Hayden Select, the new Elite 12 Senior team, is almost done with their program


The new team Hayden Select consists of 17 total skaters, with 12 on the ice.

Part of the Hayden Synchro organization, the new Senior team from Boston (USA), Hayden Select, with 12 skaters is coached by Lee Chandler with Saga Krantz as the choreographer.

Hayden Select, also known as "Hayden XII", is the new senior team explicitly created for the Elite 12 category. This team will represent Boston in the United States as part of the larger Hayden Synchro organization (like the Haydenettes, Lexettes, etc.).

Introduced last spring by the ISU, this new division Elite 12 will allow experienced and talented athletes to skate a synchronized skating program with 12 skaters (instead of 16).

Hayden Select, in practice

"At tryouts, Hayden gave to option to tryout for their new Elite 12 team and then we started to train in April," said Rebecca Gerfen, who is skating her tenth season with the Hayden Synchro organization.

For this first year, her new team, the Hayden Select, consists of 17 skaters: five Haydenettes from last season, seven former Lexettes, four skaters from other clubs, and one international skater. The head coach is Lee Chandler, with Saga Krantz as the choreographer. 

More space, more speed and larger curves
"We practice four days a week with on-ice sessions each practice, two workouts a week, ballet once a week, and off-ice training. Also, we all skate individually a few times a week depending on our individual schedules since we are all college students," explained Rebecca Gerfen.

As the team builds the program, they have been making lots of changes to help everything flow better.

This team of skaters will only skate in the Elite 12 division this season. (Credits: Hayden Select - 2021)

"I really like skating with twelve! The team has so much more space on the ice, and it allows us to skate with a lot more speed and have larger curves. We all agree that it doesn’t feel that different to skate with twelve versus sixteen because you still have lines to track and connections to make sometimes the lines are just a bit shorter," Rebecca Gerfen said. 

Rebeccas has noticed one difference: since they have a lot more space on the ice, they have more freedom for interesting transitions in the program. "There are also a lot more opportunities to gain speed since there are less people. Since skating with only twelve is new for everyone including the coaches, there has been a bit of a learning curve to figure out what works and what doesn’t. For example, it is a lot harder to get a whipped feeling in the whip intersection because there are two less people in each of the lines."

This season, the Hayden Select will only skate in the Elite 12 division, while the Haydenettes will continue to compete in the regular senior division.

The new senior team plans on demonstrating at the Boston Synchronized Skating Classic and U.S. Nationals. Then, the Hayden Select will probably compete at the U.S. Synchronized Skating International Classic and the French Cup

"I am so excited to see where the Elite 12 division goes and to show our program to everyone! I think that there is so much potential in this division, and I hope everyone likes it as much as we all do!" - Rebecca Gerfen.