I have always had a deep affinity for figure skating. Although I don’t know how to skate myself, there is something beautiful about the grace and elegance of the sport. The sound of skates slicing through the ice, mingled with the fluidity of the movements and the synchronicity with the music, is magical to behold. Therefore, I was excited to watch the Princeton University Figure Skating Club’s performance called “Skating Through the Decades.” After immersing myself in the exciting atmosphere of the night and watching the wonderful performances, I left Baker Rink astonished by the talent of the members of the Princeton community.
I found the thematic homage to the decades to be very fun and exciting. I especially appreciated how each performance was rooted in and genuine to the decade they were representing, in terms of their costumes and music selection. I saw pieces musically accompanied by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Elvis, all the way up to Taylor Swift, and the selection truly paid homage to the authenticity of the night’s theme. The group performance that portrayed the 2000s, which repped the song “Wannabe,” was a crowd favorite as the skaters glided on the ice decked out in true Spice Girls style. I also appreciated the wide breadth of different styles that were represented. From beautiful traditional performances to contemporary freestyle, it was great to see all types of skating being recognized. The intersection of fashion and skating was also something that dazzled that night. From the previously mentioned Spice-Girls-esque ensemble to the beautiful sequin dresses that radiated in the spotlight magnificently, the beauty and thought that went into each outfit choice added sophistication and depth to an already memorable performance.
Extensive preparation, which is paramount for such an event, certainly came through in all the performances. Zachary Yaninek ’26, one of the ice skaters of the evening, shared some insights about his unique performance and his experience skating with the club.
"I skated to songs from ‘Saturday Night Fever.’ It was a program that I used when I was competing at the national level and was choreographed by two-time Ukrainian Olympian Irina Romanova,” Yaninek said. “I was happy that it received such a positive response from the Princeton audience this past weekend. This program was always one of my favorites, and it was particularly fun to skate it at Baker Rink. The Princeton Figure Skating Club gives me the opportunity to keep skating even though my competitive career has ended."
The professional caliber of each performer was something that shone during the entire evening. One could notice the evident concentration that went behind each intricate spin, jump, and glide executed by every skater while remaining in sync with the music. The beautiful choreography displayed a plethora of unique moves and techniques, keeping the show interesting and diverse throughout the night. From the sound and visuals in the rink to the audience’s pure joy and amusement, it was evident that one of the prevailing themes of the night’s performance was intense artistic passion.
I can wholeheartedly express that the production by the Princeton Figure Skating Club is something one should not miss out on. I am thrilled to get tickets for what they have to offer next year!
Anthony Nathan is a contributing writer for The Prospect, from San Francisco, California. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @anthony_nate_ on Instagram.