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Register for Skate San Francisco

Come to beautiful downtown San Francisco, August 21-23, for Skate San Francisco 2015! This technical only competition offers levels from Limited No Test (PP 1) through Senior in Singles, Pairs, and Dance Couples, to both Standard Track and Adult events. Critiques are available for Juvenile and above skaters in IJS events. The Skating Club of San Francisco will again present trophies for the Monnier, Shoemaker, Alperth, Rogers, and Hickox awards.

To view the announcement, go to the Download Documents menu tab. Select Skate San Francisco 2015 Announcement Final Draft

This competition is sanctioned by US Figure Skating and Skate Canada. Registration is open now!

You won't want to miss this exciting event!


Official call for nominations to the Board of Directors

This is the official call for nominations to the Board of Directors of the Skating Club of San Francisco, Inc.

The chair of the Nominating Committee is Sam Singer and its members are Bruce Bell, and Shirley Schorer.

This year there are four positions open on the Board of Directors of the Skating Club of San Francisco, Inc. to serve a two-year term, beginning September 1, 2015 and ending August 31, 2017.
To be eligible to serve as a member of the Board of Directors you must be registered with U.S. Figure Skating as an adult, (over 18 years of age), Home Club Member of the Skating Club of San Francisco, Inc. and have renewed your membership by June 30, 2015. Please send your nominations no later than June 15, 2015 to the chair of the Nominating Committee, Sam Singer at (email address in the column to your right).


SCSF competitors make strong showing



(and have a blast!)

Story by Elizabeth Risberg

The competitive season for adult skaters culminates each spring with the U.S. Figure Skating Adult National Championships, which were held this year April 15-18. More than 400 skaters from across the country converged on Salt Lake City, Utah, for the better part of a week to take place in this prestigious event.

The SCSF was well represented by a delightful Baker's dozen: 13 of our adult skaters competed in events ranging from the Bronze level through Masters Intermediate-Novice, covering nearly all event categories — Freeskate (including Championship), Dramatic Showcase, Light Entertainment Showcase, Solo Dance and Couples Dance. With more than 700 “starts” (entries in events), the competition takes up two surfaces, morning through night, plus additional practice ice sessions at several neighboring rinks. The week is hectic between practice ice sessions, official warmups, competition events, and watching fellow club members and friends in their events. And then you throw in a little of the unexpected …

The week in Salt Lake City started off warm and sunny. In fact, on Tuesday, it was in the mid-70s. But by that afternoon, the wind picked up to about 40 mph, bringing with it a dust storm that made driving treacherous and covered everything with a fine layer of grit. Then, in the span of just about an hour, the temperature dropped 40 degrees, bringing another not-often-viewed phenomenon for our Bay Area skaters: snow. Nearly a foot overnight, in fact!

The bad news is that many flights were canceled Tuesday because the Salt Lake City airport closed down, resulting in some skaters being rerouted and arriving later than expected (including one of ours!). In addition, the practice rink was several miles away from the competition venue, so the snow-covered roads meant many skaters were unable to make their practice sessions. The good news is that all of our SCSF skaters made it to their events, in spite of the inclement weather and not-so-favorable driving conditions. By the end of the week, everything was sunny again — and our skaters sparkled, bringing home lots of sparkling NATIONAL medals!

A special “shout out” to coaches Suzy Jackson, Robin White and Louis Vachon (who got a lot of cardio work in by running between the two competition rinks), who also braved the weather and worked hard to put their skaters on the ice.

Here are some reflections by our adult team members about their most memorable moments of this year’s competition. Congratulations to everybody on a great showing!

Robyn Achilles:
What do I love about Adult Nationals? I love (and hate) that it pushes me to set goals and places me in uncomfortable situations (by choice, for some crazy reason!). I love seeing so many people passionate about skating and having a great time regardless of their age or skill level. But, most of all, I dearly love the camaraderie that I experience not only among the SCSF adults and coaches, but also the Bay Area adults, and others competitors from around the country — it's truly something special. I'm inspired for next year and hope more SCSF adult skaters will come to AN!

(Ed. note: Robyn braved a recent ankle sprain to compete, skating beautifully in the freeskate and WINNING Bronze Solo Dance!)

Beth Bilka:
As adults with families, busy careers and other responsibilities, skating is serious fun. Participating in the U.S. Figure Skating Adult National Championships means that we train and fall and learn just like the kids do, but for us there's a passion and purpose based solely on the love of the sport. This year's Adult Nationals, with all its camaraderie, challenges and fulfillment was no exception.

But, in the end really, it all comes down to the fur ball.

(Ed. note: You need to watch Beth on icenetwork.com to fully appreciate this remark and where it came from - literally!)

Christine Castillo:
The most memorable moment for me was during the Gold Ladies III Freeskate about halfway through my program when I realized I wasn't thinking about the elements or anything I had done before or would have to do. I was simply in the moment, and I felt free.

(Ed. note: And she has the medal to show for it! She skated terrifically!)

Gwenaelle Delaplanche:
My first US adult nationals and my first medal!! Won't be the last one for sure!!

(Ed. note: While Gwenaelle means “not her last Adult Nationals,” we are certain it also will not be her last national medal! Those of you who have seen her skate know how awesome she is!)

Alexei Folger:
Adult Nationals was one, long memorable moment, but a highlight for me would have to be winning the bronze medal in the Bronze Ladies III Freeskate event — and with the most consistent ordinals I've ever received (4, 4, 3, 2, 2, 1, 1). I've medaled twice before in Light Entertainment, and once in a freeskate qualifying round; but this was definitely my best achievement results-wise. Time to move up?

