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Seven years ago Brophy’s family joined The Carriage Club and she found out about the skating program they offered. And after discovering some of her friends were involved, Brophy wanted to try it out.
“The first thing that caught my attention was just wanting to get involved. All of my friends were doing it there,” Brophy said. “And looking up to the older girls made me realize that it’s actually something you can do with your life and still have a fun time.”
In the beginning, Brophy spent anywhere from three to four days a week at the rink during open skating sessions and group classes. Since she began taking private lessons, that has changed to anywhere from three to six days a week, depending on cheerleading practice, and 5:40 a.m. lessons on Thursdays.
Looking at an old picture of herself, with her private coach in the background, attempting a crossover that is now simple, Brophy can see how much she has improved. She attributes much of that success to her coaches. While Brophy continues to take private lessons where she is one-on-one working with her coaches, the group classes where she is learning with the other ice skaters are where she finds the most enjoyment in the sport.
“Over the years I’ve bonded with all of the girls and the girls that are in the highest level now with me have all worked really hard for this,” Brophy said. “We all pay attention, but it’s time when we can start having fun with it.”
Every year, The Carriage Club hosts their annual Ice Show where all of their skaters participate. This year, Brophy is involved in three group numbers with the highest level of skaters and a solo performance to the song Dancing on the Ceiling by Lionel Richie for the show on Feb. 22. While Brophy enjoys working on the group numbers, her solo is what she is looking forward to the most in this year’s show.
“This year is my first year ever doing a solo in the ice show,” Brophy said. “So I was thrilled that I got the chance to do it.”
Skating has always been something that Brophy has loved and enjoyed from the very beginning, but the support from her family has encouraged her and driven her to do her best. According to Brophy, her parents and older brothers have enjoyed watching her skate from the very beginning.
“[My parents] were definitely very supportive and excited, and they still are,” Brophy said. “[My brothers] love to watch me skate, even though they don’t like to admit it all the time. Stephen will be eating upstairs with his friends and I’ll see him peeking over sometimes to watch.”
The support from her family has helped Brophy take her skating to the next level with competing. In order to advance in competitions, ice skaters have to go through testing with their coaches. Brophy has passed 15 of 22 levels and once she completes the final test she can accomplish her ultimate goal of being certified to teach. The prospect of teaching and helping others learn is what continues to drive Brophy in the sport.
“I’d like to pass my senior testing, so I can make money off of teaching and be able to love it,” Brophy said. “In the show number I work on I help the little kids, and I love doing it so why can’t I earn a living off of it?”
For Brophy, ice skating means the world because of the elegance and uniqueness she feels on the ice. According to Brophy, ice skating has taught her more than how to do an axle or land a double sao kao, it has taught her what it really means to work hard, and love what you do.
“It has taught me that there is always room for improvement and that you can always get better and that hard work really does pay off,” Brophy said. “Just like getting out at competitions and realizing that this is just everything right there in that one moment.”