The Capitol Steps Synchronized Skating Team represents the greater metropolitan Washington DC area. For the 2012-2013 season, there are seven lines: Beginner 1 and 2, Pre-Juvenile, Juvenile, Intermediate, Junior and Open Adult. The teams practice mainly at the Kettler Capitals IcePlex in Arlington, VA and Cabin John Ice Rink in Rockville, MD. They represent the Washington Figure Skating Club, the largest club in the nation.
This season’s busy skating schedule has teams competing at Terry Conners, Colonials, the Junior World Qualifier at Mid-Americas, Easterns, Reflections Invitational and (potentially) Nationals. Exhibitions include Ice Champions Live!, the Capitol Critique, the opening of the Reston Town Center Ice Rink, the Kettler Holiday Show, Area Send-offs and the Annual Spring Show. Also, the team proudly participated in the Light the Night Walk for Leukemia and Lymphoma in October.
The Capitol Steps were founded in 1981 as the Fairfax Follies by Coach Renate Gilroy. They skated at the Fairfax Ice Arena for the Skating Club of Virginia and achieved early success in the sport of Precision Skating. In 1986 the team was renamed the Eisettes and continued to place regionally and nationally. In 1989, the Eisettes Novice team represented the US in the first International Precision Skating Competitions in Sweden and Finland placing 3rd and 4th. By 1993, as the team was drawing skaters from all over the DC area, they changed their name to the Capitol Steps to present a new, more encompassing image.
The Capitol Steps have continued to medal in Local, Regional, and Sectional competitions for many years. They have fielded teams in every division ranging from Beginner to Junior and now Open Adult. They have twice been the Eastern Sectional Champions in Open Junior. In 2009 and 2010, the Juvenile Team advanced to the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships. In 2011, the Novice Team advanced to Nationals. Today, skaters travel from as far as 2 hours away to practice with the team, a testament to the growth and continued strength of the organization.
A high percentage of teammates have gone on to skate synchro in college at Miami University of Ohio, U of Delaware, U of Michigan, Western Michigan, Notre Dame, Adrian College and many more. Some team members have moved out of the area and have joined powerhouse teams in other regions of the country. There are even several of the coaches who were former Capitol Steps skaters. Their motto is that any member of the Capitol Steps always remains a member of the team’s family and is cheered on by the skating organization whenever possible.
A particular honor the Capitol Steps has enjoyed is being invited for four consecutive years by Michael Weiss, former US, World and Olympic Champion, to perform in his annual fundraising show, Ice Champions Live! This huge honor has allowed the Intermediate, Novice and Junior teams to perform alongside former champions such as Brian Boitano, Ilia Kulik, Todd Elderidge, John and Sinead Kerr, Ashley Wagner and many more former and future stars. The challenges of skating in a show under spotlights and with on-ice seating have given the skaters the chance to experience synchro in a very different, exciting way. It has also allowed the Capitol Steps to showcase the sport to many new fans of all ages and encourage its growth in the skating world.
The coaching staff includes Susan Petruccelli (since 1996), Monica Schultz (since 1998), Chrissy O’Connor (since 2006), Kelly Garrity (since 2008), Katrina Shalin, Alison Spurlock and Deanna Jensen. Each brings their own competitive experience and a wide breath of personal success from synchro and ice-dance. Together, the coaches and consultants cross-work with all the teams, on and off the ice, in choreography, practices, warm-ups, ballet, power stroking, and team building. The Capitol Steps are proud of the dedication and commitment of the professionals to the skating success of the organization.
For more information, please visit the Capitol Steps at www.capitol-steps.org. Inquiries into future seasons are always welcome as the team continues to grow and expand.