The ONLY African American Ice Dance Team in America:
Kassy Kova and Justin Ross are the ONLY African American competitive ice dance team in America. There may be other ice dance teams where one of the team's members is an African American, but Kova and Ross are the only team where both members of the team are African Americans.
About Kassy Kova:
Kassy was born on April 12, 1993 in San Diego, California. She began skating when she was two years old. Her mother lived in French-speaking West Africa for many, many years. Her father is from Cote d'Ivoire, West Africa. Her family speaks French at home. Her older sister also skates.
About Justin Ross:
Justin was born on May 25, 1990, in San Diego, California. He has a twin brother. He began skating when he was seven years old, but did not begin serious figure skating training until he was about eleven.
History of the Kova-Ross Ice Dance Team:
Justin and Kassy became ice dance partners during the summer of 2005. They qualified for the Junior Nationals Championships at the Juvenile Dance level just five months later. They made the finals that year. For the 2006-07 season, they moved up to the Intermediate Dance level. At the 2008 Junior National Championships, they came in seventh in Intermediate Dance.
At the 2010 Pacific Coast Sectional Figure Skating Championships, the team won the pewter medal and qualified for the 2010 U.S. National Figure Skating Championships. Plans for the future include competing at the Junior and Senior levels.
Kova and Ross skate four hours each day from 4:00 AM until 8:00 AM at the San Diego Ice Arena. They also skate at Escondido Ice-O-Plex. In addition to their figure skating, they take ballet classes, ballroom dance lessons, and do off-ice conditioning.
- Christine Fowler-Binder - U.S. National Junior Ice Dance Champion
- Wendy Smith - San Diego Ice Arena Skating School Director
- Jon Nichols
- Suzy Semanick-Schurman - National Ice Dance Champion and Olympic Competitor
Goals and Dreams:
The team's goal is to become national and international ice dance competitors, and they hope to participate in the 2014 Olympics.
Like Brother and Sister:
Kassy and Justin look alike. Many people think they are a brother-sister ice dance team when they are seen together on the ice. They live in the same neighborhood.
In addition to being a figure skater, Kassy works part-time as a fashion model. Justin works part-time as a skating school instructor.
Interests Outside of Skating:
Justin is interested in music. He plays the clarinet and the baritone horn. He also enjoys American Sign Language, English, and History.
Kassy likes to read. She also rides horses, does rock climbing, and plays chess.
Kassy Kova and Justin Ross in the News:
- First African-American Ice Dancing Team to compete in US Figure Skating Nat’l Championships = From Today's Drum, November 2009
- Only African American Ice Dancing Team in America Skating toward a Bright Future and to the Oympics in 2014 - From Today's Drum, May 2008
- African-American ice dancers aim for Olympics, From IceNetwork.com
- Sign On San Diego
- San Diego Union Tribune, April 2008
- IceNetwork.com, April 2008