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Benjamin’s Very Own Ice Princess

Emilie+Dubiel+performs+to+the+song+%22The+Man+with+the+Bag%22+during+the+holiday+show+at+Palm+Beach+Ice+Works+on+December+2.
Emilie Dubiel performs to the song

Emilie Dubiel performs to the song "The Man with the Bag" during the holiday show at Palm Beach Ice Works on December 2.

Photos courtesy of Palm Beach Ice Works video

Photos courtesy of Palm Beach Ice Works video

Emilie Dubiel performs to the song "The Man with the Bag" during the holiday show at Palm Beach Ice Works on December 2.

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Dreams need to start somewhere. For sixth grader Emilie Dubiel, her dream started with a Disney movie.

“The movie Ice Princess inspired me,” said Dubiel, referring to the movie from the Mouse House about a nerdy bookworm who follows her dream to become a skating champion. “I wanted to try skating after I watched that movie many times. I used to roller skate around my house when I was seven, and my mom took me to a rink to see if I liked it.”

For the past four years, Dubiel has been taking ice skating lessons six days a week at Palm Beach Ice Works and competing in tournaments six to nine times a year.

“I usually go to skating right after school,” explained Dubiel. “By the time I get home and eat dinner, I usually start my homework around 7:15 and finish around 8:30/8:45. I do it all then, so that way I can [relax for] the rest of the night.”

Even though we live in Florida, Dubiel, who was born in New England, explained that there is not much difference between the rinks in the Sunshine State and those found in colder climates..

“I guess the only change is the [amount of] rinks. Because we live in a southern state, there are definitely not as many rinks as places up north. Down here you have to travel farther to find a good rink, but the rink I skate in is only 25 minutes away. If I lived somewhere with snow, I could also practice whenever I wanted to on a pond.”

It’s not just up to Dubiel, though, to keep improving and prepare herself for competitions.

Photo courtesy of Palm Beach Ice Works video
Dubiel says that rollerskating and rollerblading helped her with the sport of ice skating.

“I have two main Russian coaches, Sergey Petrovskiy and Olga Volozhinskaya. Both of my coaches were on “Disney on Ice” for many years. They moved here from Detroit, Michigan about two years ago. Olga travels around the world to choreograph programs for skaters and makes my programs perfect for competitions. Sergey focuses on jumps with me, and he pushes me to make everything better, and they don’t sugarcoat things, which makes me work harder. ”

Like any serious skater, Dubiel has both short-term and long-term goals. “Some goals that I have are landing new jumps and winning more competitions,” she said. “Another one of my goals is to compete in Junior Worlds when I am at that level. Junior Worlds is pretty like the figure skating World Championships, but a level down. I would also like to be on team USA for figure skating. I want to skate through middle and high school and most likely in college. I think about becoming a skating coach when I grow up [too].”

In addition, , Dubiel has learned more from her training than just how to skate.

“[This has taught me] how to manage my time better because skating is such a time-consuming commitment. I have met many people from different countries and I have learned about other countries and places besides the United States. I have learned how things that you really want take a lot of hard work.”

Although Dubiel has been skating for a long time, she says that the sports she played beforehand helped her transition to the sport.
“I did some gymnastics. I also rollerbladed. I think that the dance and gymnastics helped a lot with flexibility and a little bit of balance. The roller skating definitely gave me the feeling of skates.”

In terms of skaters whom Dubiel admires, young Russian Liza Nugumanova is at the top of the list, and is a skater Dubiel aspires to be like. “[Although Nugumanova] is only 14, she has all of her triple jumps and competes in Junior World Championships.”

Despite the fact that Dubiel has already won multiple tournaments, she says that her proudest moment was last September. “After not a very good season competition wise, I skated really well in my final competition of the year in Sarasota, Florida. I won first place in that competition, and it was a [great] way to end the season.”

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Benjamin’s Very Own Ice Princess