Elicia and Stephen Reynolds were introduced to ice skating in November 1997. She was 6 and he was 4.
"Since we were homeschooled, Mom took us to the ice rink to meet and socialize with other children; I, however, became enamored with the ice and the exhilarating feeling of skating, Stephen, not so much. I wouldn't get off the ice after the public session; so Mom enrolled me in the learn to skate program. Stephen was signed up for hockey but quickly began to love skating too. Going to the ice rink was all we wanted to do. We loved playing tag on the ice with our friends." -Elicia
Then in 1998, Elicia was captivated as she watched 15 year old Tara Lipinski win the Olympic title at the Nagano games. That was it! She wanted to compete!
In the fall of 1999, the Reynolds family relocated from the east coast of Florida to the west coast of Florida for higher level coaching. The following year Stephen was selected to play the role of the adolescent Scott Hamilton in Scott's farewell performance with Stars on Ice for an audience of 7,000. That experience ignited young Stephen's desire to compete and perform on ice.
"When the audience applauded for me it felt like my chest was going to explode!" -Stephen age 8
They also met the 1992 Olympic silver medalists, brother and sister ice dance team, Paul and Isabelle Duschesnay. Isabelle insisted the young Reynolds had all the ingredients for a successful ice dance team, but Elicia and Stephen were not so convinced. Although they were best friends, ice dancing with your sibling (in public with all the hockey guys watching) was not what either of them had in mind. Their love for ice dancing developed at their first competition, in October 2002, where they captured the gold at the 2003 South Atlantic Non-Qualifying Regional Championships in York, Pennsylvania. "It was wonderful competing as a team with your best friend." - Elicia.
Their new found skating success was cut short due to a lack of financial resources. For the next three years they were unable to skate. During that time off ice, Stephen and Elicia placed their focus on their academic studies and continued developing their music ability (they both had been studying the violin for six years). Earning a position with the Venice Symphony in Venice, Florida, marked the start of their professional music careers, all the while keeping the dream of returning to the ice alive.
Joyfully, their dream became a reality. In 2005 they returned to the ice. After a year of intense training with Frederic Palluel, they earned silver at the 2007 Junior National Championships. However, once again Elicia and Stephen's on ice training took a sharp halt in November, 2007.
As the Florida real estate market collapsed in '08, '09, and '10 the outlook for the Reynolds skating team looked extremely bleak; but the team could not let go of their skating aspirations. In February 2011, the Reynolds family left Florida and moved to Pennsylvania so that Elicia and Stephen could skate at Ice Works in Aston.
The pair was determined to return to the ice and be able to fund their own skating through incomes from orchestral performances, providing music for weddings and other ceremonies, offering violin lessons, retail sales, coaching with their local Learn to Skate classes, and marketing Edea boots with Skates US. Adhering to a minimum budget, they afforded only a few months of lessons with the 1980 Olympic ice dance champions Natalya Linichuk and Guennadi Karponossov.
The lesson bills and ice fees quickly outpaced their income, and the young team was forced to forfeit lessons once more. They took themselves through the necessary testing from Intermediate level through Junior level in just six months. They choreographed their own short dance and free dance to prepare for the 2011-12 season.
The Reynolds then continued their resolve and passed the last eight tests required to qualify to compete at the senior level for 2012-13 season, all completed without a single skating lesson.
With only a few months before the 2013 Eastern Sectional Championships, the Reynolds were once again unable to afford a choreographer; thus, they choreographed their first senior short dance and free dance and taught themselves the Yankee Polka. A month before Sectionals, Uschi Keszler and Yovanny Durango assisted in polishing the Reynolds' performances. They finished the season with a 5th place finish, only 8 points below qualifying for National competition.
In 2013-2014 the Reynolds faced yet another challenging season with very limited coaching and the demands of competing at the senior level. They continued with their coach, Uschi, and achieved victory in qualifying for and competing for the first time at the championship level at the 2014 U.S. National Figure Skating Championships held in Boston, MA. "It was an incredible experience that was everything we hoped for and then some." -Elicia.
Elicia and Stephen are now working independtly, expressing their love for creativity skating and competitions. They are enthusiastically embracing the challenges and excited to experience their future in skating!