Faces of Synchro
Ana Cecilia Cantu: "We started our synchro team by ourselves"
Ana Cecilia Cantu Felix's team is preparing for its comeback to competitions. Learn more in our article!
Coaching figure skating in Nuevo Leon, Mexico, Ana Cecilia Cantu Felix built the first Mexican synchronized skating team.
I started coaching figure skating in Nuevo Leon, located in Northeastern Mexico.
I did not know about synchronized skating when I was only a figure skating coach. I decided to build the synchronized skating team: Merging Edge. I am really proud to say it is the first team to represent Mexico in the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships.
This team pushed me to learn new things, to push myself to be a better coach, a better synchronized skating coach also, as fast as possible. It is such an inspiring experience.
As a skater, my favourite element is any travelling element. It is so fun to skate to and think about it and know you are not stalling, doing the right direction to make it work.
As a coach, I really do not like this element as you have to teach every person different things based on where they are placed. Some skaters can decide to go in one direction and some in the other. It is not an easy element to teach.
The program that affected me the most is the one we did in 2016, the short program.
I chose the music from an English jazz-pop singer-songwriter, Jamie Cullum, "When I Get Famous". The song signifies so much to me, as you try so hard, you have that hope, you want to make it. We did the best program. It was so great we skated so well this season.
I think I called about several teams in the United States and Canada to try to help us. But unfortunately, it was already the middle of the season so nobody was available when we needed it.
We started our synchro team by ourselves. I was the coach, a skater, the team manager, the dress designer, etc.
At a point, I called a former synchronized skater from Haydenettes, I use to skate with when I was competing in the single category. She mentioned the name of Donna Mitchell.
In one phrase, she was the help we needed!
She was an amazing friend, guidance for me to become better. I owe her a lot.
I became a coach as I am passionate, I like helping the other how to do things the right way and explaining them why. I love analyzing everything. And I try to give each one of my skaters what they need to improve.
For synchro, I am the one trying to find a team every season!
My tip would be the same for figure skating and synchronized skating. Put the work on ice and off ice.
I realized with my skaters when we started working through the program, the steps, we became better.
We are off the ice. So I am planning a lot of off ice sessions, trying to keep in touch with the students and the team, to keep the motivation.
I also have two kids, so I am spending a lot of time with them, which I am thankful for. One started skating, one she might be a synchro skater too, who knows!
To keep my skaters motivated, I am telling them stories. I tell them how I did go through a lot when I was a skater when people used to tell me I will never achieve anything, and I show them how I did, I succeed. I am positive and I try hard so I am sharing my experience with my skaters to build their confidence, to push them to achieve new goals, to do better.
Learn more about Ana Cecilia Cantu Felix today on the OneTeamMVMT's Instagram page with her "Take Over".
To read our recent article about the comeback of the Mexican team, it's here!