From the FSH website: Figure Skating in Harlem helps girls transform their lives and grow in confidence, leadership and academic achievement. We are the only organization for girls of color that combines the power of education with access to the artistic discipline of figure skating to build champions in life.

Figure skating requires an incredible amount of concentrated physical and mental discipline, hard work and dedication. When our students take to the ice, most for the very first time, they have group instruction up to 4 afternoons per week. They benefit from the experience and dedication of our professional skating staff. Our girls are placed into USFS Basic Skill groups based on skating ability and age, where they learn proper technique, improve self-esteem, and develop a healthy lifestyle and physical fitness through skating. Students work for extra opportunities like a spot on the synchronized skating team and summer scholarships to the Lake Placid Summer Figure Skating Program and Chelsea Piers Figure Skating camp.

All students participate in GO-FIT (Girls Off-Ice Fitness Investment Training) once per week throughout the entire season. Girls take dance class alternating with GO-FIT once a week. Dance is an introduction to GO-FIT and will introduce basic body movements, different styles of dance, choreography, and expression.We conduct four assessments in GO-FIT throughout the season to monitor the physical improvement of the students. We hope to see all of our girls learn valuable lessons to help keep their bodies healthy and fit throughout their lives.

Small group tutoring is at the core of our education program. More than 23 NYC Board of Education teachers, tutors and graduate students conduct sessions each afternoon in our Academic Center. Our creative and practical approach to STEM curriculum ignites our students’ interest in science through the lens of figure skating. These classes explore topics from cardiovascular and heart health, skeletal and muscular systems to the engineering of ice rinks, Newtonian physics, friction, and coding. Through weekly classes developed by award winning journalist Stacey Tisdale, Senior Editor of Black Enterprise, students learn about financial values with emphasis on the importance of setting goals and creating action plans to achieve confidence about financial matters. Lessons include generating income, understanding the value of saving and spending wisely, and techniques to help students stay on track with their short, medium and long-term goals.

Our holistic approach to leadership development supports our students’ intellectual, physical and emotional developmental growth, and equips hundreds of girls with the tools they need to avoid high-risk behaviors, make positive choices for their futures, and improve the quality of their lives. The purpose of FSH’s career centered trips is to inspire students to dreams and broaden their horizons. Our trips expose girls to exciting careers, including those that are typically underrepresented by women.


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Michelle Caines
Author: Michelle Caines

Co-creator of Uptown Birdies, Michelle is a Harlem-born mother of three with a passion for anything educational and mindfulness. She enjoys hunting down affordable kid-friendly events within upper Manhattan and teaching mindfulness. Social handle: @mscaines & @tlbmindfulness