Dear Skyliners,

We rang in the New Year with the chiming of medals! This past weekend, our Junior and Senior lines earned GOLD representing Team USA at their first international event, the Cup of Berlin! And our team captured seven medals at the Colonial Classic, including three GOLD, three SILVER and one PEWTER! The performances were inspiring!

But that's just the beginning: six of our lines travel to Florida next week for Easterns (Jan 17-20) including Novice, Intermediate, Juvenile, Pre-Juvenile, Preliminary and Pre-Preliminary; our Senior line competes in Salzburg, Austria representing TEAM USA at the Mozart Cup, January 26-27; Intro and Central Park Skyliners Beginner 2 will compete at the SCNY Synchro Invitational at Chelsea Piers NYC on January 28; and the Junior line travels to Rouen representing TEAM USA at the French Cup, February 2-3. An exciting few weeks to come!

This issue of SkyBlast features the tentative 2018-19 tryouts schedule, our latest competition photofest; exhibition information; team round-ups including two special Cup of Berlin diaries from our Junior and Senior lines; and a fantastic Q&A from Central Park Skyliners Coach Alexandria Sais. Go Skyliners!!
Skyliners Junior places 1st in Berlin
Skyliners Senior places 1st in Berlin

For up to date information regarding skater hotels, parent blocks for chaperoned lines (where available), skater flights and competition rinks, please refer to the  Master Travel Chart under Competition Info on the Skyliners website. We will be updating this with Nationals info when we have it.

Final note, please always keep in mind the SKYLINERS HOTEL GUIDELINES  

Check the EASTERNS WEBSITE or NATIONALS WEBSITE for general competition schedules.

SUNDAY, FEB 4, 11:30AM


Save the Weekend: June 23-24, 2018
CP Beginner 2 showing off their PJ donations
Novice shows off their PJ's
A big thank you to all of our Skyliners for their contributions to our Pajama Program Holiday Collection. We were able to collect 279 pairs of new, cozy pajamas for children in need - a new team record! That's what we call teamwork!!
Please mark your calendars for the following dates for Skyliners 2018-19 tryouts at Chelsea Piers, Stamford:

Saturday-Sunday, March 24-25: Senior & Junior tryouts
Saturday-Sunday, April 14-15: Novice & Intermediate tryouts
Saturday, April 21: Juvenile & Pre-Juvenile tryouts
Sunday, April 22: Preliminary, Pre-Preliminary, Beginner & Intro tryouts

Times will be announced closer to the dates. Clinic times are still being finalized.
Central Park Intro

The CP Intro line enjoyed attending the Skyliners Holiday Skating Party at Wollman Rink in Central Park the evening of December 14th, and skating with fellow Skyliners. After the winter vacation, they are ready to get back to practice and continue working on their program in anticipation of performing at their first exhibition at Wollman Rink on Sunday, Feb 4th at 11:30am. Please come cheer them on!
Good Luck to our Intro and Central Park Beginner 2 lines competing at the  SCNY Synchro Classic at Chelsea Piers NYC on January 28!
Central Park Beginner 2

The CP Beginner 2 line has been working hard preparing for the SCNY Synchro Classic later this month at Sky Rink, Chelsea Piers NYC on Jan 28th. They also enjoyed taking part in the Skyliners Pajama Program collection and having fellow Skyliners join them for the Skyliners Holiday Skating Party at Wollman Rink in December.
Good Luck to our Intro, Beginner, Central Park Beginner 2, Pre-Preliminary, Preliminary and Pre-Juvenile lines competing at the  Connecticut Classic in Middletown, CT on February 10-11!

Our Intro girls have had a great month! Lots of practice and a fun holiday party with our Beginner Skyliners sisters! !ntro has been hard at work preparing for their NYC competition on January 28th at Sky Rink. They are looking forward to showing off their progress to their parents and the judges too!

