Meet Kenzie Brouk
There are many fears that go along with the sport of figure skating, but perhaps one of the biggest - and least spoken about - is the fear of losing your love for skating. That's what happened to twenty-year-old McKenzie "Kenzie" Brouk of Dallas, Texas, who struggled when she made the transition to collegiate skating a few years ago. But thanks to a new university, new coaches, and a new perspective, Kenzie is now loving figure skating (she excels in singles and synchro) more than ever!
Synchronized and collegiate skating aren't as widely known as say, freestyle or ice dance, but we're here to shine a light on them - and on the inspiring girl who is doing them both and loving every minute of it. Kenzie is adored by her teammates, respected by her coaches, and is a very mature, thoughtful individual. Besides being a great skater, Kenzie is also passionate about exercise science and hopes to contribute to the skating world on and off the ice. Check out her insightful answers about her new life at Trine University, why the sisterhood of synchro is so important to her, and how she applies her major to her skating!
Birthday: (20 years old)
Born: Dallas, Texas, USA
Hometown: Dallas, Texas, USA
Currently: Angola, Indiana, USA
Country Represented: USA
Skating Club: Lone Star FSC / Trine University
Discipline: Ladies' Singles / Synchronized Skating
Team: Trine Thunder
Level: Juvenile / Collegiate
Training Location: Children's Health StarCenter in McKinney, Texas, USA / Thunder Ice Arena @ Trine University in Angola, Indiana, USA
Coaches: Rachel Franchock, Kim Hansen, Nick Traxler
Boots: Jackson Ultima
Blades: John Wilson Pattern 99
Kenzie through the years - I guess blue is her color!
Q: You recently transferred from Adrian College, where you didn't have the best experience and eventually lost your love for skating. How did you get your passion for figure skating back again, and what drew you to Trine University to continue your studies?
A: I have honestly had the best support at Trine ever since I've gotten here. From day one, I was welcomed in with so much love. Rachel Franchock (our head coach) has had such an impact on me and has helped me through this process, and I'm incredibly grateful to be learning from her. She cares about her athletes so much, and I'm so inspired by her compassion. To be honest, I'm still finding my love for skating again, but I'm picking myself back up and growing every single day.
I've been really trying to find something positive in every day - I know that every day might not be good, but there will always be something good in every day. I also have the best teammates who love me unconditionally, and so while the transition hasn't been easy, I'm loving the journey so far! Trine also has an amazing physical therapy program, and I hope to continue onto that after my undergrad. I love the classes I'm taking here, and my professors are amazing. I'm truly getting the best of both worlds!
Kenzie with her #TrineThunder family.
Q: Figure skating can often be a lonely sport, but that is definitely not the case when it comes to synchronized skating! What has it been like being part of such a supportive team, and what do you think are some other highlights of being part of synchro?
A: Being part of a team is so incredibly special to me. The people I skate with constantly push me to be a better version of myself and are always there for me, just as I'm always there for them! It's amazing having a large support system. Some of the other reasons I love being a synchro skater are that it has taught me so much discipline, and I've grown so much because of synchro! It's really awesome to start a program at the beginning of the season and watch it develop over time. Whether it's an amazing practice or a terrible one, we take it and continue to push.
At the end of the day, we are doing this because we love it, and that satisfaction of hard work, dedication, and grit are worth more than any medal. We are pushing the boundaries with synchro because it incorporates all disciplines of skating. It's exciting to see how much this sport continues to grow.
Say cheese - no, say Trine synchro! Can you spot Kenzie?!
Q: I know you're majoring in exercise science, so I'm curious, how have you applied the knowledge you've learned in class to the ice and vice versa?
A: I've learned so much being an exercise science major. Some of my favorite classes I've taken have been anatomy, nutrition, and psychology. I have applied so much of what I learned in psychology to the ice - our minds are so crucial to us as athletes, and we have to give the same love to our minds as we do to our bodies. Mental training is so important, and it is a tool that I frequently use. Your mind will believe the thoughts you feed it, so always do your best to think of the positives! I've learned a lot in nutrition about what foods are the best for fueling you and the effects that some foods can have on you. I try to integrate a lot of the things I've learned into my normal routine and diet.
Synchro is serious business, people!
Q: Coaches have such an important part in shaping a skater inside and out, and I know you've been so inspired by two of your coaches - Kjerstyn Hall and Rachel Franchock. How have those coaches inspired you and made an impact on your skating career?
A: With this being my first year working with Rachel, she’s already supported me so much, and I’m so excited to be able to work with her. She has a true passion for coaching and wanting to grow the sport. She’s allowing me to continue my love for the sport, and I’m so ready for this season!
Kjerstyn has taught me so much beyond the sport and has helped me with my confidence during my intercollegiate season last year. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so good about my skating, and a lot of it is thanks to her. She’s also an amazing choreographer - she choreographed my long program for this season.
Thanks to great coaches like Kjersten (pictured above), Kenzie will be an amazing skating coach herself someday!
Q: Let's talk goals! What are a few of your aspirations in skating, school, and your personal life?
A: With skating, I hope to become a triple gold medalist (moves in the field, free dance, pattern dance), skate for a senior team once, and honestly always have it be a part of my life. A couple of my goals this season are to qualify for Intercollegiate Nationals with Trine and hopefully stand on that Nationals podium for my level. Every year I've gotten stronger, and now I feel like I really have the tools to get where I want to be. I can definitely see myself coaching one day, and I'd love that opportunity! My goal is to become a physical therapist, and one day open my own clinic solely for figure skaters (a girl can dream!). I just want to help people get better and get back to their sport, so as long as I'm working with athletes, I think I'll be so happy. I really want to travel as much as I can and see the world! There are so many places I'm dying to see, so that is definitely a life goal of mine (my top three are Greece, Italy, and Switzerland).
Kenzie performing her titillating "Don't Rain on my Parade" program earlier this year
What time of day do you feel the most awake?
I feel most awake around 10 AM, which is perfect because that's when I practice individually! I'm definitely a morning person.
If you could create a new holiday, what would it be for and why?
I'd create a positivity holiday! One where you just celebrate all the amazing things that life has to offer.
Favorite synchro element?
What movie have you seen the most times?
Three hobbies you have outside of skating?
Calligraphy, reading (specifically mental training books), and hiking (I love being outside).
What is the biggest difference you've noticed about living in Texas vs. living in Indiana?
Definitely the weather and the communities are so different. I am right in the heart of the city in Dallas, so it's weird going from a million places around you to the small, close-knit town that Angola is. However, I love it here!
My biggest fear is that I'll never be good enough. I'm super hard on myself, but I've been working so hard to break down the negative walls I've built up.
If you were a dessert, which one would you be and why?
I'd be a brownie. They are also my absolute favorite, and who doesn't love a good brownie?
During a school week, I usually have a piece of fruit and yogurt. I like to keep it light and simple. On the weekends, brunch is my favorite and I'm always up for some good French toast!
Quote to live by?
"She believed she could so she did."
KEEP UP WITH KENZIE
Personal Instagram: @kenzieemadison
Personal Twitter: @kenzieebroukk
Personal YouTube: McKenzie Brouk
Trine Skating Instagram: @trineskating
Trine Skating Twitter: @TrineSkating
Trine Skating Facebook: Trine University Varsity Skating Teams
Follow Kenzie and Trine Skating on social media to keep tabs on all the exciting things coming up this season!
All other photos and videos courtesy of Kenzie Brouk