Header photo by Robin Ritoss
While many skaters are still deciding whether they will compete this season or are still in the process of getting their programs choreographed, Amber Glenn has already skated her programs in front of judges–not once, but three times.
The 18-year-old has already kicked off her 2018-19 season with three club competitions in April, May and June. She recently talked about the significance of her early start to the new season with Figure Skaters Online.
Figure Skaters Online (FSO): What are your thoughts on your performances during the 2017-2018 season? What were you most proud of? What were some of your challenges?
(AG): Last year was definitely a struggle for me. It was nice to go out on my first (senior) Grand Prix–Cup of China. What I’m most proud of is after that (finishing in 10th place) that I was able to go home and get myself back together for Nationals (finished eighth for the second consecutive season).
FSO: Speaking of Cup of China, the event didn’t go as you had hoped, but what was it like to have the experience of competing at your first senior Grand Prix?
AG: It was absolutely incredible. I was out there with some people I have been watching on TV for years. To be on the ice with now Olympic champion Alina Zagitova was just incredible. It was really inspiring because it changed my perspective of what I want to do with my career.
FSO: Moving on to the new season–what is your short program?
AG: My short program is a lyrical, powerful piece that I really, really connect with it. I wish I had it for last year because it would been perfect for how I felt. I absolutely adore it. It is “Gravity” by Sara Bareilles. It was choreographed by Daniil Barantsev.
FSO: And what is your free skate?
AG: My free skate is “Bang Bang” (My Baby Shot Me Down) by Lady Gaga. It is very sharp. I feel like there is a character to it that I really relate to and I really feel it, but it is also calming at the same time for me to skate to. It was also choreographed by Daniil Barantsev.
FSO: You have already gotten quite the start to your season. You competed at Skate Dallas (SP only), Houston Memorial Trophy and Skate Austin. Why did you decide to get out so early and compete?
🖤Skate Dallas 2018🖤 pic.twitter.com/pBvfeUQeYA
— Amber Glenn (@AmberGlenn_) May 10, 2018
AG: It is kind of the opposite of what I did last year. Last year I definitely started late. The only non-international that I did was Nationals (laughs). So it is kind of the opposite of that. I’m starting off with these small competitions to just get the judges’ opinions on what they like, how I feel with the program under pressure–just get that all worked out before the international season comes.
FSO: Have you been pleased with your performances so far?
AG: Very much so. At Skate Memorial, I got my highest score [193.52 total] so far. That was good. I also forgot how much I missed doing these small events with all these local kids. Getting to be a role model for them was really cool.
FSO: What are your goals for training this summer, on the technical side (jumps, new spins, etc.) as well as program component aspects?
AG: Technical side, this year, I’m doing (triple) flip-(triple) toe and (double) Axel-half loop-(triple) Salchow. This is the first time that I’m doing this tough Salchow that has really only become a big thing in the last few years. (laughs) I’m definitely training that. I’m doing two Lutzes. I have been definitely working on consistency, consistency, consistency–in my life, in my schedule, in my jumps and in my spins. My big goal this year is definitely consistency!
FSO: How are you working toward improving your consistency?
AG: I definitely had a program change, like I made sure my programs this year that I felt relaxed and comfortable with them, and not stressed. I have been really focusing on my overall fitness so there is no change in that. So that hasn’t fluctuated at all. I have been doing drills on the ice to work on my jumps. I have been doing programs and then still skating around, doing jumps and spins afterwards. Doing the same thing every day.
FSO: Any other club competitions planned?
AG: I’m doing Skate Detroit [July 19-21], which I’m looking forward to.
FSO: What are some of your goals for this season?
AG: I want to do a competition like what I do every day. I want to be able to let go, perform, get my jumps down and feel good about my performance when I get off the ice.
FSO: Any fun plans for the summer?
AG: Skate Detroit (laughs). Not that much. You know I have Jimmy Ma back here in Dallas and he wasn’t here last summer. He was only here in the fall. So it has been really nice to have him–he is one of my best friends. Having Ashley (Cain), having Tim (LeDuc), having Brooklee (Han)…
FSO: Talk about your training mates. What is it like to work with them? You all seem like quite a tight-knit group.
AG: It’s been really nice. We are all a wide range of personalities, but we all mash together so well. You know there is Jimmy, who is more on the outgoing side and kind of says what is on his mind. Then there is Tim D. (Dolensky) who is more of the conservative and very relaxed type of guy. Then of course, there is Ashley and Timothy who are just really excited and happy. Brooklee–she holds us all together, really. She keeps us grounded, which is great. It has been really nice. We all mesh together really well. We all go to the same trainer. We all do everyday things together, but we don’t get sick of each other, which is nice.
FSO: Finally, how is school going?
AG: I graduated from high school this year and I’ll be doing online courses at a local college.