Taylor Dean, co-president of the BU figure skating team, is ready for next week’s national competition. Still giddy over a 2017 victory, and hoping for one more win to wrap up her college experience, Dean spoke with the COMmunicator about the team and its dedication to skating.
So, can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
TD: I’m a senior in COM studying journalism and communication studies. I’m from Pennsylvania, and I’m the co-president of the figure skating team. I’ve been on the team for four years, and part of the reason I came to BU was to be on the team.
Okay, great. So, let’s talk about your figure skating experience. How old were you when you started skating?
TD: I was six. My mom had asked me if I wanted to start skating lessons, and I said, “Okay, sure.” I actually hated it at first, but my mom wouldn’t let me quit, even though I wanted to so bad. So I just kinda stuck with it.
How did you start learning to figure skate?
TD: We started in group lessons, so it wasn’t anything super special. Eventually, I went to a private coach, and I just kept going from there.
Were you good at it from the start?
TD: (Laughs) No, I wouldn’t say that. My coaches growing up weren’t the best, because I’m from the middle-of-nowhere Pennsylvania. We didn’t really attract the best coaches. I learned the basics and everything, but I didn’t start to get better until I started going to camps during the summer in upstate New York.
When I came here, I started working harder than I ever did in the past because I really wanted to do well for the team. I actually got better from that, so now I would say I’m pretty good.
Awesome, that’s great. So you mentioned you came to BU for the figure skating team–what is the team like?
TD: The club as a whole has about 50 people in it, and the competitive team has about 20. You can skate whenever you want because we have both morning and afternoon practices. We do a lot of really fun bonding events, like every fall semester, we do a big bowling event, and we have get-togethers. We watched the Olympics together, that was really fun. For the competitive team, we have three regional competitions over the course of the year, and then nationals, which is actually next weekend.
Next weekend. That’s so soon. How are you feeling about that?
TD: Well, we actually won nationals last year, so we’re trying to win again (laughs).
Wow! Tell me about that, how did that feel?
TD: It was insane, especially because the previous two years, we had been trying to beat the University of Delaware. They’re our biggest rivals. They’ve been winning everything for the past five years. University of Dartmouth is another top school that we compete with, but we’re really good friends with them–so every year we’ve just been complaining about it with them, like, “How can we do this? We need to win!”
But last year, it was crazy. Our team really just came together. We all realized our common goal and worked for it and when it was time, we rose to the occasion. It was really great, it was like all of the hard work we’ve put in for the last three years really paid off.
That must have felt great. What is preparation like for nationals, or for any of the competitions?
TD: So we go to practice every day. We run through our programs. We do our jumps. We try to make it more relaxed and fun, so people aren’t going crazy. We cheer each other on while we do our programs, and we try to make it a good time. Nationals this year are in Denver, and the altitude is much higher, so right now we’re working on our stamina. We’re doing multiple programs per practice, just putting in extra hard work to make sure we’re ready. But it’s going to be worth it.
Wow, well best of luck. We’ll all be rooting you on. So, if someone is interested in joining the figure skating club, what should they know beforehand?
TD: We accept anyone from all levels. We recommend the ice skating PDP class, and we’ve had a lot of members start there. You don’t need a ton of experience, really. We know that growing up, many of us hated skating because it was something our parents made us do, but now, we’re all there because we love skating.
What else are you involved in on campus?
TD: I’m in a sorority, and I’m the copy editor for the BU Quad. I’m mostly involved with the skating team. I’m also a double major, so that keeps me busy.
And how are you feeling as a spring semester senior?
TD: (groans) I’m scared. I’m actually really sad. I was writing out my April calendar last night, and I wrote, “LAST DAY OF COLLEGE,” and I just stared at it for a second. I’m looking forward to nationals because it will be my last competition with the team, but I also don’t want it to end. After college, I definitely won’t be as on-top of skating as I am now, but it’s something that I’d like to keep up with recreationally.
Dera Silvestre, Staff Writer
Dera Silvestre is a junior in the College of Communication studying mass communication with a minor in Spanish. On campus, she is involved in WTBU Radio and the Student Philanthropy Center. Dera is interested in legal advocacy and activism, and she hopes to earn a degree in law after finishing her undergrad. She is from Rhode Island.