Our staff’s coaching philosophy is that the work we do as a team will translate to valuable life lessons. The Chicago Skates coaching staff is committed to building better skaters on the ice, in order to build better youths off the ice. Our knowledgeable and committed coaches will teach you the skills in a program, to compete at your highest level and to learn from the experience. We are dedicated to the growth of the Chicago Skates organization, the Windy City FSC, and the sport of synchronized skating.
Lauren began skating at age four in the Denver metro area. She started Synchronized Skating at six and Ice Dance at twelve. Lauren’s a USFS Double Gold Medalist in Moves in the Field and Free Skating with Junior standing in Solo Free Dance and Pre-Gold standing in Ice Dance. Lauren competed at the Senior level in Free Skating, Solo Ice Dance, and Synchronized Skating. Leaning on her regional, sectional, and national experiences, she coached and judged in Colorado before moving to Chicago, where she continues to coach and choreograph part-time. She’s passionate about creating opportunities for skaters to discover their love of the sport, the life lessons it provides, and the second family it gives its athletes beyond their competitive years. Lauren’s honored to be a part of the Chicago Skates family since 2022 and looks forward to a memorable season ahead, as co-coach of the Aspire 2 team!
Coach Kristen began synchronized skating in 2005 on Chicago Skates and this will be her third year coaching. She competed as a Chicago Skate for 8 years before graduating from Taft and attending college. She graduated from Northeastern Illinois University in 2017 with a bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education and graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2021 with a master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education. Kristen loves this opportunity to help young skaters develop their passion for skating. Coach Kristen will be leading the Preliminary team this year.
Claire started her synchronized skating career in 2005 and has just completed her third season coaching with Chicago Skates. She is proud to have coached the 2023 Pre-Juvenile Midwestern pewter medalists! Claire is originally from Detroit and has previously skated with Team Elan, Evolution, and Crystallettes. In that time she earned five national medals and was a member of Team USA at the senior level. Claire then went on to study at Michigan State University where she was a member of the synchronized skating team all four years and earned two Collegiate national medals. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology and Psychology and was brought to Chicago to pursue a Master's in Occupational Therapy. Claire is excited to be a part of the Chicago Skates family and share her passion for synchronized skating with young skaters! Coach Claire will be leading the Pre-Juvenile team with Coach Miranda.
Open Juvenile and Aspire 4
Coach Nora, originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, fell in love with synchronized skating when she joined Wisconsin Edge at the age of 10. Later moving to Starlights, Nora skated on both the Novice and Senior teams, competing at the national level, and qualifying to represent Team USA internationally. She is a USFS triple gold medalist (moves, ice dance, and solo free dance) and passed through her intermediate free skate. Nora moved to Chicago in 2017 to attend DePaul University, where she graduated with a B.A. in Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies. In addition to skating, Nora has developed her passion for movement off the ice. She currently trains and performs as a professional dancer in the Chicago area. Now in her third season with Chicago Skates, Nora is thrilled to be the head coach of the Open Juvenile team and the Aspire 4 team this season.
Assistant Coach - Aspire 4
Assistant Coach - Jr. Skates
Anya grew up skating at Mcfetridge and spent 4 seasons skating for Chicago Skates. After graduating high school in 2022, pursuing their bachelors in dance locally, they joined McFetridge skating staff as an instructor, returning to Chicago Skates as as Assistant Coach of the 2022-2023 Aspire 4 team with Coach Nora. This season they will continue Assistant Coaching Pre-Preliminary, while also assisting Coach Audrey with the new pre-competitive Jr. Skates program.
Assistant Figure Skating Coordinator
Founder of Chicago Skates
Coach Kathy founded the first official Chicago Skates Synchronized skating team at McFetridge, in 1988. Since then, she continued to coach with Chicago Skates for over 30 years, coaching 37 teams! Kathy coached an Undefeated Beginner team for three consecutive years and medaled at the Midwestern Sectional Championships three times, most recently, Gold medal champions in the Open Juvenile Division in 2022. Currently, Kathy has stepped down from coaching a team to focus on her new position as Assistant Figure Skating Coordinator and helping with the Chicago Skates administrative side. Coach Kathy was instrumental in starting the Chicago Skates Scholarship Fund and continues to manage and award money to Chicago Skates families that are in need. In 2022, Kathy was recognized by United States Figure Skating as one of the top 100 contributors who has made a significant impact at the club level through hard work, time commitment and ingenuity.
Pre-Juvenile and Preliminary
Miranda has been involved in synchronized skating for the past 20 years and has just completed her seventh year on the Chicago Skates coaching staff. She has coached several successful teams at the Pre-Juvenile, Preliminary, and Aspire levels including the 2022 Pre-Juvenile Midwestern Champions and 2023 Pre-Juvenile Midwest Pewter Medalists. Miranda skated on Chicago Skates for nine years before graduating from Jones and attending college. She studied at Michigan State University where she joined their synchro team. She helped MSU earn several awards in the Collegiate division including a National Bronze medal in 2014. During her senior year, she served as Treasurer on the team's executive board. She graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor's Degree in Economics. Miranda is excited to share her passion and enthusiasm for the sport with the new generation of Chicago Skates. She hopes to teach her skaters the valuable lessons that the sport offers and help them grow as skaters, teammates, and individuals. Coach Miranda will be leading the Pre-Juvenile team with Coach Claire and co-coaching the Preliminary team with Coach Kristen.
Intermediate and Open Juvenile
Tara started her synchronized skating career in 2005 and continued to skate at the elite level in college and through her early twenties. She grew up skating for Skyliners, and represented Team USA with Adrian College, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Sports Management. Her most notable achievement is with Teams Elite Senior when they won the French Cup in February of 2023. Tara is a two-time international silver medalist, an eight-time National medalist, and a National Champion. She is a USFS Triple Gold Medalist in Moves in the Field, Ice Dance, and Solo Free Dance. Tara assisted Chicago Skates founder, Kathy Murphy, in coaching the 2022 Midwestern Open Juvenile Champions. Additionally, she was selected to be one of three coaches nationwide to participate in the Coach Education Program at the 2022 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships. She is excited to be a part of the Chicago Skates family and share her love for the sport with the next generation of skaters!
Figure Skating Coordinator
Jennifer Ward grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan and began skating at the age of 6. She competed in local and regional competitions throughout her school years and eventually moved on to college. After two years of study, she joined Disney on Ice and enjoyed 5 ½ years of performing and touring both nationally and internationally with several different productions. After leaving Disney on Ice, Jennifer moved to Chicago to finish college and received a Bachelor's Degree in Performing Arts Management from Columbia College Chicago. She taught skating full-time until taking over as the Figure Skating Coordinator in 2004. Jennifer co-coached synchronized skating teams and enjoyed two successful seasons from 2000-2002.
Aspire 2 and Jr. Skates
Audrey has been involved in synchronized skating since 2010, having competed for 5 years at the intermediate level and assisted in coaching at the pre-juvenile level for 2 years in the Kansas City area. Audrey is a USFS Gold Medalist in Moves in the Field and has a Silver standing in Ice Dance. While obtaining her bachelor’s in Interior Architecture, Audrey coached for 4 years at a primarily freestyle rink in Springdale, Arkansas where she brought her synchro experience to the coaching team and specialized in teaching power, edges, turns, and ice dance to both figure skaters of all ages as well as young hockey players. Upon graduation, Audrey moved to Chicago to begin her career in Architecture and started teaching at McFetridge Sports Center. Audrey will be co-coaching the Aspire Beginner team and is thrilled to be a part of the Chicago Skates community and share her love of synchro with skaters and the coaching staff!
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