‘Like a princess floating across the ice’

Tuxedo Park. Second grade Tuxedo Park School student Isabella Paes is skating into 2021 with flying colors.

| 24 Jan 2021 | 03:52

Isabella Paes’ love for skating began at only 4 years old when she “felt like a princess floating across the ice” at the Learn to Skate program in Newburgh.

Her skills developed, as quickly as her passion to learn, and soon she began to catch the attention of coaches.

Isabella’s training began with Aaron Gunderson-Smith and she is now training under the guidance of Olympic Silver Medalist pair Oleg Makarov and Larissa Selezneva.

Four to five days per week, for three hours every day, Isabella can be found mastering the technicalities of ice skating. That time increases exponentially during breaks from school and is evident in the progression of her skills.

In the past year, she learned the single axel, double loop and double salchow.

Success in competition came early to Isabella. In her first performance, she skated to “This Girl Is On Fire” at Ice Time, and later, at only four years old, she landed third place in her division at The Wollman Competition in New York City.

She has also had her share of disappointments as her mom Devangini attests to. However, in true champion spirit, loss has motivated Isabella to train harder.

“Isabella has learned that to be good at anything, you have to keep trying, even during periods of failure. Success is not only defined by medals and awards, but also by a level of commitment,” she sad.

Most recently, Isabella competed in the 2020 Boston Open in November. She was the youngest in her division, outdoing many of her competitors.

“I feel happy and excited when I’m skating,” Isabella said, “but I also feel frustrated when I don’t land my axels.”

Undaunted, she’s currently practicing a program that has a few axels and a sit-spin. She mastered the double axel off-ice and is preparing to land it on-ice soon.

Another win for Isabella is the really close group of friends she has met through ice-skating, who encourage one another.

When she is not skating, Isabella plays the violin, makes rainbow loom bracelets and cuddles up with a good book.

“We could not be prouder of Isabella and are excited to follow her journey and see all of her successes unfold in the future,” the staff and teachers at Tuxedo Park School said in the press release detailing the student’s success. “Go Isabella!”