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'Women Rock' in 2011 skating academy recital

Kimberly Goodwin of Gilford, 15, has only figure skated on a competitive level for a mere year, yet she has already placed well in a handful of regional competitions. (Lauren Tiner) (click for larger version)
March 30, 2011
Central New Hampshire Skating Academy attracts figure skaters of all ages from all over the Lakes Region, yet this year, Gilford High School student Kimberly Goodwin, 15, stood out from the crowd.

Women from five to 30 years old rocked out to all female rock tunes this past Saturday during the Central NH Skating Academy's recital.

While each and every skater deserved recognition Saturday night, and for a season well done, Goodwin has impressed her coaches with her progress, considering she only took on the sport of skating one year ago and has already advanced in her new craft.

Coaches Jen (Kaminski) Tondreau and Natalie Strickrott have worked closely with Goodwin over the past year.

"Kim has been skating with us for one year. She started on a teen level and has made huge strides in such a short time," said Tondreau, excited for a show filled strictly with women who rock, whether skaters or musicians.

Goodwin said she enjoys performing, yet loves to compete even more so, and also took first place in her category during a United States Figure Skating Competition held last Sunday at the Tri-Town Ice Arena in Hooksett, a day after her performance at the Laconia Ice Arena.

The sport of figure skating is already challenging enough to take up at any age, yet with no formal training, Goodwin seemed to fly through the basics, and happens to be a natural born skater, perhaps because of her dancing years.

"My mom took me to the rinks all my life. Last year, my former coach, Natalie, encouraged me to skate. I went once to try it out, and I realized it came easily to me," said Goodwin. "I've caught up to my own level a year later. I worked really hard over the summer."

She also competed in the World's ISI Competition with several other CNHSA skaters this past year and received fifth place at her own level – the moment she realized she had achieved her ultimate skating level in only months.

Last weekend, she rocked to "Let's Get Loud" by Jennifer Lopez in a CNHSA group performance, to "Fifteen" by Taylor Swift in a solo routine, and to "Telephone" by Beyonce and Lady GaGa.

"My opening is fun and energetic, and my solo is more classical. I enjoy classical dancing and skating the most," said Goodwin, who added this is only her second show performance, since she usually seeks out competitions and has real zeal for the ice.

While she has reached her appropriate level of achievement, Goodwin still gets butterflies before a show performance, such as her latest recital, yet feels performing in front of others gets easier with time, especially with hours and hour of conditioning throughout the season.

"I have focused on my dance routine and upcoming competition. I enjoy competing the most," said Goodwin. "I have always been athletic and taken dance and field hockey. I have danced on and off my whole life."

She believes that her dance experience has aided in her figure skating success, and feels that both sports are similar in moves, yet skating proves to be more challenging.

"You have to balance on the ice in skates and do jumps with skating. Anyone can dance. While these are my two favorites, I have really enjoyed skating so far," said Goodwin. "I like the academy. It's a more casual, friendly setting. I've also made some great friends and I've strengthened by skills through the academy."

Her ultimate goal is to achieve the national figure skating level in the next few years, after further developing her skills. Next month also marks another competition for Goodwin, where she hopes to place in the top three once again.

Gilford girls Michele Loyer, 10, and Haley Elliot, 17, along with their fellow skating partner of Belmont, Karissa Zackowski, all waited in anticipation for their rock performances Saturday night.

Loyer also took home two gold medals at the same competition as Goodwin on Sunday morning, following the academy's evening recital on Saturday night.

"This show is fun because it has all female artists songs, rock classic, jazz – just about everything," said Zackowski, who has skated for nine years. "There is a mix of nerves during show performances because so many people show up."

Loyer, a member of the academy for four years said she loves to perform, which keeps her coming back every year. Elliot said she loves skating in general, and always learns something new, while Zackowski looks at skating as a way to clear her mind, especially after hard school days.

While the CNHSA's season concludes in March, a fresh season will resume this fall. In the mean time, members of the academy plan to keep up their competition and skill level by competing at local ice arenas throughout the off season.

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