Figure skater Alexa Gasparotto has big ambitions

Figure skater Alexa Gasparotto is focusing on her brand this season. She finished fourth at the recent Mid Atlantic Figure Skating Championships at SkyRink at Chelsea Piers and is now training with the aim of earning a spot in the Senior Ladies Division at the 2023 US Figure Skating Championships.

Gasparotto, 19, grew up in Michigan and started skating at age four at one of the state’s well-known training centers. In 2020, she met prominent coach/choreographer Rohene Ward at a Diversify Ice exhibition. The mission of the Diversify Ice Foundation is to increase access and diversity in sport. Gasparotto and Ward are both ambassadors.

“I met him the following year at a competition and he wanted to work with me, and I was very honored and surprised,” Gasparotto said. “I was already a huge fan of his. Fast forward to now, I’ve been working with him for about a year.

After graduating from high school, Gasparotto moved to the Chicago area to work with Ward. This year, she has a singular goal to succeed. In her 15 years in the sport, she hasn’t seen many black skaters, but early on she was impressed by Surya Bonaly, the European champion and French Olympian.

“It was because of his power and character on the ice,” Gasparotto said. “As I developed my skating career, I realized that power was my strong point. The fact that Surya looked like me made him even more special.

Jumping has always been Gasparotto’s strength. Growing up, she likes to learn new things, like musical interpretation. “I’m starting to love every character I can develop with my music,” she said. Her short program music is “Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”, which she says energizes audiences. She has created an alter ego, and she is totally in character when she walks on the ice. For the free skate, she chose clips from the “Dreamgirls” soundtrack, which she hopes will make people wonder, “Who is that girl?” Why haven’t we heard of her?

Gasparotto plans to start online college in December. She took her trip to New York as a learning experience, and she enjoyed meeting new people and seeing the city. In order to continue the momentum for her next competition in November, she will present several exhibitions which will serve as dress rehearsals. “Not feeling the pressure, but feeling the same as the competition,” she said.

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