by Anne Calder
Emma Busby is fifteen years old and attends Dobson High School in Mesa, Arizona. She has an 11 year old brother who competes internationally in gymnastics.
IDC: When and why did you begin skating?
Emma: It’s actually a funny story. When I was real little (four-years-old) my mother had a Groupon for a free Learn to Skate class. She signed me up. This was good for me that I found something that I really liked. I’ve been doing it ever since, but I didn’t really start training until a few years ago.
IDC: You attend a public school. How does that work out with your competitive training schedule?
Emma: They have a program that accommodates athletes. I go to school until 12:30 pm. Then the school actually takes me here to the Chandler Ice Den. Then I train for the rest of the afternoon. It’s really convenient.
IDC: Tell me about your personal music achievement.
Emma: I’m a harpist. I’ve had a deal with my mom that since skating is something I want to do, and it is very important to me, she thought doing other extra curricular was also important. Since my family is very musical, playing the harp is the deal. If I do harp, I’m allowed to skate. My mom is really good at making sure I’m well rounded.
IDC: How has doing music helped your skating?
Emma: Learning an instrument has helped me count music and put me really in touch with it. It’s something that I think I would be such a different skater if I didn’t have that opportunity. It helps me feel a connection with my programs, especially dance when you alone have to relate so much to the music.
Emma: When I was 10/11 years old, I saw the older girls working on their dances and patterns. I begged my parents to let me do dance because it looked like so much fun. Finally my mom gave in, and I started lessons with Naomi. I’ve loved it ever since. It’s a lot different than Freestyle jumping and Synchro. It’s not as common, especially around here. It’s really a fun experience.
IDC: What do you like best about Solo Dance?
Emma: I think just getting to choose your own music, experience tons of different styles and learn what’s best for you – what you like as a person.
IDC: What kind of music do you like to skate to?
Emma: I like tango. It’s my GoTo music. I always like the upbeat ones because it’s something I enjoy and perform at my best.
IDC: You also do Synchro. How do you think one discipline supports the other?
Emma: Synchro helps you learn how you can work together, like with your peers. It teaches good sportsmanship, which is very important in the skating world. Dance helps with Synchro because you learn extensions, common music and a lot of very important elements that are in both disciplines.
IDC: What is your best skating memory?
Emma: The first time I went to Solo Dance Nationals was also the first time I skated in an arena by myself. I was kind of overwhelmed with what it looked like and how it felt – just going out there, and it felt so good. I did my Free Dance and came off and felt even if I get last, it was the experience that was so amazing.
IDC: What have you set as your skating goal for this season:
Emma: I’m definitely going to try to make it to the Solo Dance National Finals. I want to work on improving my elements with more extensions and more power and overall becoming a stronger skater.
IDC: Is there anything else you would like to add to your skating story?
Emma: Something that’s always been important to me is that I get very frustrated easily. Naomi tells me it’s okay to not have everything perfect. Things take time. Doing Solo Dance has definitely helped me see my progress. Looking back at old videos, I can say, “I have improved so much, and I can be proud of myself for it.”