Rainbo Edge Featured Skaters


Featured Skaters is a series of blogs by Jo Ann Schneider-Farris, About.com's Guide to Figure Skating, that highlights the accomplishments and lives of figure skaters. This month, Jo Ann interviewed thirteen year old Natasha Ferrero of Rockford, Illinois.

Natasha and her mom have been friends with Rainbo Sports for a long time. In fact, Natasha has been a product tester and is one of the models on our website. Natasha recently passed the Novice Moves in the Field test and won the Intermediate Test Track event at the 17th Annual Quad Cities Championships which took place in Davenport, Iowa on Saturday, June 15, 2013. A week after the competition, Natasha and her mother, Kathleen, took the time to chat with Jo Ann about Natasha's life and skating.

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Tell me who in your family came to see you compete at the 2013 Quad Cities Championships?

Natasha:  My mom’s family came to watch me skate.  My grandma, my great-grandma, my aunt, my uncle, my cousins, my great-uncle, and my grandma's friends were there.

What was it like to compete in front of your family? 

Natasha:   It was really fun because I competed in my mom's home town, but I was a little more nervous than usual in front of my extended family.  I worried at first that they'd have high expectations.

Kathleen:   My family has heard us talk about Natasha’s skating for years, but most of my family, except my mother, had not seen her skate until this recent competition.  Natasha was concerned they'd think she was or is an Olympic level skater and they'd be disappointed.  Winning in front of family of course was very special.

NF at Quad Cities ChampionshipWhat do you like best about skating, Natasha?

Natasha:  I like doing something different and unique.  All the kids I know do team sports like soccer or volleyball.  I like being able to do an individual sport and that makes me feel special.  Being out there alone and performing makes me so happy.

Kathleen:  Natasha also participates in track and cheerleading.  Team activities are great, but Natasha likes figure skating since she is good at something none of her other friends at school do. 

How long have you been skating?  How and why did you begin to skate?

Natasha: I began skating when I just turned six years old.  That was about seven or eight years ago.  I’m a very, very competitive type.  A friend invited me to come with her to a public skating session and I challenged myself to learn to do what she did. 

Kathleen:  We enrolled Natasha in group ice skating lessons after that.  She liked to skate so much and advanced quickly.  As time passed and as she advanced, she began private lessons.  We are very lucky, since from the very beginning, Natasha and I connected with a great private lesson coach, Kathy Torrence, who has been Natasha’s coach since she was eight years old.  She’s guided us all the way.  Natasha also works with Charlene Guarino who does her choreography and teaches her Moves in Field and other elements. 

How do you fit your busy skating training schedule into the rest of your life? 

Natasha:  I have a very busy life and schedule especially during the school year.  I skate and practice five days a week before school from 6:00 am to 7:15 am, but I don’t skate after school.  After school I participate in track and cheerleading and do my homework.   I have a fairly normal life since all my skating is done before school.  My skating club, The Rockford Skating Club, has an hour and a half of club ice on Sundays and I get additional practice in during that time.  During the summer I practice two hours a day, but also do off-ice conditioning two days a week.  I get together with friends once in awhile around my busy schedule, but I also have friends at the rink.     

What are your long-term and short-term figure skating goals?

Natasha:  My long-term goal is to be a Double Gold Medalist in Moves in the Field and in Free Skating, so I am working towards eventually passing those senior figure skating tests.  I want to compete in the Novice Test Track event at the 2014 Upper Great Lakes Regional which will take place in October in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  The double loop jump was easy to master, but I will need to be able to land a double-double combination to compete this season and eventually have the double flip and double Lutz down to complete the Senior Free Skating test.

What are your favorite things to wear for skating practice?

NatashaI always practice in a skating skirt, over the boot tights, and wear t-shirts and a skating jacket.  I used to wear figure skating pants a lot, but once I got my Se_Ku skating skirt, I wear it all the time.

Do you have advice for young figure skaters?

Natasha:  Skating will seem easy at first, but there will be a time when you will reach a plateau.  Don’t get frustrated when that happens.  For example, everything might seem easy until you begin working on your Axel.  Don’t give up if you don’t master that jump right away.   Figure skating tests and competitions are easy to pass at first.  As you get to the harder tests or competitions, keep pressing on.

Is the any music you like skating to when you practice?

Natasha:  Fast music, not slow music, inspires me.

This question is for your mom.  Kathleen, what has figure skating done for Natasha?

Kathleen: Figure skating has given Natasha an amazing amount of confidence and it has also helped her become a good leader in the other things she does which include choir, track, and cheerleading.  Skating does teach “life lessons,” and the “life lesson” she has learned through skating is to never give up.  That’s a great life lesson in my opinion! 

Kathleen, what is your advice to parents of skaters?

Kathleen: My advice is to find a good coach and allow the coach to do the coaching and managing of your child’s skating and the results will be great.  My role is to serve as Natasha’s cheerleader and be there for my daughter and I am very proud of her.