The Bottom Line:
Jersey On Ice may seem similar to the Lifetime TV reality show, Dance Moms. There seems to be a lot of jealousy, arguing, and bickering, but actually, the skating coaches featured on the show are quite fond of one another and respect one another. Their goal is to promote figure skating. Television viewers may enjoy seeing day to day interactions at a typical ice rink. The publicity may possibly give figure skating a boost.
- Jersey On Ice shows ordinary young figure skaters, not the elite Olympic level figure skaters the public usually sees on television.
- The honest and upfront interactions in the show are very entertaining.
- The figure skating world can be very intense and competitive. Jersey On Ice gives viewers an inside look into that intense and competitive world.
- The arguing and bickering that goes on may not be a realistic example of what actually goes on at most ice rinks, but it should be noted that the disagreements that are shown in public in this TV reality show may really go on behind the scenes at other skating facilities, but in a much "quieter" manner.
- The level and quality of skating shown on the show varies. Most of the skaters participating in the show are not high level figure skaters.
- All the skaters in the show are girls. Most ice rinks have at least some boys and adults participating in figure skating programs.
- Three skating coaches, Deana Sroka, Andrea Astorga, and Michele Barbieri, are featured in The Learning Channel's December 12, 2012 Jersey On Ice's pilot television episode.
- The pilot episode takes place at the Floyd Hall Arena, an ice rink in Little Falls, New Jersey.
- Another coach, Kristen Gerard, coaches both Sroka's and Barbieri's daughters. Sroka coaches Gerard's daughter.
- At the end of the December 12, 2012 pilot TV episode, the coaches' students compete in a local in-house ISI, Ice Skating Institute, recreational skating competition.
About the Three Coaches Featured:
- Deana Sroka is a qualified figure skating coach with over twenty years of coaching experience. As a skater, Sroka competed in singles through the junior ladies level and has passed her 7th figure test. She trained under some of the best coaches in the United States. As a child and teen, she had the opportunity to train in the summers in Colorado Springs under Olympic figure skating coach, Carlo Fassi. Sroka's nine year old daughter, Valerie, skates at the pre-preliminary level. Valerie has also recently developed a love of ice dancing. Deana Sroka has lost over eighty pounds since the pilot episode was filmed.
- Sroka's younger sister, Andrea Astorga, skated because her sister skated, but did not pursue high level competitive skating. She competed mostly in ISI competitions and began teaching group and private lessons when she was a teen. Astorga directs US Figure Skating Basic Skills learn to skate programs in addition to giving private lessons to recreational skaters. Her goal is to do all she can to promote the sport.
- Michele Barbieri has taught figure skating for over fifteen years and coaches mostly US Figure Skating's skaters who train two hours a day, six days a week. She began coaching skating when she was quite young and qualified for the final rounds at regional figure skating competitions. Injury forced her to leave the competitive ranks when she was fourteen years old. She has a young daughter named Valentina. Barbieri considers herself a full-time mom and a part-time skating coach. Little Valentina is just beginning to compete at the ISI Alpha level.
Guide Review - Jersey On Ice:On Wednesday, December 12, 2012, a pilot episode of Jersey On Ice, a figure skating reality show, aired on The Learning Channel. TLC's media release described the three coaches featured on the show as "loud mouthed." It is obvious that TLC wishes to show how entertaining competitive figure skating can be and has featured skating coaches that are "loud," but also fun to be around. The pilot episode is certainly entertaining.
Those who view the Jersey On Ice pilot will see the skaters participating in and preparing for an ISI, Ice Skating Institute, competition. ISI's recreational competitive figure skaters are just as serious about their skating as hard core competitive US Figure Skating high level skaters. Some of the skaters Sroka, Astorga, and Barbieri teach are training towards competing in US Figure Skating regional competitions.
If Jersey On Ice's television pilot gets a positive response, TLC may produce more episodes featuring Sroka, Astorga, and Barbieri. Figure skating has received very little media coverage in recent years, so anything that gives the public a glimpse into the ice skating world is a good thing. The general public, figure skaters, and ice skating fans may or may not enjoy Jersey On Ice.