One Castlegar skater is seeing gold after testing in ice dance recently.
Sydni Thor-Larsen, 17, achieved “gold feet” status after testing at the Beaver Valley competition during the weekend of Jan. 22.
A title that has taken her almost a decade to achieve, Thor-Larsen said 20 dances must be passed before earning the status — and the judges are sticklers.
Each dance is choreographed exactly, and she said the judges are looking for everything from timing to expression.
The final dance took her five attempts to pass, and she said it took a while to sink in that she had finally done so.
“I didn’t think, ‘oh wow, I’m actually done,’” she said, until one of the Castlegar coaches reiterated it to her.
“I wanted to go and practice but realized I didn’t have to.”
Over the 20 dances, the styles vary from tangos to blues and everything in between.
“They’re all written down in a book,” she said.
Each dance is completed with a partner, which Thor-Larsen said makes it more challenging because the skaters have minimal practice time with each other.
“The only time you get to practice is that day [of competition] or they have partner practicing the night before.”
Her partner in this case was a more experienced skater who had already achieved his gold feet status. Thor-Larsen said he gave her tips and coached her during the test.
Next, Thor-Larsen is planning on completing her gold skills and gold interpretive. She said the programs are similar in the way that certain elements must be included in the routine, but in interpretive she’s able to choose her own music and style.
“You just have to make it up and make sure it’s good,” she said.
She estimates she will be able to finish her gold skills by the end of the year but gold interpretive will take longer because she took a two-year hiatus from it.
The Grade 12 Stanley Humphries student is hoping to continue skating next year, but said it will depend on her school schedule.