Alexandra at the end of a long day at Thornhill competition August 2011

How many times have I said that working in skating is like being part of a family? A lot! Almost without question, one of the biggest thrills is catching up with a former student; even more so when thay have made it to the national stage. Alexandra Najarro is one of those kids for me. The little girl I worked with about 10 years ago when her mother, Eva, and I coached together in Mississauga was tiny, determined, talented, with a quick smile, an intensity and a work ethic  that would come to define her competitive streak.

For many people, her debut into our collective consciousness came at last year’s Canadian Championships where she was dazzling in her Short program and finished in 2nd and in 4th overall.  For many Alexandra was ‘the spoiler’ and the skater that inspired the competitiveness in the final flight of Ladies at Nationals.

Catching up with Alexandra after the FSB Thornhill Summer Skate competition I got the sense that although there are other aspects to her life, like wanting to become a lawyer at the end of her studies at Toronto’s York University, for the moment skating is front and centre. She can easily talk about other hobbies like watching and playing tennis and enjoying crafting while continuing to engage her brain in the ‘how to’s of improving footwork and adding to her jump inventory in skating.  In other words, despite what else may be going on, she is very ‘present’ in her skating life, constantly balancing it all by establishing priorities.

In this season,  she was assigned to compete at the Junior Grand Prix in Australia after which she will be focusing on her Senior prorgams in order to be ready for the Challenge and Canadian national events.

“Skating is exhilirating and fun and very exciting for me.” says Najarro who continues “I love to move to music. I love to perform.”  It shows.

Olympic Champion Yu-Na Kim is Alexandra’s role model: “I really like the fact that she has the ‘full package.’ It is Kim’s example that offers her the need for better consistency, stronger focus and a triple/triple combination.

This year’s short program is the same as last but the free is brand new. Alexandra is skating to The Black Swan in a program choreographed by Myke Gilman which should deliver on her ability to perform.

Former Canadian Champion, Tracey Wainman knows a thing or two about performing and provides the base coaching for Alexandra. Between them, they are working on achieving clean and consistent triples including new-ish Loops and Lutzes in competition, footwork at a higher level and skating skills. Alexandra says: “I want to improve from last year as far as my speed and flow are concerned.”

I would like to take credit for Alexandra’s success at the Senior level from the amazing Ten-Fox  dance lessons I gave her all those years ago…I would like to…BUT…I can’t.

Alexandra Najarro a great example of creating success on her own terms: hard work, dedication and talent.


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