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Inspiration Synchronized Skating team offers introductory lessons

The Gazette logo The Gazette 2022-04-20 Carolyn Boll, Special to Montreal Gazette
Ariane Beland, coach of an adult figure skating club, gives directions to some members in St-Lazare last Friday. © Provided by The Gazette Ariane Beland, coach of an adult figure skating club, gives directions to some members in St-Lazare last Friday.

When Siân Morgan reconnected with her figure skating from her childhood later in life, little did she know she would become part of a synchronized skating team that brought with it a sense of connection and artistry beyond all expectations.

“It’s exhilarating. It’s like flying. If you get a sense of exhilaration just skating by yourself it’s amplified with a team,” said Morgan, a member of the Inspiration Synchronized Skating team based in the off-island region. “It’s faster. It’s smoother. It’s beautiful.”

Presently offering introductory sessions, they are hoping to increase their numbers to 16 skaters for their next season. The group skates as part of the Club de Patinage Artistique Régional de Vaudreuil and participates in regional competitions under the auspices of Skate Canada. They skate at the Adult 3 level in which 75 percent of the skaters must be 35 years old or older.

“Our basic requirement is you have to be able to do forward and backward crosscuts on figure skates. If you’re able to do that you will definitely be able to integrate into the team,” said Morgan.

There are two upcoming on-ice sessions from 7:30 to 9 p.m. on Fridays April 22 and 29. While they regularly practice in Vaudreuil-Dorion, these sessions will be at the St-Lazare Sports Complex and each introductory class costs $20. They suggest you arrive a few minutes early.

“We have the most amazing coach,” said Morgan. “She used to skate at the Junior level … She does the choreography, chooses the music, and proposes the dress designs… She plans the whole look and choreography.”

The Inspiration Synchro team started just over 10 years ago, and after various years of changing numbers in their membership, their coach Ariane Béland is enthusiastic about the year ahead.

“This year we are seeing a flow of new ladies wanting to come back to skating after 15 to 20 years away from the sport!  I want to give them the perfect program to have fun as a group on the ice,” said Béland.

Inspiration’s coach has been a skater for 30 years and a synchro skater for almost as many.  When she retired from competitive skating, she kept teaching and eventually relocated to Vaudreuil-Dorion.

“I met my soulmate and moved to be with him … And as if the stars had aligned, I saw a posting on Patinage Québec that Inspiration was looking for a new coach,” recalled Béland. “I did the interview and got the job!”

The team’s season is from late August to the end of March. Weekly training sessions are on Saturday mornings as they prepare for what are usually three annual competitions — in early to mid-December, February, and March.

“We start training at 7 a.m. and I hate getting up early! But every week … after I drive to the arena in crazy winter weather and dark sky, I enter the arena and hear the girls chatting and laughing … that’s when I remember why I do it,” said Béland. “This team is there for one another, they support each other … and are so welcoming … And they work so hard on and off the ice to do the best performance they can.”

As the season progresses new members are integrated into the group as the team works towards refining their final performances.

“You’re aligning your breath, movement, steps … It’s a whole dynamic that is so cohesive,” Morgan said. “You should join for the love of skating, but you should also join for the wonderful team.”

Introductory sessions are at the St-Lazare Sports Complex, 1850 Des Loisirs St., St-Lazare

For more information, contact coach Ariane Béland through their Facebook page:



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