Club Spotlight: From Ice to Stage: Skating Club of New Hartford Skater Alyssa Malinowski Finds Both Just “Go Together”
by Joanne Vassallo Jamrosz, special to U.S. Figure Skating
Skating club of New Hartford skater Alyssa Malinowski loves to skate. She also loves to perform. This year the juvenile skater embraced both worlds, not only qualifying for two national competitions, but also landing the lead in her high school musical.
"This year I played Rizzo in my high school production of 'Grease,'" Malinowski said. "This was my fourth high school musical and my favorite overall. The part was my biggest yet so I definitely did not expect to be at practice every night for three months."
Malinowski was involved in three previous musicals at New York Mills Junior/Senior High school, in New York Mills, New York. Her first, "Oklahoma," participated in the Central New York high school musical awards.
During her past nine years on ice, Malinowski earned her juvenile free skate, intermediate moves in the field, silver solo dance and pre-silver dance tests. She also enjoys competing in Showcase events. In January, Malinowski competed at the Mohawk Valley Classic in New Hartford, New York, and earned a spot in the upcoming National Showcase in Brighton, Michigan.
"I also participated in the Empire State Games in Lake Placid," Malinowski said. "I placed 4th in juvenile test track and 2nd in pre-silver solo dance. Not only did I receive a silver medal but it also qualified me for the State Games of America in 2019."
Malinowski is not surprised that she enjoys musical theater as much as skating. The two seem to complement each other.
"My favorite thing about musical theater is that it is similar to skating," Malinowski said. "With musical theater, figure skating helps with my dancing. I find with my skating background I am naturally extending my arms and legs and I am more flexible. Musical theater definitely helps with the performing aspect of skating. It also teaches you to show your emotions through your skating. The facial expressions and feelings all come naturally to me now."
Malinowski enjoyed creating the character, Rizzo, and enjoyed every second playing the legendary Pink Ladies leader.
"The best part of performing in 'Grease' was the cast, hands down," Malinowski said. "From our seventh graders who have just embarked on their journey to our seniors who are leaving after years of performing, they all hold a special place in my heart. The bonds I have built with some of the cast members this year are truly memorable. These people know more about me than I do myself and are always there for me when I need them the most. I could not have asked for a better cast and family."
An ankle and leg injury kept skating competitions to a minimum this past year, but Malinowski looks forward to competing once again in the coming season.
"My favorite thing about skating is definitely competing," Malinowski said. "You practice week after week so you can showcase your skills. All eyes are watching you as you skate your best. Also the people I met along the way through skating are absolutely incredible and have become my closest friends."
Performing in musical theater also has a place on her to do list next year. It will be her junior year and she looks forward to participating in future musicals during the next two years.
"I love the performances and the cast," Malinowski said. "At auditions in January completely different students from seventh grade to seniors gathered because of our common interest. Whether we are old or young, experienced or new we all put our differences aside and became the closest family anyone could ask for. The final performances were truly the greatest because we could finally show off what we worked on for months."
Alyssa Malinowski performing as Rizzo in "Grease" (Photo by NY Mills Jr/Sr High School Music Dept.)
Alyssa Malinowski competing at the 2018 Empire State Games (Photo by ESWG Adirondacks USA)