- Parma City School District
Valley Forge senior earns recognition from U.S. Figure Skating
March 9, 2020
Julia Ventura has been ice skating for pretty much as long as she can remember.
“I was four years old when I started,” she shared. “My older sister skated, so I got into it when she was doing it. My sister and I always did it together. My mom skated, too, when she was younger.”
With almost 15 years of practice, this senior at Valley Forge High School recently achieved recognition by U.S. Figure Skating.
Ventura successfully completed the requirements of the senior moves in the field test.
According to U.S. Figure Skating, “moves in the field elements consist of different skating steps and footwork sequences skated in prescribed patterns without music. The senior moves-in-the-field test is comprised of five required elements which must be performed by the skater with excellent power, strong edge control and depth, extension, and precise footwork control.”
The senior moves in the field test is the highest level that a skater can achieve in the U.S. Figure Skating moves in the field testing structure. In 2018, only 62% of those who took the test in the United States passed. In November 2019, Ventura passed on the first try.
“It was such an accomplishment to pass on the first try,” she expressed. “That was always my goal, to get recognition on the gold test for move in the field. I pushed myself and worked so hard to get it!”
She explained that moves-in-the-field is a lot of edge work and evaluates a skater’s different motions across the ice.
“It took a lot of practice,” Ventura shared. “It took about eight months to master it. It’s really important to have good edges because you can always incorporate that into free skate.”
She said she is still working on her jumps and spins, sharing that she is testing at the intermediate level soon in free skate. The next levels after intermediate are novice, junior and senior.
“That’s my next goal, to get as high as I can to have that recognition in free skate,” she expressed. “It’s a lot harder as you move up with more difficult jumps and spins and not falling. I keep working on my jumps and try to rotate more to get those down.”
Right now, Ventura said she has a single axel, double loop and double Salchow, which is her favorite jump to do. For the senior free skate test, the highest jump a skater needs is a double axel, as well as have combination jumps. The test also includes different levels and variations of spins.
Ventura competes individually as well as in groups, and has even competed in a national competition for theatrical group skating. She skates all year round and has grown to love the sport.
“I like how it’s different,” she expressed. “Not a lot of people do it, but I just got really into it. You can still compete and still be groups, like ice shows. I really get to express myself, because it’s like dancing on ice, basically. It’s really fun to show what you can do individually, but also be with a group skating together.”
While Ventura will be heading off to college next year, most likely attending Notre Dame College of Ohio, she still plans to keep skating and would love to coach after college.
“I do ‘Learn To Skate’ coaching already, but I would love to be an individual coach, like my coach is to me,” she shared. “I want to be able to teach people what I have learned. That’s why is important to get as far as I can in the U.S. Figure Skating tests because it’s good recognition and qualifications to be a coach.”
Ventura is currently in the Cosmetology Career and Technical Education program as well as a football and basketball cheerleader at Valley Forge. She is undecided as to what she might study in college, she is thinking about a career in education.
“In English class we had to write an essay about what makes us who we are, and I wrote about skating,” she shared. “I’m really proud of what I have accomplished and I want to keep going.”
PHOTO CAPTION: Valley Forge senior Julia Ventura has a passion for figure skating, and recently was recognized by U.S. Figure Skating during a skills test.