lot of training and practice, but also dedication. It truly upholds the saying “there is no I in team.” It teaches many things, including the importance of teamwork and perseverance. Junior Maya Balling, who has been skating with the team for eleven years, said, “I have learned that injury, failure, and setbacks are all normal. You just have to come back even stronger than before, because in the end, staying with it is so much more valuable than giving up when things get tough.”
In 2004, the Nantucket Island Waves became the first synchronized skating team on Nantucket, and continued to grow from there. Currently, there is one competitive team which includes ten skaters from the Nantucket Public Schools. These skaters are Celia Almodobar, Maya Balling, Reese Burns, Caroline Harding, Audrey Harrington, Amanda Mack, Lilly Richard, and Sydney Ryder from the high school; Natalie Mack from the middle school; and Sadie Paterson from the intermediate school. The captains of the team are Celia Almodobar and Amanda Mack. This season the team traveled to four competitions including Lee Ann Miele in Providence, RI; Cape Cod Classic in Hyannis, MA; Easterns Sectional Championships in Worcester, MA; and Connecticut Classic in Middletown, CT. Since 2004, several Island Waves alumni have gone on to continue their skating career at the Collegiate and Senior level, one of which represents Team USA at Miami University.
In Synchro, everyone has to think as a unit. Everyone has to be doing the same thing at the same time. This challenges skaters to go outside of their comfort zone, and give it everything they have, and it is always worth it. When eighth grader Natalie Mack was asked what her favorite part of synchro was, she said, “being able to perform, showing everyone what we work so hard for.” Performing is something that teams are always working towards. Being able to showcase so much training is very important to the skaters.
By Amanda Mack