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By Laurel Messenger   Ice, skates, action. The Western Figure Skating Club is excited and ready for their 2018 season to begin. Just because their season has started does not mean it is too late to join. The captains, juniors Ella Caplan and Megan Furois, are eager to grow the team. “We are all inclusive,” Furois said. “Anyone that is interested in the sport and wants to try it can. You can be 22 and have never skated before, and come out, put on skates and become a figure skater.” The club likes being a team and incorporating everyone eager to join. “Skating is a solo sport but we do a lot of bonding activities and volunteer events,” Caplan said. “We have movie and game nights, get breakfast together and hang out and skate.” Furois has been skating for about 10 years and has created a relationship with the sport. “Figure skating is a big escape,” Furois said. “When I go to skate nothing else matters. I made an Instagram post lately where I made a shoutout to my skates for being my best friends and my arch nemesis. They are what I go to if I am having a bad day, but also can ruin my day. It’s something I’m so passionate about, it’s make or break. But no matter what I keep going back to it.”

Back row, left to right: Megan Gezelius, Megan Furois, Kasey Cruz, Molly McGuire, Taryn Minckler, Mellissa Quillin, Lindsay Bell and Mariah Goodwin. Front row, left to right: Samantha Jackson, Lori Klein, Stephanie Dinca, Ella Caplan and Amber Cheremsak. // Photo courtesy of Andy Cheremsak
Furois and Caplan explained there are members just as passionate about the sport as them, who have only been skating for a few months or a year. They have gone from not being skaters to being able to do two-foot spins and getting personal lessons from coaches. The team was founded four years ago in September 2014. They have three shows a year and one competition. The club competes against other schools in the Pacific Coast Region of the United States Figure Skating Association, such as UC Berkeley, University of Denver and Colorado State. The club’s next competition takes place on Feb. 15-16 at UCLA. Caplan said they know many Western students cannot come out to support them at the competition, but there are other opportunities to watch them skate like the upcoming Valentines Day Skate Night showcase from 7-9 p.m. on Feb. 3 at the Bellingham Sportsplex. The event will include a showcase of the members going to competition and will be followed by an hour of free skate with the team. The event will be $5 with student ID and $7 without. If students are interested they can reach out to the team through the club’s Facebook page. Students can also show up to a practice on from 3-3:45 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. When reaching out to the club or showing up to a practice, there is no commitment. There is a two week trial to see if figure skating is a good fit before members have to pay dues and there is  no pressure to compete, said Furois and Caplan. To join the club as a non-competitive skater the dues are $125, but to compete the dues are $180.


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