Ice dancing circles around competition

Skating: A Bel Air teen's passion for the sport leads her to a fourth-place finish.

April 24, 2005|By Cassandra A. Fortin | Cassandra A. Fortin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Pilar Bosley was a bundle of nerves, waiting for her name to be called to skate at the 2005 State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

"At the first part of the competition, I looked out and I could see all these people," said 16-year-old Bosley, a junior at C. Milton Wright High School in Bel Air. "I started breathing heavy and pacing and wringing my hands together. I was so nervous. I was wondering if I could do it."

When Bosley and her skating partner, John Corona, 16, were called, her jitters were forgotten, and the couple ice-danced their way to a fourth-place win in the novice dance category. Bosley and Corona were one of just 12 teams nationwide chosen to compete at the novice level.

Even after the duo performed, a wave of emotion hit her. She didn't know if she wanted to laugh or cry.

"Once I got onto the ice I forgot my fear," said Bosley with a nervous giggle. "I knew if I let it affect me it would ruin my whole moment. It felt so good to get there. I felt like all the work I had done had finally paid off."

The fourth-place finish was a highlight of her skating career for Bosley, who said she loves the thrill of being on the ice.

The thrill started for Bosley when she donned her first skates, rented at the local ice rink, at age 7.

"I started watching ice skating on television and decided I wanted to try it. I don't really remember how I felt on the ice that first day," Bosley said. "But I do remember that I didn't fall down. It just felt natural to me. It felt so right."

From that moment on, she's never looked back.

She took group lessons and mastered the introductory skills in a year. She started private instruction at age 8.

Her former coach, Rachel Cox, said she was always a hard worker and a pleasure to teach. Even though she no longer teaches Bosley, she closely watches her career.

"She has such a beautiful presence on ice," Cox said. "It's so exciting to have someone representing the state of Maryland with so much talent."

Bosley completed her work with Cox and was introduced to ice dancing by her current coach, Christine Binder.

"Pilar has a natural ability to hear music and skate to it," Binder said. "She has an amazing presence on ice. She has the talent and the commitment to be successful, and I am lucky to be there with her."

During this time, Bosley developed a better understanding of the differences between ice skating and ice dancing.

"Ice skating is the freestyle jumping and spinning movements," Bosley said. "Ice dancing is more about the expression in your body and doing dance spins and lifts."

Bosley loved it from the start.

"Ice dancing is so beautiful," she said. "I love the style of it. I love performing it. When I started, it was hard to smile to express my emotion. Ice dancing taught me to use my face and body easier."

Binder introduced Bosley to her first ice dancing partner, Peter Cook.

"Peter and I learned the skills and went to Nationals for three years," Bosley said. "I knew he wouldn't be my permanent partner, but we had fun and learned together."

In 2002, Bosley was introduced to her current partner, Corona.

"It can be really tough when you skate with a partner because you both have ideas, and they don't always match," Bosley said. "But John helps me a lot when I'm nervous. He always seems so calm and collected. We do well together."

In addition to hard work and performances, Bosley has recognized the importance of discipline and dedication in her life.

"I practice five days a week for at least two hours per day," Bosley said. "It's hard to do that every day, but I know I have to. Sometimes my friends want to go out, or there's a school dance, and I can't go. But, it's worth it to me."

Bosley said she plans to keep ice dancing throughout college. Her mother, Sherry Bosley, said that when they began discussing college she realized the part ice dancing would play in her daughter's decision.

"I'm happy she's found her passion," Sherry Bosley said. "But I was disappointed too. I thought we would be applying to all these colleges, and she wants to go somewhere around here so she can continue to skate."

As for the immediate future, Bosley heads to Toronto in the summer for the North American Challenge Skate.

"People are always asking me if I'm going to the Olympics," Bosley said. "I think that's so funny. ... Not that I wouldn't love to go, but I am not even looking to that. Right now I am ice dancing and loving it."

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