The Beginner line celebrated the holidays together with the Intro line by donating pajamas to the Pajama Program and enjoying cupcakes, treats and lots of Skyliners blue swag. The skaters have been giving their all in practice, and have really come together as a team – both on and off the ice. Beginner started off 2018 earning a Silver medal at Colonials. They had a blast on their overnight trip with a team dinner at The Fix Burger Bar, followed by a pajama party back at the hotel, where they had cookies and milk before bed. Come see the Beginner line skate next at the Rye FSC National Skating Month exhibition on January 27 th  at 1:30pm at Westchester Skating Academy. Go Beginner! Go Skyliners!
Good Luck to our Pre-Preliminary, Preliminary, Pre-Juvenile, Juvenile, Intermediate and Novice lines competing in Fort Myers, FL at the  2018 Easterns Synchronized Skating Championships January 17-20!

Pre-Preliminary had great fun in Worcester. In a field of stiff competition, they earned the 4th place Pewter medal. In the lead-up to their skate, they had many short bus rides with loud cheering (“I’ve got a team that’s hotter than hot!”), several delicious meals out in Worcester in ever-changing combinations of skaters and families (a tribute to how much everyone on our line enjoys everyone’s company), and a few dunks in the steamy hotel pool while it felt like -23 degrees outside. They have a new, stylish side-parted bun and a few new tweaks to their already creative program. They’re hunkering down for the last few practices before Easterns in hopes of their best skate yet. Go Pre-Pre!

Our Preliminary line finished off 2017 strong. We enjoyed a fun-filled holiday season with an exhibition at WSA followed by holiday celebrations and our annual New Year's Eve practice at Monsey. We ROCKED the New Year with another Gold medal at Colonials. We are all looking forward to Easterns and warmer weather so our little Elvises can show off their gold sparkle in the sun!


A crippling winter storm did not prevent the Pre-Juvenile line from getting to the Colonial Classic in time. Most of the line came up a day earlier than planned in order to beat the weather. Many girls took advantage of the extra time together to have fun in the hotel pool. Dining options were limited during the blizzard, but Pre-Juv parents organized a Chinese food feast that fed the multitudes and then some (thanks Meredith, Salina and Tony)! By the time they competed, Pre-Juv was more than ready to maintain its gold streak with a fourth win!

It was an exciting practice at Coach Natalie’s alma mater, Boston University, before Juvie competed at Colonials !! The girls worked so hard to iron out the final details of the program and were rewarded by getting some "downtime" on the ice...and then a Silver medal at the competition!

After escaping the Trap't Escape Room Adventure over break, neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor Bomb Cyclone could keep Intermediate away from the 34th Annual Colonial Classic competition. It might have been very cold outside, but our skating "Morticias" melted the hearts of family and friends who came to cheer them on as they skated their way to earning a Silver medal! Eastern Regionals here we come!

Brrrrr, was it cold outside! But the Novice line stayed warm inside, bonded and had an amazing skate that won them the Gold medal at Colonials! The line headed up to Worcester, MA on Friday morning to practice at the New England Sports Center before a late official practice. Despite the long day, official went well and the girls were excited for the next day. All of Novice’s hard work at winter boot camp paid off and they had a clean, beautiful skate at the DCU Center. While the cold weather and snowstorm didn’t stop the Novice line from shining, the skaters are looking forward to the warm weather in sunny Florida at Easterns.
Good Luck to our Junior line representing
TEAM USA in Rouen at The  French Cup February 2-3!
Virginia (left) at the Berlin Cup; the team celebrates their Gold medal
Junior Team USA - The Berlin Cup Diary
by Virginia Barney

