Dream Detroit Skating Academy breaks down financial barriers for children who want to learn how to ice skate

DETROIT – Every time the Winter Olympics comes around and we see these graceful figure skaters on screen, kids suddenly drop hints that they want to learn how to skate.

Many families may think they can’t afford these classes, but a new company wants to change that perception.

Angela Blocker-Loyd and Candice Tamakloe grew up in Detroit but had to leave the city for most of their figure skating training. Together they were inspired to start Dream Detroit Skating Academy (DDSA).

“You can do so much with it (ice skating). And I think it’s about time we introduced these kinds of sports and activities to minorities because they can transform their lives,” Blocker-Loyd said.

The aim is to break down barriers such as accessibility.

“You literally have to go outside of Detroit to Berkley, Royal Oak, Southfield, Bloomfield Hills to play this sport. And I think we have an ice rink here,” Blocker-Loyd said.

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The Academy hosts a six-week session at the newly renovated Adams Butzel Recreation Complex in Detroit.

The DDSA also addresses the sport’s financial hurdles by offering the program at a much more affordable price.

“Figure skating is expensive, extremely expensive, and a lot of working-class families, single mothers, that can be a problem for them,” Blocker-Loyd said.

The goal is to show Detroiters as young as four the opportunities ice skating can offer, especially with the Winter Olympics just weeks away.

“It’s going to be so cool for them to see pros and maybe spark a new interest in them that they never had,” Blocker-Loyd said. “They might not even want to see the Winter Olympics.”

It has already changed Makayla Beckom’s dreams. The 13-year-old has only been skating for a few months and said she wants to one day compete at a professional level.

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“I skate for fun, but I never thought in a million years that I’d be skating on ice today,” Beckom said.

Dream Detroit Skating Academy will host its first skating school on Saturday, January 29 from 11:00 am to 1:30 pm at the Adams Butzel Recreation Complex in Detroit.

More information on upcoming events can be found here.

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