As soft music echoed throughout the ice rink, Dorian Wang ’23 spun, bringing their leg higher and higher off the ground until they were twirling smoothly, one hand gripping their skate. Wearing all black, including their gloves and skates, Wang continued to glide around in the center of the rink, practicing multiple turns and jumps.
Trevor Moss ’23, a friend of Wang’s, recounted his reaction to seeing Wang skate during the most recent Free Skate event.
“I have seen Dorian skate during Free Skates and on their Instagram story—it’s amazing. I would describe Dorian as a very persistent skater. Dorian will not stop trying to land a jump or improve a spin until they get it,” said Moss.
Wang first started skating when they were four, and after moving from Beijing to the United States at eight years old, they began to enter competitions. However, about two years ago, Wang made the decision to quit skating because of how the unfamiliar competitiveness in a foreign country made them feel uneasy and pressured.
“When I moved to the [United] States, I think the culture at the rinks that I experienced was so competitive. There were some kids [in] the same session as me who were doing eight triples, which are three revolutions in the air, and I felt so intimidated. There is this culture of competition, and that was both toxic and not something that I thought would help my skating,” said Wang.
However, Wang has recently picked up skating again at Andover by attending Free Skate events and paying for sessions at the rink to skate independently. Wang described how the environment at Andover has allowed them to feel more comfortable in their skating abilities, motivating them to skate again.
“I think it’s just because I felt confident at Andover to really feel passionate about skating. Often times, it’s not viewed as a real sport, but my friends have all been so supportive. That’s really helped build my confidence and help me try new things, like be more creative in the way that I choreograph, which is something I’ve never done before, or try out a new spin, or stop being afraid of falling on a new jump,” said Wang.
According to Wang, their return to skating the summer before Junior year motivated them to seriously consider skating competitively again, with a desire to gain confidence in their skills and capabilities.
“I think the reason that I want to get back into competitive skating is that I want to prove to myself that I can do it. I used to think that I would never do anything in skating; I just felt so inadequate and that I wasn’t good enough. I think that if I got back into competitions, it might help me prove to myself that I can do it,” said Wang.
Wang is planning transitioning back to competitive skating next year. In the meantime, they hope to begin taking lessons at Andover to improve their skill. Wang explained that they already have an email drafted to one of the coordinators at Andover’s ice rink, where they will request a coach.
Wang’s friend Dori Rosenstrauch ’23 completely supports whatever Wang plans to do with their skating in the future. Rosenstrauch described how Wang and their enthusiasm for skating has left a positive impact on her.
“I have seen Dorian skate several times, and every time I am amazed at the talent and hard work that they put into skating. Dorian is hardworking and passionate, and they skate whenever possible and have a genuine love of the esport. They are constantly challenging themselves to improve in every way,” said Rosenstrauch.