Meet Sasha Fear
With a name like Fear, it has to be good! Meet Sasha Fear: beautiful ice dancer, British junior national champ, intercontinental fashionista, hardworking student, and an all-around great person. We interviewed her big sister Lilah last month, and it's clear from talking with both of these young ladies that brilliance runs in the family. With partner George Waddell, Sasha is forging her own path in the skating world - and looking fabulous while doing it! Read on for Sasha's advice on starting ice dance, what she loves about training at Gadbois and Alexandra Palace, and what having a sibling in the same sport is actually like. #DoubleTheFearDoubleTheFun
Birthday: May 23rd, 2002 (16 years old)
Born: London, England
Hometown: London, England
Currently: Montreal, Quebec, Canada / London, England
Country Represented: Great Britain
Skating Club: Alexandra Palace London
Discipline: Ice Dance
Partner: George Waddell
Training Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada @ Centre Gadbois / London, England @ Alexandra Palace Ice Rink
Coach: Romain Haguenauer / Karen Quinn, Alan Abretti
Blades: MK Dance
Sasha and George (photo by ice-dance.com)
A: I have always loved to dance and interpret music. I was dragged along from a very young age to the ice rink with my older sisters, and I was exposed to skating and loved all of the artistry and freedom that I felt on the ice. I also loved my coaches at Queens Ice Rink in London who made it so much fun.
Q: What made you choose ice dance instead of singles or pairs, and what makes ice dance harder or easier than the other disciplines, in your opinion?
A: I did singles and dance simultaneously for a long time and am so glad to have the background in both. I was not a natural jumper at all! As I barely mastered my doubles and saw so many little kids landing triples, I gravitated towards ice dance. I did solo dance competitions until I got a call to try out with my first partner, Jack Osman.
Little Sasha = the most adorable thing ever!
Q: After previously skating with Jack and also Elliot Verburg, you teamed up with your current partner, George Waddell, in 2017. How did you guys pair up, and when did you know it was a perfect fit?
A: I have had great ice dance partners. I was really lucky to grow as a dancer with Jack and to learn such great expression from Elliot. I have known George for a number of years because I went to the (Toronto) Cricket Club in the summers when I was younger, and this is where he trained. After Elliot and I ended our partnership, I really wanted to try out with George because he is British, very tall, and trained with the same coaches! We knew that it was a perfect fit after our try out, and the coaches were happy with how we looked together.
Q: You're 5'6" - an average height normally, but considered tall in the skating world. Has that affected any lifts or elements, and do you see it more as an advantage or disadvantage?
A: If I did not have a tall partner like George, I think I would have struggled with lifts. George is very strong, so our lifts have been powerful and impressive this year. Because we both have long legs, we have to bend our knees more than other couples; we are trying to use this to our advantage by creating long lines and generating more power.
Sasha and Lilah pictured with their older sister Georgia (top sides) and with their partners, George Waddell and Lewis Gibson, with British ice dance legend Jayne Torvill
Q: I love that Lilah is the senior British national champ and you're the junior British national champ - #SisterGoals ! But real talk - is it hard being in the exact same sport and discipline as your older sister?
A: Lilah and I are very different skaters, but instead of having a competitive relationship, I really look up to her and she pushes me (but she doesn’t know it!). She has one of the most amazing work ethics, and this is what inspires me to work harder.
Q: Like Lilah, you split your time training at Gadbois in Montreal, Canada, and at Alexandra Palace in London, England. What are the differences in British vs. Canadian coaching styles, and what do you like best about each environment?
A: I feel so lucky to have this team coaching approach. I love training in London because we have a lot of one-on-one time with our coaches. Our training plan is coordinated with the fabulous coaching team at Gadbois, where we continue to benefit from top coaching. In Montreal, we are also surrounded by the best teams in the world, so we can learn and be inspired everyday.
Edges on fleek (photos by Joseep Martinson, ISU/Getty)
Q: Currently, you juggle being a figure skater with being a high school student, which is no easy task. I know you do school online, could you tell us a bit more about that and what your workload looks like?
A: I went to traditional high school in the UK until this year, when I appealed to my parents to do online school. I miss weeks of school each term because of competitions and training, and I was always trying to catch up. With online school, I have to be organized and responsible for my learning, and there is a lot of schoolwork, but I can study anywhere in the world and feel much more on top of my studies. It is working really well, and I still see my friends from school on the weekends.
Q: What would your ideal day off consist of?
A: First of all, I would sleep in as LATE AS POSSIBLE! Then I would read in bed for a while because I never get to do that. I like to get exercise on the weekend, and if possible, try new dance or fitness classes. I love to plan brunch or lunch with friends and explore the exciting neighbourhoods, whether in Montreal or London - two amazing cities. I also love baking!
Sasha striking poses around the world!
Q: What advice do you have for anyone wanting to start ice dance?
A: I would suggest learning the basics properly and really focusing on good technique because it is the base of everything on the ice. I think anyone learning ice dance will love the musical and artistic nature of the sport and just have fun with it.
Q: What are your on-ice and off-ice goals for the next few years, do you and George plan to move up to the senior level soon?
A: My on-ice goals for this year and next year are to continue to grow in maturity and technically as a couple and to move up the ranks in junior. When we move up to senior, I would love to go to the European Championships, Worlds and the Olympics!
Jumping for joy! (photo by Hamza Mejri Photography)
Favorite program you and George have done?
This year’s tango rhythm dance
Favorite program Lilah and Lewis have done?
If you were a flower, which one would you be?
Go-to healthy snack?
Apple with cinnamon in the microwave!
What makes you the happiest?
Nature, exercise, food, music, and family
How ice dancers cross the street
What languages do you speak?
English - and I am learning French at school
What's your favorite outfit in your closet?
I pretty much live in sports clothing during the week, so on the weekends I like to mix up my clothes and love a chic vintage vibe
Who is your biggest hero?
Do you play any instruments?
I sing, and I also played the flute and piano
Quote to live by?
“Whatever you do - for work or play - do it with passion.” - Christian Dior
KEEP UP WITH SASHA
All other photos courtesy of Sasha Fear