Interview with Stef Reid MBE

Stef Reid MBE is a track and field Paralympian and has been a contestant on this year’s Dancing On Ice. Following her journey on the ITV show, we caught up with her about her figure skating experience as she trained here at the National Ice Centre!

How did you feel when you were approached by ITV about appearing on Dancing On Ice?
Excited and terrified. But being scared is a terrible reason to say no to something!

What was it like putting on your skates for the first time?
It was so fun. I couldn’t stop smiling. It is such a different way of moving!

How have you found training at the National Ice Centre and learning how to skate in general?
I have absolutely loved it! I was immediately welcomed into the skating community, and it has been amazing being able to train alongside people of all abilities. I learned how to skate backwards alongside skaters learning triple axels!

What’s been your favourite figure skating move to learn and what has been the most challenging?
The assisted hydrablade has been my favourite! Everything has been challenging – skating requires a lot of balance and proprioception, and not being able to feel or move one of your feet means I can never switch off – I have to fight for every movement. 

What did a typical training day for Dancing On Ice look like for you?
I met up with Andy about an hour before our session to warm up and we worked on choreography and practiced our lifts off ice. Then we were on the ice for 2 hours. We started with some edge work and then moved onto the routine. I would love to practice for 8 hours a day, but you risk injury if you over do it too soon.

What advice would you give to people who might be considering trying ice skating?
It is far more accessible than you think. And also to stick with it – especially if you are learning as an adult. It is hard because you have to move in a way that is pretty foreign for most of us. But keep persisting because it does get better!

Now that you’ve tried figure skating, would you consider trying other ice disciplines?
I would love to try speed skating!

Have you been watching the Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games and if so, what events have you found the most exciting?
Skating is my favourite, especially figure skating and short track speed skating. I also love snowboard cross.

Finally, now you’ve learnt how to skate, do you think you’ll keep up with it after the show has finished?
Definitely. The learning curve on Dancing on Ice is pretty steep. I am excited to get time to go back and really work on some of the basics. Like stopping! I can do a hydrablade and a bracket, but I still struggle to stop 🤣

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions Stef, we’ve absolutely loved having you here to train and we’ve enjoyed watching you on Dancing On Ice! You’re welcome to skate here anytime!

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