Yuliya Dadayeva Skates Circles Around COVID

Dadayeva practicing figure skating at the rink. Photo courtesy of Yuliya Dadayeva.

The art of skating dates all the way back to the prehistoric era. Over time, the sport has evolved and even been showcased for worldwide competitions such as the Winter Olympics. The beauty of figure skating is that it creates an opportunity for people to make friends, express themselves and potentially find a new passion.

Figure skating is a physically demanding sport that requires countless hours of practice. However, COVID-19, as with so many other endeavors, has limited the opportunities for skating. Many rinks locally and around the world have been closed for months, and even though they are now open, many skaters have to regain their feel on the ice. 

Dadayeva looks onto the skating rink. Photo courtesy of  Dadayeva.

“I was not able to skate from March to August because of the skating rink being closed and having so many new rules,” says Woodson junior Yuliya Dadayeva on the limitations set in the Fairfax Ice Arena. “It was hard remembering all of the moves and it brought me down a level which was very disappointing.” 

Dadayeva has been skating for five years. She knows that like every sport, adversity is bound to occur, which is why perseverance is key. Despite several rules established because of the virus, Dadayeva still took to the ice when she could. After lots of practicing, she says she is now “way better than before.” Getting all the practice possible is a testament to the dedication to one’s craft in the art of figure skating.

Every athlete experiences a certain moment that ignites a passion for a sport, whether it be trying to find new friends, develop leadership qualities or simply wanting to try something new. For the Woodson junior, it was “seeing all of these girls on the Olympics.” Dadayeva says, “I’ve always thought it was a beautiful sport, and I feel like I can express myself while skating.” The beauty of figure skating is that skaters can build friendships as well as be the missing piece someone has been looking for.