Meet ice dancer Mina Esfandiari

On this Q&A, we introduce you to Mina Esfandiari, an ice dancer who competes within the junior solo mixed dance occasions. She completed eighth on the 2022 U.S. Nationwide Solo Dance Finals. She trains with Krigor Studio at Montclair State College and is coached by Igor Lukanin and Kristin Fraser. 

Inform us about how your skating journey started. What drew you to the ice? Do you’ve any particular reminiscences? 
After I was 7 years previous, I used to be invited to a party at an ice-skating rink in Virginia. At first, I used to be holding on to the board and couldn’t even arise. Then after I walked out of that social gathering, I began telling my mother that I cherished it and wished to start classes. Ever since then, my love for ice skating has solely grown!

The particular reminiscences from after I was little embody my mother taking me to the rink after I first started and I might simply skate across the boards, not caring about anything on the planet. I had simply began and all I wished to do was skate, as a result of the sensation made me really feel so free in these moments.

When and why did you select to do solo dance?
At age 8, I used to be competing as a freestyler and after my third season, I requested my mother if I may take ice dance classes to enhance my edges and step sequences inside my program. From there, I began taking classes in January 2019 with my first coach and he thought I had potential, so he enrolled me into the solo dance sequence. That 12 months I started competing Pre-Bronze Patterns, whereas I used to be nonetheless competing as a Juvenile freestyler.  My love for ice dance grew with every competitors I entered. That 12 months, I certified for Solo Nationals and received Bronze.  From that day on, I knew that I belonged as an ice dancer, and I made the change.

What do you want most about Solo Dance? What sort of music to you wish to skate to the perfect? Why?
Solo dance has matured me as a skater, whereas it additionally made me really feel comfy in my physique. The Solo Dance neighborhood is such an exquisite group of individuals, and everybody assist one another it doesn’t matter what occurs.
My favourite model of music consists of Latin or hip-hop. Though, I like skating to the upbeat kinds of music, I get pleasure from studying all completely different sorts of applications. For instance, this 12 months I’m attempting one thing completely new that I’ve by no means executed earlier than.

Inform us about your coaching website. (Location, services, dance mates, lessons, coaches, and so on.)
My head coaches are Kristen Fraser-Lukanin and Igor Lukanin. I practice at Montclair State College Ice Enviornment in Little Falls, New Jersey. The coaching facility is the campus of a school which incorporates tracks, tennis courts, and so on. To start out our morning, we have now a every day edge class and many sorts of off ice lessons each day. The off ice lessons embody completely different types of dance, conditioning, and stretching.

Who choreographed your applications. What do you want greatest about dancing them? 
Igor Lukanin choreographed my applications for this season. What I like most about Igor is that the choreography comes pure to him. I be taught choreography fast which permits us to have extra time to good the applications. In my Rhythm Dance, I like how I’m ready present my ardour for tango. My favourite a part of my free dance is certainly my choreo step. I take advantage of loads of physique motion that I’ve by no means executed earlier than which permits me to point out everybody what I’m able to performing.  

Solo Dance will likely be a world self-discipline this season? Share your ideas about this variation. 
I’m so excited solo dance is a world self-discipline this season. All my life, I’ve been ready for today as solo dance has grow to be an enormous a part of my skating profession. This was an enormous step ahead, because it reveals everybody that this can be a neighborhood now. Solo dance has grown through the years and has made so many modifications to match the dance crew guidelines.

In skating, what are you most trying ahead to this season? What will likely be your greatest problem(s)? 
This season, I’m trying ahead to stepping out onto competitors ice and performing the perfect applications doable. I’ve been coaching exhausting to point out the completely different kinds and what I can do. My greatest challenges and targets are qualifying for Nationals and inserting.

In the event you may have a lesson with any ice dancer previous/current, who wouldn’t it be? Why?
If I may have a lesson with any ice dancer, it could be Caroline Inexperienced & Michael Parsons or Tessa Advantage & Scott Moir. Each of these groups have distinctive physique actions and expressions, in addition to unbelievable edges and approach.

What are your favourite off-ice actions?
My favourite off-ice actions embody hanging out with my household and mates. It’s good to take my thoughts off of skating for a day and be round all of the folks that I like.

Please share anything you desire to our readers to learn about you as a skater?
I’m eternally grateful I gave ice dance a strive, as a result of it has introduced me superb folks and the perfect skating household I’ve at all times wished. Thanks to Kristen, Igor, and my former coach Andrejs Sitiks who’ve made my dream come true. I might by no means have been the place I’m now with none of them.