New Columnist Excited to Share Everything Adult Skating

by Joanne Vassallo Jamrosz, special to U.S. Figure Skating

Aviva Cantor loves everything adult figure skating, and as of April 2019, she'll be sharing stories as SKATING Magazine's new Adult Corner columnist.

"Honestly, this is my dream becoming a reality," Cantor said. "As a professional writer with a lifetime of figure skating experience, I am honored and humbled to be the newest columnist for SKATING Magazine. I'm most excited about the opportunity to professionally write about skating. For so many years, friends have tried to encourage me to blog about skating. It never happened, but hey, now I have a new outlet."

Cantor calls Charlotte, North Carolina, her hometown, but she currently resides in Lexington, Kentucky, where she is a member of the Thoroughbred Figure Skating Club.

"As a pigeon-toed four-year-old, my orthopedic doctor recommended skating lessons for therapeutic reasons," Cantor said. "What was meant to be a short-lived hobby became a lifelong passion, as I have now been skating regularly and competitively for nearly 28 years."

As a lifetime skater, Cantor never took breaks throughout childhood, college or adulthood.

"It is my goal to encourage other skaters to also pursue longevity in the sport," she said.

Her first adult competition was the 2008 Buckeye Adult Open. Since then, she has competed at the U.S. Adult Championships six times, National Showcase twice, Midwestern Adult Sectionals once and the Buckeye Adult Open seven times.

Cantor competes in free skate, light entertainment, dramatic entertainment and extemporaneous improvisation.

"My favorite event is extemporaneous improvisation," Cantor said. "As someone who choreographs all of my own programs, I absolutely love being creative on the spot. Both times I've attended National Showcase, I placed first in extemporaneous improvisation (in 2015 and 2016). This included the time I pretended to die on the ice after consuming a stuffed 'poison' muffin set to the music of 'Little Drop of Poison' by Tom Jones."

She is also very passionate about light entertainment.

"Many people know me for my flamboyant, character- based light entertainment programs. Several National Showcase skaters call me the 'spaghetti lady.' This is because of my program to 'Lasagna,' Weird Al Yankovic's parody of 'La Bamba,' which I performed as an Italian chef with pretend spaghetti and meatballs. I wore a hat, apron and mustache. During the program, I fed spaghetti to the judges, vocally yelled 'Mama Mia' and had an audience member hold up the Italian flag."

The program, which Cantor calls her "masterpiece," placed first at the 2014 Adult Championships and 2015 National Showcase.

"My greatest competitive achievements have been in showcase events. I love when the audience and judges are entertained by my performance, and I particularly love making them laugh," Cantor said.

Off the ice, she pursues a very busy life as a freelance writer. She and her wife, Melissa, who is pursuing a PhD in dairy science, are the proud parents of a Tennessee Brindle dog named Kahlua and two cats, Jupiter and Rocco. She also enjoys knitting, cooking and listening to true crime podcasts.

As the new Adult Corner columnist, Cantor hopes to provide the greatest adult skating journalism she possibly can.

"I have planned out all of the content for the remainder of 2019," Cantor said. "Lexi Rohner and Lori Fussell have provided me with what is truly a once-in-a lifetime opportunity. I still can't believe this is real."





Aviva Cantor performs her "Let Me Take A Selfie" program.