Skyliners Junior kicked off the New Year with our first international of the season. The 2018 Cup of Berlin was a great success for our team! It was amazing to share this experience alongside our Senior line. During the first three days of our trip, we had very successful practices preparing for the competition. After morning practice on Wednesday, we toured the historic city. A highlight for us was going to the East Side Gallery and being able to touch sections of the Berlin Wall. We also had the opportunity to walk around and see the Brandenburg Gate. After learning about these places in history class, it was really interesting to see it in real life. Finally, it was competition time! Feeling prepared with our hard work, we were excited to head into the international arena. Friday morning, we had a very solid official practice and delivered at the competition, earning a score of 64.06. Feeling confident after our performance in the short, we were determined to maintain our first place position with a strong skate in the long. Starting our day early on Saturday, we headed into official with the same drive as the day before. That night, we delivered a solid program earning 101.67 points. We are proud to have represented our country and to have skated two solid, clean programs not only for Skyliners, but also the United States. As Josh said, we still have a lot of work to do to continue to improve and grow our programs; however, skating two good performances at our first international assignment of the season is something we are proud of. We are eager to get back to the ice and work hard as we prepare for French Cup in just three weeks. We hope to improve on our scores and continue to make a strong impression on the international judges! What a great start to our international season! GO SKYLINERS! GO USA!
Good Luck to our Senior line representing
TEAM USA in Salzburg, Austria at the 
Mozart Cup January 26-27!
Senior Team USA - The Berlin Cup Diary
by Kristen Lewis

Last week, Senior was fortunate enough to compete at the Cup of Berlin! Following a week of winter boot camp which left us tired, but very prepared, we left for Germany on New Year’s Day. After arriving in Berlin on Tuesday morning, we spent the next three days practicing and perfecting our two programs for the competition. On Wednesday, we took a bus tour through both historic and modern Berlin, including a quick stop at the largest remaining portion of the Berlin Wall. This was definitely one of my favorite parts of the trip because of the intricate and meaningful paintings that covered the wall. We were also able to walk around in the city and visit a gift shop to bring home some souvenirs for our families and friends. On Friday, we competed our short program. Our team has been working incredibly hard on not only the technical aspects of our skating, but also the emotional components of our programs. Especially in our short program, we focused on incorporating body movement, expression, and passion into our performance. Each time we skate, we like to remind ourselves what made us fall in love with this sport, which helps us connect with the program and bring the audience and judges on an emotional journey with us. Thankfully, all of our hard work paid off and we were able to earn a 67.14 - our season’s best - which landed us in 1st place. The next day, we transitioned to our long program and channeled our inner Cleopatras. We skated our long with conviction and power, and were very pleased with our performance that earned us a 113.6, another season’s best. We claimed the title of Cup of Berlin Senior Champions with a combined score of 180.74. Although we experienced some difficulty with a stomach bug and a delayed flight home, our trip to Germany was extremely exciting and a great kickoff to our international season. We cannot wait for our next competition in Salzburg, Austria at the end of this month!
Coach Alexandria Sais started with Skyliners in 2010 as a skater on the Intermediate line, continued on the Skyliners Team USA Junior line from 2011-2013, and then the Team USA Senior line from 2013-14. She is now the Central Park Skyliners Intro and Beginner 2 Head Coach.
When did you start skating?

I started skating when I was four years old following the 1998 Olympics. My mother, Jen Sais (Skyliners General Team Manager), and her friends decided to sign all of their daughters up for group lessons thinking it would be a fun activity for us to do together. Little did I know, 20 years later, skating would be such a large part of my life.

How did you get involved in synchro?

In 2007, when I was 14 years old, my freestyle coach, Linda Beach, thought that synchronized figure skating would be a great opportunity for me to develop my skating skills. Prior to this, I had been a competitive freestyle skater and had never had experience skating with a group. Friends of mine had joined a local synchronized skating team and my family and Linda agreed that it would be a good first experience in the sport. 

Talk about your synchro experience: which teams (including Skyliners), what levels, what were the highlights for you?

In 2007, I joined the Freeport Ice Devils and competed as Open Juvenile for one year. Following that year, my home rink decided to put together their own synchro team called the Iceworks Icebreakers. I competed with them for two years as Open Juvenile and there fell in love with synchronized figure skating. With my senior year of high school approaching, I decided to try out for Skyliners in 2010 in hopes of making a more competitive team that would prepare me for skating on a team in college. 

