This isn’t a progress blog about figure skating, but it is a figure skating blog. What do you bring to the table when you want to do more for a community that has guided you to where you are today?
On February 24, 2018, my life changed forever.
As a budding influencer, I took advantage of a complementary session to ice skate at the Blue Cross RiverRink, somewhere I hadn’t been since I was a child. I carted a friend to be my plus one, and for an hour we navigated puddles and bumps in the imperfect ice. It was abnormally warm for February. After we got off, I couldn’t stop thinking about how much I enjoyed myself, realizing I had barely hung onto the wall and sped around the rink in my rentals even though I hadn’t been in skates since 2011.
After only two and a half weeks, I found myself with a brand new pair of (oversized) Jackson Artiste figure skates and enrolled in Adult 1 lessons at Penn Ice Rink. I ended up passing 2 levels during that 5 week session, and by the time I started another 6 week session at Haverford Skatium, I was eager to get a private coach.
At the same time, I started my skating progress account on Instagram called JadaSkates (now JadaSoloDances). I loosely tracked my skating progress, but I mostly just admired other people and tried to apply their skills to my skating. The growth of my account trickled, but in only a little over a year, I went from 0 followers to 850 passionate figure skaters and fitness enthusiasts from all over the world.
Through my Instagram account I have grown a family and supportive base for all things athletic and healthy. But if all those great things exist over there, why start a blog?
I’m a nonprofit professional by trade. If there’s anything I know about the social sector, it’s that problems beget solutions. Obesity and generally unhealthy lifestyles are rampant in modern America that stem from a variety of socioeconomic issues. The problem with figure skating is two-fold: it’s expensive and dying in popularity in the States. The general public slides around on rinks during winter time and cheers on Team USA during the Olympics, but the sport itself is alive and well outside of those times, though it doesn’t feel that way.
Through acknowledging these problems and putting forth solutions, I hope that I can be a small wheel in a much larger set of cogs working to promote health equity and revitalize the sport.
If you want to chat about what you’re doing or want to know what options are out there, or if anything just resonates with you, please contact me! I would love to meet more people around the space.