Kentlake junior pursues passion for skating

Kentlake’s Hannah Tashiro performs a figure skating routine. She began skating five years ago. - Courtesy photo
Kentlake’s Hannah Tashiro performs a figure skating routine. She began skating five years ago.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Ice skating is thought of by many as a winter activity done just for fun, filled with lots of laughs as people awkwardly glide around in a circle.

For Kentlake junior Hannah Tashiro, however, it means year round training, perfecting choreography, and more.

Although Tashiro does not remember the exact reason for why she began skating, she fell in love with the sport as soon as she stepped on the ice.

“I started skating about five years ago, in California where I grew up,” Tashiro said.

When Tashiro moved to Washington two years ago, she found a facility, the Highland Ice Arena, at which to continue.

Tashiro is a novice skater — a level six out of the eight levels in the US Figure Skating Association. This season, Tashiro is most likely to move up a level to become a junior skater.

“Skating takes up a huge chunk of my life because it takes a lot of physical, mental and financial dedication especially when you start competing,” Tashiro said.

Throughout the season, Tashiro prepares for regional competitions held at the beginning of fall. This year, she placed fifth overall.  In the winter, she performs in the Seattle Center’s ice rink with the Seattle Ice Theater for Winterfest.

During the winter, practices can add up to anywhere from six to eight hours a week.

“Every Saturday I skate about two and a half hours, and (spend) two  hours on stretching and off-ice training,” Tashiro said. “My favorite part about skating is working on the choreography.”

Her favorite move, the double flip, involves jumping up in the air, spinning twice, and landing gracefully on one foot. Currently, Tashiro is working on perfecting her double axel, a jump that requires a forward facing start, while most jumps begin backwards.

Contrary to popular belief, skating is not just about the different moves.

“A lot of people think that skating is just about jumping and spinning, but components are actually about 50 percent of the scoring,” Tashiro said. “It’s really fun to make up different personalities. You can be anything or anyone you want.”

This story was originally published in the Falcon Flyer, Kentlake High’s student newspaper, and is reprinted with permission.

Alexa Agustiano is a junior at Kentlake. She is in her first year on the staff of the Falcon Flyer.


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