ICE PRINCESS: Taylor Dean, who is aiming to be chosen for the 2018 Winter Olympics.
ICE PRINCESS: Taylor Dean, who is aiming to be chosen for the 2018 Winter Olympics. Contributed

Taylor tackles WinterSun on way to higher honours

TAYLOR Dean has represented Australia in many ice skating events, performed as Tinker Bell in Disney on Ice and toured with "waltz king" Andre Rieu.

Not bad for a teenager whose first experience of ice skating left her hating the sport.

"During one summer holidays, my dad had a week off and didn't know what to do, so he took me to the local ice skating rink." Taylor, 17, said.

"I can remember that I really hated it."

It wasn't until a trip to New York, where she was able to swirl away on the world famous ice rink at Rockefeller Centre, that her attitude to skating changed dramatically. When she returned home, Taylor, then seven, signed up for ice skating lessons.

Almost 10 years later, the former St Peter's Lutheran College student has become one of the top-ranked skaters in Australia.

She scored silver at this year's prestigious Skate Dallas competition in Texas, US.

The contest, held in April, attracted more than 1000 skaters - with Taylor as the sole Australian representative. Home again, The Forest Lake teen is working hard to prepare for a major selection event in Brisbane next month.

The annual interstate ice skating competition, WinterSun, is where skaters can establish their national ranking, which will then be used for international selection.

Taylor, who is no stranger to the event held this year at Acacia Ridge, said she looked forward to showing judges what she was capable of.

"It can be nerve-racking, as there is more riding on this event than a regular competition," she said.

"But each time I try to prepare myself well, so I don't have so much to be nervous about."

Taylor said her long-term goal was to qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, and was looking to earn selection to the World Championships next year.

Get started in ice skating

  • An optimal age to start is between six to seven years old.
  • A pair of skates range in price from $120-$800
  • Private lessons generally start at $35 for 30mins
  • For more information visit phillidabarden.weebly.com


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