Magazine

"The hard work is always worth it in the end"


Image

Anastasia Worthy, skated for Crystallettes and University of Michigan (USA). (Credits: Ice Galaxy - 2020)

We take you to Northville, Michigan (USA), to meet Anastasia Worthy, a synchro skater and law student.

First, let's talk about your journey in the world of synchronized skating...

I discovered synchro when I was in the 8th grade from one of my classmates that was involved in synchronized skating, in Detroit. 

Before synchro, I started skating when I was three years old and competed in freestyle competitions. I got up to intermediate in freestyle before I switched over to synchro. I started syncho on the Novice Crystallettes.

After two years of novice, I went to the senior team. My first year that I skated on senior, I also skated on novice. After I skated senior for several of years, I went to the University of Michigan to skate on the collegiate team. I skated on the University of Michigan collegiate team for one year and then I switched back to the Crystallettes and skated on their senior team for one more year. 

What is your best synchro memory? 

My best synchro memory would have to be when we made it the Synchronized World Championships in 2017. It was my favorite memory because it meant so much to me that our team worked so hard to accomplish the goal that we set at the very beginning of the season and that I was able to have that experience with some of my best friends. 


Image
Anastasia and her team the season they got selected for the WSSC.

If you had to remember a program that affected you, what would it be and why?

A program that affected me would be the program that I competed on my first year of novice which was “Sorcerer’s Apprentice”. It affected me because that program is what made me fall in love with synchro. It is as simple as that!

Did you have any rituals before the competition?

I had to always put on my left skate first. It has just become a habit and if it is not done correctly, then I do not feel as prepared for the competition. 

What is your favourite synchro element? 

My favorite element would have to be the no hold element and the steps sequence. I enjoyed it because you are able to show off your individual skating skills and are able to showcase a lot of performance and creativity at the same time. 


Image
University of Michigan Synchronized Skating Team

What did this sport teach you? 

This sport has taught be that you absolutely cannot be selfish and that everyone on the team is important. Everyone should be treated equally and with respect. If you have a team where everyone has treated with respect equally, a lot more will be accomplished and goals will be achieved! 

The advice that I would give to young people who want to start synchro is that they should not let anyone or anything hold them back. I would also advise that they steer towards a team that will make sure that they are taking your mental, physical, and emotional health seriously. Skating can be extremely draining and particular times but the hard work is always worth it in the end. 

What is your experience as a skater of color? 

I have had a lot of struggles as a skater of color. I did not receive blatant racism while I was skating. I used to be a very quiet person and not really stand up for myself in a lot of situations.

However, I started to realize the different types of discrimination that I was facing in the synchro world as I started getting older. I finally decided to stand up for myself going into my last year of synchro and I, unfortunately, received a lot of blacklash from individuals that were in the organization that I skated for.


Image
Anastasia and her team representing the United States of America

Once, I started standing up for myself, I realized that I was not only standing up for myself, but I was also standing up for all the skaters of color, that were also too afraid to stand up at one point in time or that are still too afraid to stand up. However, there were some racially insensitive things that were said during my years of skating synchro. It was not only African Americans that sometimes faced racially insensitive things but also people of other minority groups. I think it is important to stand up because if you don’t, then nothing will change. 

I would recommend to skating organisations that they approach those who are skaters of color and/or in minority and ask them what they would want to see in their particular organization. A lot of times, BIPOC skaters are overlooked and not taken seriously. 

Everyone deserves to feel comfortable and catered to. 


How did you handle makeup and hairdo? 

Hair and make up were very difficult to figure out. For makeup, my team always designated one or two people to do everyone’s makeup for a competition, in an effort to make everyone’s makeup look cohesive. The makeup never really looked that good on me, unfortunately. 

For hair, I always made sure that I used products in my hair that I knew would work best for my texture of hair. I rarely used hair products that the rest of my teammates would use in their hair. 

Find more articles related to inclusion and diversity in the world of synchronized skating and portraits in our section "Faces of Synchro" in partnership with the organization OneTeamMVMT!