Paganini balances elegance with technical prowess in podium push

Alexia Paganini is a 15 year old skater who has been steadily climbing the US figure skating ranks.  Her first trip to nationals was actually in juvenile ice dance where she finished 11th in 2012.  She first started achieving success in singles in 2013 when she finished 14th as a juvenile skater at her regional competition.  The following year, she won the silver medal as an intermediate.  In 2015, she moved up to the novice level and placed 8th overall and last season she won the novice silver medal.

Her performance at nationals earned her an international assignment to the Gardena Spring Trophy where she won gold as a junior.  She competed this season at Junior Grand Prix France where she placed 6th.  She won gold at Eastern Sectionals to qualify to compete in Kansas City.  She has difficult content including triple lutz + triple toes and triple salchow + single loop + triple salchow combinations.

While the Kansas City Ballet has recently ended their run of the Nutcracker, Clara returns for an encore with Paganini’s performance.  This season she has focused on the artistic side of her skating to develop the full package and hopefully, earn her third career national medal.

How did you get involved with skating?

I got involved with skating when I was very young because my older brother skated and once I tried it I instantly loved it!

How would you describe yourself as a skater?

I would describe myself as an elegant skater.

Tell me about yourself outside of skating.

Outside of skating I’m a more relaxed person.  I like to laugh a lot and socialize.

Tell me about your programs this season. 

My short program is “On Golden Pond” and I leave the storyline open to interpretation by the audience.

Do you have a story or particular character you are portraying in your Nutcracker free skate?

In my program, I’m Clara going on the journey with her favorite toy the Nutcracker.

What is the most difficult element for you in your programs? What is your favorite element to complete?

The most difficult element in my programs right now is my triple lutz + triple toeloop because a lot depends on it, but my favorite element to perform is the double axel because it’s a more natural jump for me.

You’ve mentioned that you would like to be a technical specialist one day.  What draws you to that particular aspect of skating?

I like the technical side of skating because it’s interesting and it’s not based as much on opinions but more on facts.  I also think that it would be cool to travel to the prestigious figure skating events and meet other top athletes.

What lessons did you take away from winning the silver medal last year as a novice?  

I learned that I have potential as an athlete.

Do you feel any additional pressure being a reigning medal winner and moving up to the junior level?

No, because different things are happening in skating all of the time.  I just want to focus on doing my best.

Your first international assignment came last season to the Gardena Trophy where you won the gold medal.  What was that experience like?

That experience for me was very new.  I really enjoyed representing my country on a different continent and traveling to Italy.  It was really fun traveling with a “team” and competing with people from around the world.

You made your Junior Grand Prix debut in France where you finished 6th.  How was that experience different from Italy?  What lessons did you learn?

The atmosphere was definitely more intense in France at the competition.  It helped me to learn that I still have a lot of work to do in skating.

You used to compete in ice dance.  Do you think that gives you an advantage in your singles skating?

Yes, I think it really helped with my skating skills and expression, although those both still could be improved.

A lot of the jumps in your program were also in your programs last season.  However, your program components are much higher this year.  What other upgrades have you made as you made the transition to the junior level?

This season that [program components] was one of our main focuses.  In order to do that, we worked on my choreography in depth and how it connected my elements.

Have you made any changes to your programs for nationals?

No, everything has been kept the same.

What are your goals for nationals? For next season?

My goals for nationals are to skate the best I can, and possibly medal.  Based on my results, I will develop my goals for next season, but ultimately I would like to compete on the Junior Grand Prix circuit again, and do well enough to compete in two different ones.

Is there anything else you want people to know?

I want people to know that if you work hard and try your best you will get results eventually.


  1. […] Paganini balances elegance with technical prowess in podium push – by Amber Lewis, Ice Musings […]

  2. […] Alexia Paganini Age: 15; 11/15/01 Club: SC of New York Training Town: Hackensack, NJ Coach: Gllberto Viadana, Michela Boschetto, Margor Krisberg Choreographer: Michela Boschetto SP: “On Golden Pond” by Dave Grusin FS: “Pas de Deux” from The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky SP high score this qualifying season: 57.36 (E2); JGP? Possible SP jumps: 3Lz+3T, 3Lo, 2A She is the 2016 U.S. Novice silver medalist, Gardena Spring Trophy Junior gold medalist, and debuted on the JGP this past fall (6th in France). Link to her interview published in the Ice Musings blog […]