Figure Skating in Harlem, an organization that empowers young girls of color through academic support, leadership development, and figure skating, was recently covered in the New York Times. Several students from Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary participate in the group and are featured in the story!
‘When I Skate It Just Feels Free’
Figure Skating in Harlem helps young women of color see themselves on ice.
Picture a figure skater. Who comes to mind?
Maybe it’s Nancy Kerrigan spinning gracefully. Or it’s Michelle Kwan skating with confidence and ease.
It’s possible that it is Surya Bonaly or Starr Andrews — black women whose presence on the ice remains as daring as their performances — but professional figure skaters of color make up only a fraction of the field.
It’s a reality that feels far from mind at Riverbank State Park in Harlem, where twice a week, year-round, little black and brown girls glide and twirl across the ice.
“When I skate it just feels free,” said Jonni Carter, 10, who is part of an after-school enrichment program called Figure Skating in Harlem. “When you are gliding on the ice, the wind pushes against you and it just feels like you are flying.”