Last weekend, "Reach for the Sky Rink All Stars," an all-girls figure skating team coached by Marni Halasa, won the bronze medal in the United States Figure Skating Showcase Nationals in Theatrical Skating 2013 in Cape Cod. Two of the girls on the team, Catherine Mayer and Jennie Berlin, live on the Upper West Side.
"This is a huge deal," said Coach Marni Halasa. "I think it's great to see how teenagers who are dedicated and work hard in a sport can achieve success - not necessarily Olympic success - but nonetheless success."4
The girls, who range in age from 12-17, practice five days a week at Chelsea Piers. Their winning routine was inspired by a Cirque Du Soleil show called "Cirque du Patinage" - a skating circus. Jennie, for instance, played a lion, Catherine played a harlequin clown and other girls played clowns, mimes and a ringmaster. The girls aren't afraid to get theatrical either. One of their other routines revolves around a choreographed zombie attack. The team, which formed six years ago, has also performed in the Mermaid Parade on Coney Island and in the Gay Pride Parade.
"This is the first time most of us had been in a national competition," said Catherine Mayer, age 13. "We were so excited when we all went to look at the scores together, we were screaming and hugging each other."