The funniest, adult-skaters-together-forever moment was getting a pre-event hair cut (the wig for my "Pinocchio" program) — in the viewing stands! — from fellow SCSF member Elizabeth Risberg. The camaraderie of adult skating knows no bounds!

(Ed. note: Yes. And when we say, “Wow, great skate – and you were so FAST,” our nose doesn’t grow!)

Jennifer Galvin:
(Ed. note: Jennifer’s been busy working and skating since her return, so we don’t have her “in her own words” quite yet. But those of us who saw her skate in her very first Adult Nationals were completely wowed by her poise and her program! We can’t wait to see her compete again. Congrats and well done, Jen!)

Ted Gradman:
(When asked about his most memorable moment at Adult Nationals) That's easy. Falling into the zone at the Championship Intermediate-Novice event. Getting the great support from the audience, the preparation from the Spring Showcase and finally simplifying my program (thank you, Louis Vachon and Sam Singer) led to my best performance ever (and my highest score). You can't help but be upbeat to Cuban music (pun intended). It only took 21 years of Adult Nationals to pull it off — I'm a slow learner. Thank you mucho mucho, SCSF!

(Ed. note: One onlooker from another club described Ted’s performance as “ethereal.” And he not only earned his highest IJS score in the Championship event — he also was one of nine people honored for competing in every single Adult Nationals since its inception in 1995!)

Rebecca Hurst:
Adult Nationals 2015 marked my first year competing in couples dance. It doesn’t get much better than facing that big sheet of ice and a panel of judges with a good pal to share in the excitement and even a few laughs.

(Ed. note: Rebecca and Ted rocked the couples dance! And Rebecca skated three other events, hitting the “four event maximum” limit. That’s a true athlete!)

Reuben Jenkins:
SLC knows how to do National right! From the moment you walked through the door to register until you competed, they were professional and friendly. They should be the model for all future competitions.

(Ed. note: Reuben is absolutely right. The local club did a FANTASTIC job of organizing more than 400 antsy adults, their coaches, and their entourages — and a few pets — into a seamlessly run event! It made for a great competition experience.)

Celeste Kohaya:
I think the memorable parts of AN are always the same for me — chatting and catching up with the other skaters and watching as much of the competition as I can. The most surprising thing was that my Dramatic program was well received by both the audience and the judges.

Darren Lee:
After a canceled flight and music fiasco, you would think I had a terrible first Adult Nationals. With the love and encouragement of my Skating Club of San Francisco family and new friends, though, I fought my way through the altitude and had a lot of fun.

I left Salt Lake City with memories/stuffed animals I'll cherish for a long time.

(Ed. note: We were really worried when Darren’s flight was canceled and rebooked for the next day. He made it just in time to compete — talk about stressful! Way to go, Darren!)

Alan Lessik:
What I enjoyed the most was the camaraderie of all of the SF skaters. We cheered each other on, saw each other's accomplishments when each of us only saw our faults, and made us all feel proud of being from SCSF.

(Ed. note: We were all so proud to see Alan skate — especially his beautiful Dramatic Showcase program, which many of you saw at the Spring Gala. Congrats, Alan!)

Elizabeth Risberg:
I’ve had a variety of off-ice warmups over the years, but I have to say I never expected one of them to be shoveling snow from the driveway after my official pre-event warmup (while wearing a skating dress). It worked, though — after having some challenges this past season, and skating in the final spot of my group of 17, I somehow pulled off a clean freeskate. The elation and gratification in being able to do that was immeasurable! That, and I got to throw snowballs outside.

(Ed. note: When people asked Elizabeth if she had any videos from the competition, she sent them the one of her shoveling snow. It was a good moment — complete with a “flip” of the shovel.)

Louis with adults

 Rebecca Hurst, Sandra Nielsen (PSC), Robyn Achilles, Louis Vachon, Jean Teng (AYFSC), Ted Gradman & Elizabeth Risberg

ER with Cat woman

Elizabeth Risberg & Beth Bilka

ER with Alexei

Elizabeth Risberg & Alexei Folger


SFIT in Paris -- What an incredible journey
Story by Tiffany Iskandar

It all starts with a dream. And the dream became real when we landed in Paris a few weeks ago.

As a founding member of the team six seasons ago, during the first National Competition we competed in, I gazed at the National Champions and see their gold medals hanging around their necks, wondering when it would be our turn.

To win at the National Championships for two consecutive years, to represent Team USA, and to receive 6th place at Nations Cup (World Competition) have brought so many incredible feelings which will be cherished forever.

Our journey has not been without many sacrifices and challenges along the way; however, getting through those challenges have been a rewarding experience. Together with my fellow skaters, we have formed irreplaceable bonds that we share with one another. From waking up at the crack of dawn (precisely at 3:45 AM) every Saturday morning to train for our practices to our intense on-ice and off-ice practices around the clock at Nationals and at Nations Cup, I am proud that my team has continuously kept a positive vibe throughout the stressful competitions.

Every team faces challenges, and so does our team, San Francisco Ice Theatre. However, I feel blessed to be a witness through the many challenges that came our way. Our team has pushed through these challenges to reach such accomplishments.

What enables our team to thrive is our ability to adapt in all situations. We are a team that has persevered and is very determined in the things that we do. Each and every one of us - coaches, skaters, and parents - places our heart, mind, and soul in Theatre on Ice. We are passionate for this sport and the growing field of Theatre on Ice, and I hope to see the dreams, hopes, and passions continue to grow not only in this season, but for future seasons and generations. What we accomplish today is the start for the legacy.

Thank you to all those who have guided and helped us along the way, and as always, go SFIT!

Eiffel Pic 

Junior Team Touring Paris

Rink Pic 


 Representing the U.S.A. at the Nation's Cup



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