Sara Swanson

Manchester skater Isabella Alexis to skate in U.S. Figure Skating National Championships

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Isabella Alexis and her partner Ethane Alday to skate in US Nationals in ice dance. Photo courtesy of Paul Alday.

Since the age of 4, Manchester resident Isabella Alexis has been preparing for the opportunity to skate at the U.S. Figure Skating National Championships; this year as she and her partner Ethan Alday step onto that ice, she’ll be making that dream a reality.

Isabella Alexis, a sophomore at Dexter High School, will be representing the state of Michigan with Ethan in Intermediate Ice Dance at the 2018 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Dec. 29, 2017 – Jan. 7, 2018, in San Jose, California. Ethan and Isabella qualified for the National Championships at the Pacific Coast Sectionals competition in Spokane, Washington this past November. To qualify for the championships, skaters must place within the top four on the podium in one of three sectional tournaments. Coached by national senior ice dancers Charlotte Maxwell and Ryan Devereaux, Isabella and Ethan placed fourth in the largest sectional, ranking them as one of the top 12 Intermediate Ice dance Pairs in the nation.

For Isabella, the ice path began while watching TV at the age of 4 when she was inspired by the dance teams of Tanith Belbin & Ben Agusto and Meryl Davis & Charlie White. She first took the ice at the Arctic Coliseum Arena in Chelsea, where coach Meredith Longoria encouraged her to consider ice competition. As a champion with the Michigan Basic Series, she soon met, Ethan, her future ice dance partner, at the Jackson Optimist Basic Skills Competition in 2009, where they continued to place back-to back in several events for several seasons before becoming partners.

Training separately, Isabella at the Arctic Edge Arena in Canton and Ethan at the Detroit Skate Club, their paths crossed many times. In fall of 2012, they considered skating together, but were not a considered a good match at that time. From here, their paths diverged until in 2015, while they were both training at the Brownstown Sportsplex outside of Detroit, coach Gary Clark suggested they consider testing together for ice dance. They then began training together as an ice dance team in Canton.

This season the pair has advanced as skaters through competitions in close to home in Novi as well as Baltimore, Maryland, and Chicago, leading up to their national qualification at the Spokane sectional tournament. Intermediate Ice Dance is a particularly challenging field this year with several of the other teams having completed within the division at previous nationals.

When not skating, Isabella is interested in barrel racing and dirt biking and is interested in studying fitness and medicine.

This will be Ethan and Isabella’s first trip to the US Nationals.

Photo from their qualifying sectional in Spokane, Washington. Photo courtesy of Paul Alday.

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