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Shin looks to regionals after senior international debut

by Paula Slater
Ashley Shin

USA’s Ashley Shin in Flower Mound, Texas, in September 2014.

USA’s Ashley Shin recently competed at the 2014 United States International Figure Skating Classic where she finished seventh in her international senior debut.

“I didn’t really think about my placement,” she said. “I was just disappointed in my performance, because I know I can do better.”

The skater struggled with several of her jumps in both programs, but otherwise showed good spins and footwork.

“The long program wasn’t as good as I had worked for, but I know I can do better next time,” she said. “It just wasn’t a jumping day for me.”

Shin, who is coached by Olga Ganicheva and Aleksey Letov, felt that she learned a lot from all the other competitors at Salt Lake in regards to how they handled their nerves under pressure.

“I’m keeping my programs pretty much the same,” said the skater, who competes next month at the 2015 Southwestern Regional Figure Skating Championships in Fort Collins, Colorado. “My goal is to improve more and more at each competition in the future.”

This season, Shin is skating to an instrumental version of “My Way” for the short program and “Aranjuez” for the long. Both programs were choreographed by Ganicheva.

“My short is more powerful compared to my short program last year,” she the 16-year-old. “I like the lyrics, although they aren’t included, and I feel it’s a very inspirational piece.”

Her long program to “Aranjuez” is an interesting mix by John Corigilano and Ikuko Kawai.

“I really like the style of the music,” said the U.S. junior bronze medalist, “and the choreography is different and more challenging than last year’s program. It’s very dark and mysterious at the beginning and turns into an upbeat tango style later on.”

Shin, who is excited to be on Team USA this year, is currently working on a triple Lutz-triple toe and triple flip-triple toe combination for the long program.

“I’ve grown a lot, so my jumps aren’t as consistent as I want them to be,” said the skater, who has grown about two inches since last season. “I am still trying to figure out my balance on my jumps, so the triple-triples are a work in progress.”

“After a successful last year competing as a Junior lady both nationally and internationally, Ashley has come back to the ice as a confident, responsible and mature skater knowing what it takes to be successful,” said Letov.

“She is self motivated and works even harder now,” added Ganicheva. “On the ice, she is more elegant and feels the music like a beautiful senior lady. Working with Ashley make us both happy and proud every day!”

The 2014 Gardena Spring Trophy junior silver medalist is also working on new spin variations due to the recent rule change. Both spins and footwork sequences are planned for level 4, and the skater is training hard on the layback spin.

“I fractured my back in 2010 from hard falls and Biellmann spins, and I haven’t regained all of my flexibility yet,” she explained. “I had to take about four to five months off from skating. I’m fine now, but I’m still not as flexible as I used to be.”

The skater, who is excited about making her senior debut on the national level this season, is focusing on improving her skating skills overall.

“My goal for nationals is to skate clean with all my elements and positive marks,” said the teen who trains in Plano, Texas. “I want to be happy with my skating so others can enjoy my programs as well.”

Shin, who is a junior in high school this year, enjoys reading, drawing, painting and scrapbooking in her spare time.

“I have taken art classes since I was little, and I still go every week,” she said. “My favorite style of artwork is pencil and charcoal.”

The skater also likes to participating in other sports such as swimming, surfing, and archery.

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