Spin it to Win it: Q&A with Elisabeth Butz, figure skater and freshman


Uday Lomada

Liz Butz, figure skater and freshman, works on her program. She said she does on and off-ice training, as well as cardio workouts and strength training during practice.

Angela Qian

What level are you in?

I’m a novice figure skater. They have it split into qualifying and non-qualifying and senior ladies are like the top level that you see at the olympics, and i’m like two down from them.

What got you interested in figure skating?

I honestly don’t really know. I was (around) four years old and apparently I was asking (to start skating), and my mom just put me off until 7 because she was just like “You’re four. You don’t know what you want.”

What’s your favorite skill?

My favorite would probably be my double lutz jump. It just feels so natural and easy and just right.

What do you like about figure skating?

I really like being able to express myself, and I like the feeling when I’ve accomplished something, like when I land a jump, and I’m just like, “Yes, did it.”

How have you grown through skating?

It takes a lot of discipline to be able to do skills with your body and be an athlete. (Skating has) also taught me time management because being able to skate and do school and a little extra stuff too. (I have learned about) discipline and time management, so it’s fun.

What are your goals in figure skating?

For this season, I want to make it to sectionals, and then maybe by senior year, I want to make it to nationals.

What’s your favorite thing about the rink?

That’s kind of hard because it’s not so much the rink, but it’s more (about) what I can do at the rink. The facility is nice, and it’s especially nice in the summer when you go there and it’s cold when it’s hot outside.

What skills or aspects of your performance do you focus the most on?

It depends. Since (figure skating) is year-round, right now in the season, I’m focusing more on jumps, but during the season when I’m competing, I focus more on spins, artistic ability and skills.

What competitions do you go to?

I go to state, and I go to regional skating, and then there’s a lot of competitions during the summer that i go to to gear up and make sure everything’s good and right for regionals, and i’ve been to sectionals too, but that was non-qualifying.

Whom do you compete against?

It’s people from all over. Regionals is our region, so that would be Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky and then Michigan too. That’s at regionals, but then for Detroit competition, there are people from California, there are people from Canada, people from Dallas, they just come from all over to come to Detroit.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Any sport is difficult, and so just saying that skating’s not a sport, or dance isn’t a sport, there’s still work that you have to put in. Anything with your physical body takes work and discipline and practice.