Ilana Sedaka, a freshman at Great Neck North High School, has a passion for ice skating. And her passion for ice skating isn’t just a hobby, but a superb talent that has recently brought her to the championships in Lansing, MI, where she won the bronze national medal.
“She is currently a novice freestyle skater as well as a gold pattern and junior level solo ice dancer,” said her mother, Traci Sedaka. “She has competed in the National Solo Ice Dance series for the last five years and this is her third time earning a national medal.” So, it should come as no surprise that the young and talented Ilana was placed into the championships, for she is already quite familiar with winning on a national level.
According to Traci, Ilana was placed into the championships by first competing in the 2015 Solo Dance Competition Series, which ran from Feb. 1 to Aug. 16. More than 500 skaters were part of the series and competed at 37 competitions in order to earn points (they earn these points based upon placement) in hopes of being approved for a position in the finals for the National Solo Dance Series Final competition.
The best six skaters from each of the three regions of the country—Eastern, Midwest and Pacific—from each level in the series were awarded the opportunity to skate and compete in the championships in Lansing from Sept. 23 to Sept. 26.
Ilana placed first in the Eastern region for gold pattern dances, which bought the skater a ticket to the finals. According to Traci, there were a total of 233 skaters from all over the nation that made it to the championships.
Traci said that in the finals, Ilana placed first in both the Westminster Waltz and Argentine Tango in the beginning rounds of the competition. In the very last round, even though three out of the seven judges had placed her in first, she achieved the bronze national medal for the Quickstep.
According to her mother, Ilana is a hard-working freshman at Great Neck North High School. She began skating for leisure at the young age of six. This hobby then emerged into a passion and talent, and so she began taking private lessons. Traci said that Ilana trains at Eisenhower Park in the new Twin Rinks Ice Center, as well as in multiple ice rinks in New Jersey. She regularly practices at the Great Neck Park District rink, which is where she initially discovered her love for ice skating.
“My skating successes are really due to a group effort,” said Ilana. “My coaches, past and present, are a key component. My family all sacrifices in order for me to spend time at the rink. There is a lot of driving involved and time invested. My brothers are my best supporters. I have a lot to be thankful for!”