Meet ice dancer Mina Esfandiari

On this Q&A, we introduce you to Mina Esfandiari, an ice dancer who competes within the junior solo mixed dance occasions. She completed eighth on the 2022 U.S. Nationwide Solo Dance Finals. She trains with Krigor Studio at Montclair State College and is coached by Igor Lukanin and Kristin Fraser. 

Inform us about how your skating journey started. What drew you to the ice? Do you’ve any particular recollections? 
Once I was 7 years previous, I used to be invited to a birthday celebration at an ice-skating rink in Virginia. At first, I used to be holding on to the board and couldn’t even arise. Then after I walked out of that celebration, I began telling my mother that I beloved it and needed to start classes. Ever since then, my love for ice skating has solely grown!

The particular recollections from after I was little embrace my mother taking me to the rink after I first started and I might simply skate across the boards, not caring about the rest on the planet. I had simply began and all I needed to do was skate, as a result of the sensation made me really feel so free in these moments.

When and why did you select to do solo dance?
At age 8, I used to be competing as a freestyler and after my third season, I requested my mother if I may take ice dance classes to enhance my edges and step sequences inside my program. From there, I began taking classes in January 2019 with my first coach and he thought I had potential, so he enrolled me into the solo dance collection. That yr I started competing Pre-Bronze Patterns, whereas I used to be nonetheless competing as a Juvenile freestyler.  My love for ice dance grew with every competitors I entered. That yr, I certified for Solo Nationals and gained Bronze.  From that day on, I knew that I belonged as an ice dancer, and I made the change.

What do you want most about Solo Dance? What sort of music to you prefer to skate to one of the best? Why?
Solo dance has matured me as a skater, whereas it additionally made me really feel comfy in my physique. The Solo Dance group is such an exquisite group of individuals, and everybody help one another it doesn’t matter what occurs.
My favourite model of music contains Latin or hip-hop. Though, I really like skating to the upbeat types of music, I take pleasure in studying all completely different sorts of packages. For instance, this yr I’m attempting one thing fully new that I’ve by no means accomplished earlier than.

Inform us about your coaching website. (Location, amenities, dance mates, lessons, coaches, and so on.)
My head coaches are Kristen Fraser-Lukanin and Igor Lukanin. I practice at Montclair State College Ice Enviornment in Little Falls, New Jersey. The coaching facility is the campus of a school which incorporates tracks, tennis courts, and so on. To start out our morning, now we have a each day edge class and many sorts of off ice lessons day-after-day. The off ice lessons embrace completely different types of dance, conditioning, and stretching.

Who choreographed your packages. What do you want greatest about dancing them? 
Igor Lukanin choreographed my packages for this season. What I really like most about Igor is that the choreography comes pure to him. I study choreography fast which permits us to have extra time to excellent the packages. In my Rhythm Dance, I really like how I’m ready present my ardour for tango. My favourite a part of my free dance is unquestionably my choreo step. I exploit a variety of physique motion that I’ve by no means accomplished earlier than which permits me to indicate everybody what I’m able to performing.  

Solo Dance might be a global self-discipline this season? Share your ideas about this modification. 
I’m so excited solo dance is a global self-discipline this season. All my life, I’ve been ready for at the present time as solo dance has turn into an enormous a part of my skating profession. This was an enormous step ahead, because it reveals everybody that this can be a group now. Solo dance has grown through the years and has made so many modifications to match the dance staff guidelines.

In skating, what are you most wanting ahead to this season? What might be your largest problem(s)? 
This season, I’m wanting ahead to stepping out onto competitors ice and performing one of the best packages attainable. I’ve been coaching exhausting to indicate the completely different types and what I can do. My largest challenges and targets are qualifying for Nationals and inserting.

In the event you may have a lesson with any ice dancer previous/current, who wouldn’t it be? Why?
If I may have a lesson with any ice dancer, it could be Caroline Inexperienced & Michael Parsons or Tessa Advantage & Scott Moir. Each of these groups have distinctive physique actions and expressions, in addition to unbelievable edges and approach.

What are your favourite off-ice actions?
My favourite off-ice actions embrace hanging out with my household and pals. It’s good to take my thoughts off of skating for a day and be round all of the people who I really like.

Please share the rest you prefer to our readers to find out about you as a skater?
I’m endlessly grateful I gave ice dance a strive, as a result of it has introduced me wonderful folks and one of the best skating household I’ve at all times needed. Thanks to Kristen, Igor, and my former coach Andrejs Sitiks who’ve made my dream come true. I might by no means have been the place I’m now with none of them.