By: Kelsey Helwig
Saint Louis Synergy, of Webster Groves Missouri, has made their presence known in the synchronized skating world in the past few years. On top of adding a new junior team this season, Saint Louis Synergy had three teams qualify for UFSF Nationals this year. This organization has made it clear to the synchro world and their competitors that their organization is a force to be reckoned with and here to stay.
Five years ago, Saint Louis Synergy was a synchronized skating organization that mainly competed in ISI competitions. Often dominating the podium, all of their teams went to ISI Synchronized Skating Nationals in the 2010-2011 season and took podium placements.
It was in this year that Saint Louis Synergy made a goal for themselves to work towards fielding a competitive junior team. In this past season, the organization finally accomplished this goal.
However, it’s not just setting goals and dominating the podium that sets this organization apart from others. Saint Louis Synergy strives to be as competitive as possible, while creating teams of girls who are well-rounded in the sport and in life.
Laura Arnold, who has been President of the Board of Metro Edge Figure Skating and Saint Louis Synergy for the past three years, believes this organization would not be as successful today without the wonderful coaches. “We have benefited greatly from the talents of our coaches.” She said, “We have been so lucky to have stability within our coaching staff.”
This stability even goes beyond the coaching staff. Many teams have the same skaters through out the years who often move up levels together as a team. “Skaters learn to skate and grow together. It helps team chemistry,” Laura adds, “it also helps skaters learn to work together for a common goal.”
That common goal, switching to a competitive USFS team while maintaining the organizations core qualities, is something Synergy is proud of.
Laura, whose daughter started skating on Synergy seven years ago, believes the standard of excellence former skaters set for the current skaters, helps team members understand what it takes to be successful. Many of the former skaters were the ones who pressed skaters to push themselves to form the junior team.
“Our transition from ISI to USFS has been focused on making steady progress in developing skaters with increased skills.” Laura explains “But as an organization, we are working hard to continue to develop the skills of our skaters, and enhance our artistry.”
While working on the individual skills and fundamentals that make a competitive team, Saint Louis Synergy does not forget their core value system. Based off their symbol, a Compass Rose with a “S” in the middle, the organization focuses on success off the ice as well as on. The Compass Rose has four points, standing for sportsmanship, scholarship, service and skills.
“The Compass Rose reminds us that our skaters are more than just competitors on the ice.” Laura explains, “We want to encourage their development as students, as people and as members of their community.”
The Compass Rose and Big “S” program give skaters opportunities to volunteer, develop personal values and leadership skills and give back in their community. While on the road, the teams emphasize the importance of schoolwork by providing study hall for their team members. In addition, annually the skaters participate in food drives and school supplies drives.
“For most of our skaters, competitive skating lasts only for a short time in their life.” says Laura, “The lessons about hard work, commitment to others, and teamwork will serve them throughout their entire lives.”
As an organization, Synergy awards their skaters at the annual gala who have reflected each of the values best on the four points of the compass rose.
Saint Louis Synergy has grown to be a competitive organization in the synchronized skating world. With a combination of hard work, dedication and focus on core values the organization sees no boundaries to their success. After an exciting and successful season, the synchronized skating world can’t wait to see what Saint Louis Synergy has to offer.