My Skating Peers’ Blog

I’ve asked my skating peers to share their experiences at various events and competitions and to spotlight their achievements and accomplishments. I want to provide a platform of expression for their diverse views and opinions on any skating topic that is important to them.
I hope their stories will teach and provide further motivation and inspiration to my students, parents, and readers.

Gwen  Afanasewicz    Written by coach, Alicia Sprengel

Gwen Afanasewicz

Written by coach, Alicia Sprengel

Hard Work
Pays Off

Gwen spent the entire last competition season working hard on perfecting her program and conquering her nerves. Gwen strived for a first place finish and put in the work necessary to get there throughout the summer. With each competition of the season Gwen gained more confidence, knowledge and skill getting her closer to that first place spot. Gwen did not allow her mistakes and disappointments to interfere with her training. Finally, at her last competition of the year, Middle Atlantic figure skating Championships, Gwen performed her best program yet, stacked with her most difficult elements and placed first amongst a large group of talented skaters. 

After a disappointing skate at our home competition, Shore Skate last season Noelle picked herself up and worked extremely hard for the next month preparing for Spring Invitational where she had a clean skate. She was able to prove to herself what she is capable of and build her confidence which in return reflected in her skating. Her performance was so well deserved for such a hard working skater who always comes to the rink with a positive attitude and did numerous run throughs of her program in order to feel prepared and conquer her nerves. Noelle has always been a constant role model and perfect example to our younger skaters to never give up and continue to work towards your goals. 

Gabrielle Brandt

Gabrielle Brandt

My special Skating moment in nyc

My name is Gabrielle Brandt, I’m a figure skater currently at the intermediate level. I represent The Skating Club of New York.

I was asked to skate my holiday program for an exhibition to Silent Night at the Brookfield Place Rink in New York City .

Downtown NYC is a special place for my family and I. My Mom worked at the financial center nearby and my Dad spent several months across the street at Ground Zero, World Trade Center as a NYPD detective on and after 9/11.

The rink is located outside, surrounded by the Freedom Tower and American Express building on one side and the Hudson River over looking the Statute of Liberty on the other side.

When skating there it was cloudy day, thankfully warm for December! There were so many families of tourists shopping for the holidays that stayed and watched. It was so much fun to meet and take pictures with all the on lookers. Some spoke different languages and from far away.

The children as well as some of the adults asked so many questions that figure skaters always get asked. From how long have I been skating for, how many days do I practice and of course ,do I get dizzy doing all those spins .

It was a great experience, and I was so happy and privileged to meet so many nice people. I felt like an ambassador to be introducing our great sport of figure skating to so many at the last place they would expect……The middle of downtown New York City!

This was definitely a memorable and awesome experience that I will cherish forever.


Camryn Aprilante

Camryn Aprilante

Garden State skating club’s GetUp Champion

Camryn Aprilante is an inspiring skater who embodies the GetUp Spirit with her high commitment, persistent determination, and relentless perseverance.  Camryn may not have experienced any major injuries or personal tragedies but has endured her own challenges, particularly learning to cope and manage defeat and picking herself back up and using her experiences to help become a more successful skater.

 Camryn kicked off the past season with a strong skate and a win at one of our local competitions, Garden State Games.  However, as the season progressed, Camryn was struggling and not skating to her expectations.  Her last competition was by far her worst skate and she ended her season feeling at her lowest point.  She was extremely disappointed because she worked so hard, on-and off-ice, and put in additional long practice hours.

Although Camryn was extremely disappointed of how her season ended,  she nevertheless returned to the ice the very next day as she always does and began to set and work on her goals for her new season. Camryn didn't let a few bad skates last season affect her love for the sport. She has learned to win but also to lose. She learned to cope and handle the frustrations and discouragement which helped build her self-confidence back and make her a more mental tougher athlete.  She has learned to hold herself accountable for her mistakes and focus on ways she can correct them and keeps pressing on.  She looks forward to going to the rink for practice and working with her coaches. Camryn is currently more dedicated then ever and remains confident and positive and continues to pursue her love for figure skating.