"I was fascinated by the movement and the discipline"


Very developed in Eastern Canada, synchronized skating is less known in the West of the country. (Credits: Kirsi Laine Photography - 2018)

A new synchronized skating club is in preparation in Delta, in the Vancouver region of Canada.

"The Art Recognition Talent Search Skating Academy, known as A.R.T.S.S.A was developed to foster my passion for figure skating and the beauty of movement and music," started Anastasia Baikov.

Born and raised in Moscow, she was introduced to figure skating at an early age and auditioned for Elena Tchaikovskaia’s Professional Ice Shows. The show travelled around Europe visiting several different countries. "It was during this time that I discovered my love for choreography and the excitement of performing in shows," she said. Her skating career expanded to competitive singles, dance and pairs.  

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When her family relocated to Eastern Canada, she retired from the competitive side of the sport. She embarked on a coaching journey and started to develop synchronized skating.

"During one of our trips to France, I was introduced to synchro teams from Finland and Canada. I was fascinated by the movement and the discipline. It was like watching an ice show but with more precision. Since that time, synchronized skating has developed considerably. The technical complexity of the elements fueled my desire to challenge myself and learn the technical side of this difficult discipline," Anastasia Baikov explained.

Anastasia Baikov dedicated her life to skating.

She developed her first team at a synchronized skating club in the Vancouver area. "I worked closely with a choreographer from Finland who helped me learn the technical aspects and helped me with the knowledge I needed to develop as a synchro coach. This experience left me wanting to pursue the development of synchro at a younger level."

Then, Anastasia went on to coach and choreograph multiple programs over the next several years for different levels, Beginner to Open. "The teams competed locally and performed in shows that helped showcase synchro all over the Greater Vancouver area."

To assist in development at the club level and to introduce skaters to synchro, she participated for several years in local seminars to allow skaters to try synchro at a grassroots level.

The biggest challenge she faced was maintaining the teams and ensuring that the skaters were given opportunities through their various clubs. "With ice time being so valuable and the cost of training, it is difficult for clubs to sustain the program. It is a big commitment, and with figure skating being a solo sport, it was always a challenge to educate and introduce skaters to a new discipline," she said.

Synchronized Skating is very popular in Eastern Canada, wherein in Western Canada, it is not as well known and does not receive the same exposure as singles, pairs or dance. "The introduction of synchro into the club had a very positive effect bringing the skaters together and bonding them through the experience of competition and dedication," Anastasia Baikov concluded.