Jordan Kotler, a freshman community health major, joined UMD’s Synchronized Skating Open Collegiate team this year. The biggest factor that differentiates synchronized skating from regular figure ice skating is primarily the group dancing aspect of it.
“Basically, regular figure skating is usually individual or in pairs,” Kotler said. “Synchro is eight to 16 girls on the ice. We do the same turns, footwork and spins at the same time.”
The club, which was not formed until 2007, is comprised of two teams — Open Collegiate practices 10 hours a week, and Collegiate practices for around six.
“We have to two three practices a week, unless it’s close to competition,” Kotler said. “This year, Collegiate went to Nationals the and Dr. Porter Synchronized Classic in Michigan.”
Here is video from the team’s performance during last year’s synchronized skating championships.
Last year’s Eastern Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships performance.
According to Kotler, both teams attend an annual critique each November, as well as Eastern Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships in late January.
“At critique, we just get feedback,” Kotler said. “At the other competitions, it’s for a score and you’re competing against other college teams.”
Kotler appreciates the community aspect of being a part of a club, and recommends that anyone interested in taking part should not hesitate to attend tryouts in September, as anyone can join — even if not competing.
“I like it because you’re scored on how you look as a team, and it’s a great bonding experience,” Kotler said. “It’s made the school smaller for me.”