Local Skater Enjoys Time on Ice

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Regan Banvard

Malibu local and figure skating phenom Regan Banvard is looking to capitalize on her past successes before heading off to college.

In 2013, Banvard glided across the ice to an acoustic version of Katy Perry’s “The One That Got Away,” winning first place at an Ice Skating Institute event in Anaheim, Calif. 

Banvard, 18, a senior at Oaks Christian High School in Westlake Village, said she was nervous before the event because the field of six competitors was the biggest she had been in at the time. 

“I did the best performance I had ever done with that program,” she said. “I stretched perfectly, I landed all my jumps. Everything went perfectly.” 

Banvard will spend the coming months on competitive ice, while speakers blare out Sia’s “Chandelier.” The pop song is the foundation of Banvard’s current skate program. While the song plays, aspirations of duplicating the outcome of that 2013 performance replay through Banvard’s head. 

“I plan to take that program over to college after I compete with it a little bit here,” she said. “And hopefully during the summer before I leave I can come up with another program.” 

An ice skater since age seven, Banvard hits the ice for about four to six hours a week in preparation for either individual competitions or events with her ice skating club, Pacific Edge Theater on Ice, a Simi Valley-based program that has won multiple gold medals. 

The artistic-style skater is using January, designated as National Skating Month by U.S. Figure Skating, as a time to refine her skill-set. 

“I’m starting a new program now, but I want it ready by the end of March,” she said. “We are starting a new ‘Theater on Ice’ number. I don’t know what it is yet, but that should compete by March as well.” 

In 2014, Pacific Edge, whose members range from eight to 18, performed “Fantasia,” a seven and a half minute ice skating performance based on the Disney movie of the same name. 

The troupe also competed in the Ice Skating Institute Holiday Challenge in Burbank in December. The crew did the “Fantasia” number and came in second-place in one category. They also performed “Mary Poppins,” which netted them a first-place finish in another category. 

During “Fantasia,” Banvard portrayed the popular Disney villain Cruella De Vil. She wore red boot covers, a black dress, a fur coat, and a black and white wig.

“It was quite the attire,” said Banvard. “It’s really hard to skate with the giant fur coat.” 

Since joining Pacific Edge, Banvard has skated in performances based on “Phantom of the Opera” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” She has skated in rinks across Southern California and as far north as San Jose. 

Banvard said she has enjoyed being a part of the ice skating troupe. 

“It is different than individual skating,” she said. “Figure skating is a very individualized sport. Being a part of the theatre team means you all have to work together for the program to be successful.” 

Throughout the years, Banvard’s skating skill has progressed, she said. 

“I have become more flexible, so I can do cooler-looking things. I have also become a stronger skater because I have been struggling with my axle jump for awhile, and because I am working to get over that little hump that every skater needs to go through I have been practicing a lot of the same jumps … My single jumps are getting really strong.” 

Rachel Banvard, Regan’s mother, said her daughter is a graceful and determined competitor on the ice. 

“She has learned how to persevere in her training,” she said. 

Banvard said she will always be the type of skater who balances academics with her work on ice. 

“I don’t do skating every, single day, but I love doing it,” she said. “It has been hard this past semester with college stuff, but I am kicking it up again this semester.”

Rachel said figure skating has enhanced Regan’s life in many ways and provides a terrific platform to stay in great shape. 

“We hope that she continues to be an avid skater and competitor through her college years and perhaps works with kids as an instructor in the future.” 

Banvard plans on joining a figure skating club in whatever area she attends college. 

“If there isn’t one, I am definitely going to start one because I love figure skating,” she said. “I wouldn’t give it up for the world.”