For the 2010-2011 season, I was thrilled to be a member on the new Skyliners Intermediate line. We skated to a “Glee” medley and had a great season winning Easterns and placing 2 nd  at the U.S. Synchro Nationals. To say I was hooked would be an understatement. After looking at numerous colleges that had skating programs, I decided that I would stay home for college in hopes of making the Junior line for Skyliners. I remember when I walked into my first Skyliners tryouts and saw those Team USA jackets. I knew that I needed one and I did everything that year to prepare myself. 

In 2011, I was honored to be selected as a member of the Skyliners Junior line that had been representing Team USA for several years. We competed internationally at the 2012 French Cup, held in Rouen, France, where we placed 4 th . In February of 2012, I experienced my first Junior World Qualifier at the Colonials Classic competition in Massachusetts. After finishing the short program in 3 rd  place, we knew that we had a lot to prove if we wanted to be selected for the World Team. The next day we went into our “Black Swan” long program with nothing to lose and it was and will continue to be one of the most memorable experiences of my life. We ended up winning the long program with a standing ovation and placing 1 st  overall, making the 2012 Junior World Team. I remember sitting in the locker room waiting for the results with all of us crying and holding each other nervously. When Josh walked into that room and told us the results, we lost control and I have never experienced another moment like it. That next month, we placed 2 nd  at the 2012 U.S. Synchro Nationals, and traveled to Gothenburg, Sweden two weeks later for the Junior World Challenge Cup, where we placed 5 th

With my first year of Junior behind me, I was honored to have a second year as a member on the 2012-2013 Skyliners Junior line. This year was once again extremely memorable with competing at the 2013 French Cup, placing 4 th , and placing 2 nd  at the 2013 U.S. Synchro Nationals. That year was a historic one for the Junior division as it was the first-ever ISU World Junior Synchronized Skating Championship. I was thrilled to be a part of this in Helsinki, Finland, and we ended up placing 7 th .

With two years of Junior behind me, I was looking forward to trying out for the Senior line as I entered my third year of college at Adelphi University. It was a new experience for me as I learned new skills and gained new teammates from all over the country. That year, the team competed in Gothenburg, Sweden, but unfortunately due to an injury, I was unable to travel and compete overseas. Not being able to be a part of that experience was very upsetting, but I was happy to support my teammates. I was able to compete at the U.S Synchro Nationals four weeks later after surgery, where we placed 5 th .
Coach Alexandria Sais
First competition ever, 1998
Freestyle competition, 2003
Alexandria with longtime coach, Linda Beach
Skyliners Intermediate 2011, Easterns
The "Black Swan" program, Junior 2012
At the French Cup with Skyliners Junior Team USA, 2013
Were you involved in other extracurricular activities while you were skating? If so, how did you juggle those responsibilities?

Figure skating has taught me all about time management and organizational skills that have allowed me to participate in various activities, while maintaining good grades and numerous jobs. Since I was 16 years old, I have taught group lessons and private lessons at several rinks on Long Island. I was blessed to have amazing coaches that inspired me to not only become a better skater, but a better person, and this is something that I try to instill in my students. Along with coaching, I worked hard at maintaining my grades at Adelphi University, where I graduated in 2015 with a 4.0, Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelors in Exercise Science .
Did you skate all four years of college?

For the first two years of my undergraduate studies, I was a member of the Skyliners Junior line and for my third year of undergraduate, I was a member of the Skyliners Senior Line. With my senior year of college approaching, I decided to leave competitive skating and focus on my studies, with graduate school on the horizon. Later that spring, Coach Josh Babb offered me a job as a coach of the Central Park Skyliners, a new program that would be held at Wollman Rink in Central Park. I was thrilled with the opportunity to stay involved with Skyliners, an organization that has been so important in my development as both a skater and a person. We are currently in our 4 th  season at Wollman Rink and I’m grateful to be a part of this program. Over the past four years, Central Park Skyliners has grown and expanded to a roster of 30 skaters on our two lines.

