Meet ice dancer Josephine Javing

by Anne Calder

Josephine Javing actually lives in Bozeman, Montana, but her family also owns a home in Chandler, Arizona so she can participate in the Chandler Ice Den’s Solo and Synchro Dance programs. The fifteen-year-old is home schooled to facilitate the traveling between the two training sites.

IDC: When and how did you begin skating?
Josephine: When I was 3 years old, my mom found an ad for a Learn to Skate program. A person at the Bozeman Figure Skating Club in Montana where I live asked me to join. I did my first competition and fell in love with skating. I’ve done it ever since.

IDC: When did you start Solo Dance?
Josephine: I came to Arizona on a vacation two years ago when I was twelve. My brother was doing BMX dirt bike racing at the time. I knew we were going to be out here a lot, and I wanted to skate. My coach at the time knew Naomi [Lang] and thought it would be a really good match. I had a lesson with her, and she asked me to join her Solo Dance Team. 

IDC: What did you do before you did Solo Dance?
Josephine: I did Freestyle, although I never really liked the stress of jumping and landing. I didn’t even know you could compete in Solo Dance until I went to the Chandler Ice Den. Once I knew, I wanted to do it. I didn’t have to worry about the jumps and stress.

IDC: How often do you travel between the training sites?
Josephine: I travel from Montana once a month to train with Naomi. However, I’ve been in Arizona now for two months because I want to be competitive. I leave next month and go to Utah for the Skatefest Solo Dance Series. Afterwards I’ll go home to Montana for two months, then back to Arizona for Synchro [in September].

IDC: Tell me about training Solo Dance and Synchro in Montana.
Josephine: At the Gallatin Ice, we have ice dancers from Great Britain – Pamela O’Connor & Jonathan O’Dougherty. They were International competitors. They train me with all my dances when I’m in Montana.

Since I’m the only one at the rink in Montana who does Synchro, I have to work alone. I run through the programs and sometimes we send videos. The Arizona coaches tell me all the changes they’ve made, and I have to learn them. When I get back with them, they fill me in so I know the steps to keep up.  

IDC: Do you ever get frustrated with the Synchro arrangement?
Josephine: It is frustrating, and sometimes I don’t figure out the change of steps until I come back. Once I learn them, then it’s really fun.

IDC: I see a lot of camaraderie in Solo Dance. What’s it like for you training in two places?
Josephine: Most of my competitions are against my friends. We are competing against each other, but it’s more of a fun competition. It’s not stressed to try to beat them because we’re all friends.

IDC: What have you set as an ice skating goal for this season?
Josephine: This year I want to make it to the Solo Dance Nationals for Pattern and Free Dance. Last year I made it just for Shadow Dance.