Figure Skating in Harlem instructs young New Yorkers in leadership, academic development and, of course, figure skating, a professional sport where women of color make up only a fraction of the field.

Picture a figure skater. Who comes to mind?

Maybe it’s Nancy Kerrigan spinning gracefully. Or it’s Michelle Kwan skating with confidence and ease.

It’s possible that it is Surya Bonaly or Starr Andrews — black women whose presence on the ice remains as daring as their performances — but professional figure skaters of color make up only a fraction of the field.

It’s a reality that feels far from mind at Riverbank State Park in Harlem, where twice a week, year-round, little black and brown girls glide and twirl across the ice.


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