Meet Cassandra Shearin
Our first #SkaterOfTheWeek is the lovely Cassandra Shearin! I first met Cassandra last year at our local ice rink when heard I foxtrot compulsory music and asked her if she was an ice dancer. We instantly bonded, and it's been so inspiring to see her hard work and perseverance firsthand week after week. She is a kind soul with a tender heart and strong faith who is always helping out younger skaters at the rink and giving them encouragement, smiles, and great tips (including me!). Cassandra's character is the gold standard for what all figure skaters should aspire to!
Birthday: July 8th, 1998 (21 years old)
Born: Los Angeles, California, USA
Hometown: Winnetka, California, USA
Currently: Winnetka, California, USA
Country Represented: USA
Skating Club: Los Angeles FSC
Discipline: Ladies' Singles, Ice Dance
Training Location: Iceoplex in Simi Valley, California, USA
Coaches: Cindy Gould, Steve Laumann
Boots: Jackson Supreme 5500
Blades: Paramount Freestyle
A compilation of Cassandra's figure skating journey
Q: You started skating fairly late (at age 13), so I’m curious what kind of challenges you faced early on, and what elements were the most difficult for you?
A: It was pure bliss and absolute magic when I first started skating. I had dreamt of figure skating as a little girl, but we couldn't really afford it at the time because it was so expensive. That first time I stepped on the ice everything just fell into place (literally fell). Figure skating really changed who I was - those awful middle school years, you're trying to discover who you are, and I felt so lost until I found skating. My life immediately turned around and became so exciting.
Some challenges that I faced in the beginning - and continue to face - is the fact that it is so expensive. I'm not the girl who gets five private lessons a week. Starting out, I only could afford a lesson every other week. So in the beginning, I just took matters into my own hands and taught myself. Everything came so easily to me too. Within only one year, I was landing axels and double salchows. I was determined to catch up with all of the older skaters and prove that someone with limited means can still succeed in the sport, as long as they are passionate and driven. The most difficult elements for me were toe loops and camel spins!
Q: What exactly is it about skating that makes you love it so much?
A: Performing is my favorite thing to do in the world, and skating enables me to do that. I love feeling graceful and beautiful on the ice and being able to convey a story to an audience. It keeps me mentally stable and physically fit, but most of all I love it because it’s challenging and fun!
Q: In 2017, you qualified for and competed in the US Figure Skating National Showcase, a competition in theatrical skating. What was that experience like?
A: Competing in National Showcase was a lifelong dream of mine. I attended a National Showcase in 2015, and seeing the spotlights on the skaters performing beautiful programs... I just knew I had to do it. When I qualified, I was so excited because I knew I could finally live out my dream. National Showcase was so much fun, and my skate was everything I wanted it to be. I became a different person that night and transformed into this girl telling a story of love and loss with her skates. I skated to "Send in the Clowns" sung by Barbara Streisand. It's a night I'll never forget.
Q: What advice would you give your younger skater self?
A: I would tell myself to always do my best and not compare myself to others. I would tell her that not fitting into the normal clique of skaters at the rink doesn't matter and that being different is beautiful. To always skate for the love of it and not to get discouraged and judge yourself so quickly. To recognize that I did the best I could with what I was given. And to appreciate every second on the ice because the older you get, the less chances you get to focus on skating the same way you used to. Growing up will be difficult, but you're going to make it. Cherish every moment.
Q: Where do you see yourself - on and off the ice - in five years? And are there plans to compete on the adult circuit?
A: In four to five years, I still see myself skating, but probably not as much as I used to. I definitely want to compete in adult skating, and I want to attend National Showcase once again!
Who is your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration is Sasha Cohen - her beauty grace and flexibility is all that I aspire to be.
Favorite song to listen to in the car?
It definitely changes from time to time, but right now it's The Ludlows score from the movie Legends of the Fall.
What actress would play you in a movie about your life?
If you could create a pattern dance, what would it be called?
I don't know, but it would have spirals in it. I love spirals.
Quote to live by?
2 Corinthians 12:9
Cassandra skating to "Home" from Beauty & The Beast
KEEP UP WITH CASSANDRA
YouTube: Cassandra Shearin
Follow Cassandra to keep tabs on all her exciting adventures, from acting pursuits to passing all her dance tests!
All photos and videos courtesy of Cassandra Shearin