Barnstable Blades isn’t your typical figure skating team, it’s so much more. Barnstable Blades is a national skating team that primarily focuses on theatrical performance on ice.
Unfortunately Barnstable Blades is not competing this year, due to lack of members and injuries. The team is hoping to start again next fall.
The team started when the HYCC was the host rink for the National Figure Skating Theatre on Ice competition. That first year, Barnstable Blades won a silver medal in their division.
Deb Fernandez has been the head coach since the team was first established and many of her athletes adore her.
“Deb is the best person ever, she’s basically my mom or my grandma,” said sophomore Lilianna Harvey.
Harvey has been on the team for five years and figure skating with her friends means everything to her.
“I love being part of a team; it’s basically a mini family. We all know each other and are really close. Since we are practicing once a week for seven months, we are always there for eachother. We win and lose together, it’s a very tight family,” said Harvey.
During competitions, there are two performances in which each skatercompetes. These skaters perform a choreographic exercise and a freestyle routine.
“Choreographic exercise is when all teams are dressed in black with no makeup or jewelry, and are given requirements to perform in their routine, which they will be judged upon. Freestyle is where you wear costumes, makeup, and use various props to express a story while acting on the ice,” said Fernandez.
Past performances have included: Matilda, Young Frankenstein, Monster Mash, and Anything Goes.
When practicing routines, Fernandez strives for perfection for each performance and urges the girls to improve every practice. As a team, the girls decide on a fun Broadway musical to incorporate in their competition.
“In the beginning of the season, we’ll listen to the music. Deb will show us how to lay everything out. We’ll go section by section, until we get it. Towards the fifth or sixth practice, we’ll squish it all together. Deb will point out the flaws and we will correct them, until it’s time to compete in competitions,” said Harvey.
Barnstable Blades has traveled across Cape Cod, Nantucket, and has gone to Vermont multiple times for competitions, practices, or camps. Traveling is one of the favorite parts amongst the girls.
All skaters wishing to be on Barnstable Blades are required to have passed a United States Figure Skating test. The team usually has their tryouts in August and information can be found on the Cape Cod Skating Club’s website. Tryouts are to see how many skaters are interested and what they are capable of showcasing.
“There’s quite an age difference between the team. The age scale is basically girls between 12 and 16 years old,” said Harvey.
Team Manager and mother of Lilianna Harvey, Kate Harvey is glad her daughter is part of this sport.
“I think it’s great for kids to be in a team sport and work with all different types of other kids. You have to learn with other people to become successful,” said Mrs. Harvey.
Barnstable Blades offers skaters with a unique experience of performance on the ice, while being very athletic. The skaters learn teamwork, self confidence and discipline.
“It’s like a drama club on skates,” said Fernandez.
“You’re skating while wearing fun costumes,” said Mrs.Harvey.
“If you’re a skater, it’s a really good experience to try something new. Not only is it fun skating, but it’s also a whole new experience because it’s theater based. We are always looking for a bigger team, so we can compete outside of New England,” said Mrs. Harvey.