How would you describe your coaching style?

I’ve been lucky to have been coached by talented and inspiring individuals who have led me to have such a successful career with skating, including representing Team USA for three years. I believe that my coaching style is a combination of all my coaches and what I believe worked best for me when I was a competitive athlete. One of my main goals when I coach is to make skating fun and be the activity that they really look forward to. Coaching skating is so much more than just coaching the skills and moves, it’s teaching the kids valuable life lessons that you hope they will carry over into their lives outside of the sport. I hope that my work ethic, determination and passion for the sport are instilled in my skaters. 

Since college, what else have you been doing?

After graduation, I began at New York Institute of Technology to receive my Doctorate in Physical Therapy and will be graduating in May 2018. Over the past three years, I have fallen more in love with pediatrics and I hope to work with children, while specializing in neurogical impairments. I'm planning on applying for a position as a Team USA physical therapist with U.S. Figure Skating. I believe that my experiences as a skater will allow me to relate to the athletes I treat.
Sais Family - left to right: Erica, Alexandria, Jennifer, Richard and Olivia
What are the biggest challenges in coaching for you?

I believe that my biggest challenge in coaching is not being able to control the outcome of a program. As a competitive skater, I was in control of my performance while on the ice. Being a coach and watching from the sidelines is one of the most stressful experiences I have ever faced. I have to trust that I have prepared them with the skills and confidence to go out and skate their very best. At competitions, you can see me pretending to skate from the sidelines. Just ask my students. I now know how it feels to be Josh Babb, but on a beginner synchro level.

What is the most rewarding thing about coaching? 

Of course, seeing the progression in skills and their program over the season is very rewarding. But the most rewarding moments often happen off ice. One of those moments was when a little girl told me that when she grows up, she wants to be a coach just like me. It motivates me as coach to know that I can inspire and influence their passions towards skating.

What kinds of things do you tell the skaters to prepare them for competition?

I believe that it’s important to continuously remind them that no matter what happens, that they just enjoy every single moment of it and have fun with the program. They fell in love with the sport because it was enjoyable to them and that should not be forgotten whether they are a beginner level skater or a senior level skater. As long as they go out there and compete their very best, I will always be proud and happy for them no matter what the results are.

What are some things that people might be surprised to learn about you? 

I have two younger sisters, Olivia and Erica, who are currently attending University of Geneseo and University of Notre Dame. I am currently training for the Long Island Half Marathon and currently regretting it. My dad is an avid runner and three-time Ironman and thought this would be a fun activity to do together. 

And my mom is Jen Sais, for those who don't know. I would not be where I am today without her love and support. I would not have been as successful in my skating career and life outside of skating without everything that she has done for me. I'm blessed that I have been lucky enough to have shared this journey with my mom, and that I get to work with her by my side.
Anything else you'd like to add?

I’m extremely privileged to continue to be a part of this organization that inspired me as a competitive athlete. I’m happy to be able to give back to the sport I love.
Alexandria with her sisters, Erica (left) and Olivia (middle)
At French Cup, 2013
Skyliners Junior performing in Rockefeller Center in 2012 on the Today Show
Today Show hosts Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford love Skyliners!
Dig up your SkyBlast from the Past pics and send them here for the next edition...
17 Years of Skyliners
Skyliners was established in 2001 by a group of parents who wanted to create the most competitive synchronized skating club in the tri-state area. In that first year, the team had three lines - Preliminary, Juvenile and Intermediate. Seventeen years later, Skyliners has grown into one of the top synchronized skating teams in the country, now 12 lines and 230+ skaters strong. While the majority of the skaters reside in the tri-state area, we also have skaters from Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. Our resume of achievements includes 21 Eastern championships, 10 National championships, 8 International gold medals...and 10 years designated TEAM USA.  
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