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By Lexi Rohner Social media reaches virtually


everyone in one way or anoth- er, and those in the adult skating community are using this instant messaging technology to connect with others who share their pas- sion.


Ian Catindig, Kimberly Coxe


and Michael Rubke are adult skat- ers who have created a following by using social media. Through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, they have been able to share their love for the sport and make new friends at the same time.


SOCIAL MEDIA BUILDING SKATER NETWORKS


than a decade ago and started testing in 2008. He burst onto the competitive scene in 2010 with an energetic Lady Gaga routine, wowing everyone and endearing himself to the adult skating com- munity. Before skating, he worked in Los Angeles in musical theater and acting. “I was burned out on the en-


tertainment scene and needed a change in perspective,” he said of his decision to try skating. Fascinated by choreography,


Catindig loves watching showcase skater Jennifer Jones’ programs. “Social media allows us to peer


into another’s world and connect with those we might not other- wise,” said Catindig, who has chat- ted with skaters globally. http://www.youtube.com/user/ dumdeedumlalala http://facebook.com/vote4kiko


a group around them,” Coxe said. Cheering for others at com-


petitions, she often has people in- troduce themselves to her, having followed her YouTube videos. Coxe and four other skaters not living in the same area utilized Facebook to organize their fi ve-person team for an event. In her short foray into skating,


Coxe has gone from watching skaters and coaches on television to having those same coaches pull her aside to comment on her im- provement. “I remember my excitement


and nerves the fi rst time I realized they’re noticing,” Coxe said. “Giv- en time, dedication and practice, skating is attainable and enjoyable for more people than I realized.” Coxe practices four hours


weekly, focusing on fi tness and learning all she can from coach Mi- chelle Santora, who also started as an adult. Coxe is a quality assurance


IAN CATINDIG, 36 MILPITAS, CALIF. ST. MORITZ ISC


ADULT GOLD FREE SKATE A web developer at Google,


Catindig spends his days working in social media. He uses that tech- nical expertise to share his skating talents with family and friends through videos on YouTube. To his surprise, however, many


other adult skaters have taken an interest in his skating through the online videos. “Social media has connected me with other adult skaters, some I’ve never met but have mutual friends with; it’s fantastic,” Catindig said. “One adult skater reached out to me confessing he’d watched my videos for years and was motivat- ed as a beginner. It really touched me because I look up to other skat- ers and didn’t realize that anyone looked up to me.” Catindig, who is coached by Charyl Brusch, began skating more


software tester for Hyland Soft- ware. She’s also a professional woodwind specialist, perform- ing in theater pit orchestras. She most recently performed in a run of Les Misérables and sometimes performs with her husband, a key- board player.


Michael Rubke quickly gained a following, posting a few videos with monthly skating tips. “It’s a great tool to connect and


present fi gure skating as diverse in both age and talent, especial- ly adult skating,” Rubke said. “I’ve received many supportive com- ments and hope my videos are helpful.” With almost 500 subscribers,


Rubke’s videos have views of 1,000 to 10,000-plus. Rubke recognizes social media


has bridged many gaps and knows a decade from now much will have changed. “I’ve had messages through


YouTube from people sharing their interest in skating after watching my channel,” said Rubke, who uti- lizes photo, video and online fo- rum outlets. Rubke, a restaurant CFO, re-


turned to skating in 2009 follow- ing a seven-year hiatus. His goals were to earn a national title, pass the senior tests and relearn at least one triple jump. He has won the last three U.S. titles in the champi- onship masters intermediate-nov- ice men’s division. Injuries have prevented him from trying triple jumps. “I thought breaking into the tri-


KIMBERLY COXE, 37 LAKEWOOD, OHIO WINTERHURST FSC


ADULT BRONZE FREE SKATE


Kimberly Coxe began using so- cial media on the day she started skating nearly four years ago. “It was an outlet to see other


adults skate and inspiration for possibilities,” said Coxe, who posts her tests and competitions on You- Tube.


Her desire to connect with oth-


ers increased her rink’s adult learn- to-skate program from two to more than a dozen new students. “If someone feels alone in skat- ing, social media might help create


MICHAEL RUBKE, 32 SHERMAN OAKS, CALIF. LOS ANGELES FSC MASTERS NOVICE


Using YouTube to share skat- ing with his parents and friends,


ple jump tier as a teenager would make returning as an adult easier,” said Rubke, who skates eight hours a week. “I quickly realized my body isn’t 18 and gained much respect for competitive adult skaters.” Coach Lauren Levin pushes


Rubke hard, knows when to step back and helped rebuild his confi - dence after a bad injury in 2011. “Her patience and guidance


made me feel like a whole new skater,” said Rubke, who has decid- ed to delay his senior tests until his post-competitive days. “I’m hoping if I progress to masters junior-se- nior, to have a clean triple and push the technical aspect for adult skating.”


SKATING 51


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