Figure skater glides through her passion and struggles


Photo Courtesy of Orik Dagan

Lili Dagan, seventh grade piano major, poses with Audra Leech, her coach, and the results of a skating test. “My most recent test was about my free juvenile moves, which are moves that are about the middle point in difficulty,” Dagan said.

She effortlessly skated around the ice rink, while preforming extravagant moves, hoping to impress the judges.

“I like skating because when you skate, you just ride forward; it is easy and effortless,” Lili Dagan, seventh grade piano major, said.

Dagan was a figure skater who competed on a regular basis. As a figure skater, there was a lot of training.

“I have to get ready for my skating sessions by stretching, and I have to get to the rink on time, otherwise I cannot practice,” Dagan said.

Audra Leech, Dagan’s skating coach, said that she coached Dagan through about three competitions a year. Competing, however, was not as simple as it might seem.

“When I compete, I skate around on the ice, do some jumps, and I practice my routine,” Dagan said. “For my hair and makeup, it takes me about three hours.”

Every story needed its beginning, and Dagan’s started with bruises and a blast of icy air.

“I stepped on the ice, slipped, and I fell on the floor. Then, I skated for a while, but then I fell again, right in front of my coach,” Dagan said.

Dagan said that she had always had a passion for skating, but it still had its challenges.

“The struggles of skating are expensive skates, expensive costumes, and falling and bruising,” Dagan said. “The skates come in two different parts, the actual boots and the blades and in total costs $1,000. The cheapest outfits costs about $300. The falling and bruising hurt, but the pain is temporary.”

Leech said that through skating, she saw Dagan grow as a skater and a person.

“Through hard work, dedication and passion for a sport anything is possible,” Leech said. “Lili has proven that. She only skates twice a week and is able to accomplish what some skaters have to do coming five times per week. I enjoy working with Lili and watching her grow as a young lady and a figure skater.”