New York's Samantha Cesario more than proved herself on the junior circuit, winning three Junior Grand Prix medals and a fourth place finish at the Junior World Championships in 2013. Despite battling injury, her steady climb in skating saw her win the bronze medal at the 2013 U.S. International Figure Skating Classic, finish in the top five at both of her Grand Prix assignments and earn a top five finish at the 2014 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Boston, competing in one of the deepest ladies fields we've seen in QUITE some time. She earned herself a trip to the 2014 Four Continents Championships, where she finished in the top ten. There's so much more to Samantha's skating that just her success though - she's mature, well styled and has a striking presence on the ice. She also has the jumps to back it up and is definitely a skater I think we are going to see much more from in the future. She took the time from her very busy schedule to talk to me about everything from her competitive career to her goals, fashion, personal life and much more in this must read interview:
Q: Despite battling injuries over the years, you've had so much success: three medals on the Junior Grand Prix circuit, a 4th place finish at last year's Junior World Championships, top five finishes in both of your Grand Prix assignments this year and a top five finish at U.S. Nationals in Boston this year among your many accomplishments. what are your proudest moments and most special memories on the ice?
A: I think my proudest moment thus far was my free skate at this year's U.S. Championships. I had a lot of family and friends in the audience and I really felt the pressure to be my absolute best for all of them and moreso for myself. I was so happy I could put out the program I had worked so hard all season on at the moment it mattered most. I think the U.S. Championships, as a whole, is a competition where I have made the most special memories. After missing out on two Nationals in a row due to injury, skating my best on home ice means a lot and always feels really special.
Q: A lot of people have been greatly impressed not only with your strong jumping ability but with the PRESENTATION of your program. I've heard some compare your elegant style to Olympic Silver Medallist and U.S. Champion Nancy Kerrigan. What do you think of this comparison and does interpreting and presenting music just come naturally to you or is it an area you have spent a lot of time on?
A: Being compared to a talented and beautiful champion like Nancy Kerrigan is such a flattering compliment. It means a lot to me when people recognize my presentation and interpretation of different characters. I think along with the jumps and spins figure skating should be entertaining as an art form, and I hope people feel like I bring that to the sport. I would definitely say I spend a great deal of time on choreography and interpretation, but as a whole I think the way I present music to an audience comes pretty natural to me. I haven’t had any formal dance training; I really just love to skate and try to capture the audience’s attention with each performance.
Q: Looking forward to next season, what are your main goals and what direction will you be going in with your programs?
A: Looking to next season, one of my main goals is to perfect a triple/triple and up my technical side to keep up with the talent we have here in the U.S. as well as internationally. Another main goal is to improve on my skating skills and speed while continuing to bring entertaining programs to the audience. I think the new program I am currently working on is something a little different for me and I hope it shows off my skating in a fresh and fun light.
Q: You have been involved in your own costume design. When did your passion for fashion start and how important is it for skaters to be involved in their own costume design and selection process?
A: My interest in fashion design came about in high school. I took a fashion class and was very interested in the way trends change through the decades. Although my interest in design isn't as strong as it used to be, I will always have a clear sense of personal style and continue to be involved with what I wear on the ice and how I present myself. I think it’s extremely important for all skaters to be involved in their costume selection and appearance; I have always felt the way you look has a great impact on your confidence and your overall persona.
A: If I could travel back in time to any point in history, it would most definitely be the 1950's. I’m obsessed with the fashion of this time period as well as the way both men and women presented themselves on an everyday basis. I would have hoped to contribute the same kind of presentation and entertainment to an audience with my skating that I try to present now.
Q: What's one thing most people don't know about you?
A: I think one thing most people don’t know about me is that I’m very talented with hair and nails; I also have a lot of interest in beauty as a whole. I love to learn about different techniques and I love to play with different makeup and hair extensions and right now I’m really into doing my own acrylic nails!
A: My three favourite skaters of all time would have to be Sasha Cohen, Michelle Kwan, and Sarah Hughes. I always admired Sasha's skating style. I think she was a skater that every little girl wanted to look just like, and her overall presentation of music and character was always exciting and beautiful. With Michelle Kwan, I always admired her ability to captivate an audience and bring them to their feet. I also admired her consistency because I think that is what makes a true champion. Sarah was one of my favorites because she really inspired me to be at the top and make an Olympic team. I watched her become Olympic Champion when I was eight years old, and to see a girl from Long Island just like myself make it all the way to the top was so inspiring. Her grit and determination at those games was unbelievable to witness.
Q: What are the most important things to you in life?
A: The most important things to me in my life are definitely my family and friends. I am such a homebody and I love to be surrounded by the people that make me happy. I have always lived at home and try to make my personal life as normal as possible. For me, I think being able to leave the rink and come home to my family and my cute pets keeps me grounded as an athlete. I also have some really great friends and a wonderful boyfriend that support me through it all.
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