Sky Rink All Stars, Chelsea Piers Skating Troupe, Wins Silver Medal at National Skating Competition

The Sky Rink All Stars, NYC’s most established children’s ensemble skating troupe, won the silver medal at the prestigious United States Figure Skating National Showcase in Brighton, Michigan, August 5th. With over 32 teams, the girls performed a dynamic performance to song, “Money, Money, Money” from the movie, Mamma Mia, executing synchronized axels, complicated footwork, chair spins in unison as well as a show-stopping Fosse-esque cabaret dance with boas of fake $100 bills.

“The team is successful because they have all the right ingredients: teamwork, dedication, the ability to self-edit and critically think, take risks, problem-solve, and always support eachother,” says Marni Halasa, The Sky Rink All Stars coach. “We run the team very democratically, where each skater has an equal say in the choreography and process, under my watchful eye.”

The skaters, from neighborhoods all over NYC, appreciate the enormous performance opportunities they have had.

“We’ve performed all over the tri-state area from Rockefeller Center to the Standard Hotel to even Johnny Weir’s birthday party, where we performed for celebrities, skating on synthetic ice. And we had our own segment on NY1,” says Jennie Berlin, team captain. “But what is the most important are the social relationships we all have with each other–that, of course, is priceless.”

Known for teaching groups from beginners to advanced teams, Ms. Halasa believes that the group dynamic is important in child development. The team format, she explains, is a really good learning exercise for children–helping them learn how to generate ideas and how to work together, even if they have different visions or their skating levels are not the same.

“I’m constantly surprised at how good the ideas are,” Ms. Halasa said of the junior team’s routine to the Broadway Musical, ‘Matilda’s Revolting Children.’  “In terms of movement, there are always differences about when skaters should get out of their comfort zone. But in my experience, if they learn they can take risks and be successful at it, that’s when real confidence becomes part of who they are.”