Telvia Perez: Ice Dance Finalist

Telvia peforms “Cantasta”.

Telvia performs “Dutch”.

Telvia poses in front of the Salt Lake City Olympics sign

Telvia performs “Cantasta”.

Most people do not equate Jacksonville, Florida with ice. Even more people do not know about competitive figure skating and ice dance in Jacksonville.Telvia Perez ‘20 is a junior taking six AP classes. As if it that does not take up enough of her free time, she is also a competitive figure skater, ranked top in her division, who practices six days a week, sometimes twice a day. On September 5-6 she competed at the National Solo Dance Series Finals in Provo, Utah.

“This is my first year doing ice dance,” Telvia explained. While she has been skating since she was four-years old, she had mostly been focused on her moves in the field: clean edges, foot work, and turns. In 2018, Telvia heard about ice dance from one of her coaches.
In her first year of ice dance, Telvia qualified for the National Solo Dance Series Finals in the preliminary category. In order to do so, she had to go to seven competitions over the summer and ice dance training camps, all while doing research at Mayo Clinic. Telvia humbly explained that she was researching “how to stop lung cancer cells from metastasizing into the brain.”

To get ready for the competition Telvia began practicing twice a day five days a week, plus one session on Saturdays. “Monday through Friday I skate from six a.m. to seven a.m., excluding Wednesday where I skate from six a.m. to seven fifty a.m.”
After school she skates for an hour and then comes home to work on homework.Telvia explained that it can be hard to balance all the different aspects of her life. “I wake up at 5:30 a.m., skate, go to school and work through zero hour, activities, and lunch.”

At the National Solo Dance Series Finals Telvia hopes to place well and gain experience. In the future she hopes to be able to compete at higher levels and make it to the National Solo Dance Series Finals again.

Inspired by ballroom dancing, ice dance shares many similarities: traditional music, timing, expression, and costuming. This year Telvia is competing in the pattern dance category, which is where the skater learns three different dances and is given two dances by random to perform at the competition. Telvia described it as “on the spot, you gotta be able to compete and be on time because dance is all about timing.”