Costa Rica Coffee Guide

VIDEO: Synchronized skaters show off skills at Castillo Country Club

November 19, 2014

In a land of palm trees and sloths, it’s hard to imagine a Costa Rican ice rink. Indeed, there’s only one – in all of Central America.

But the Castillo Country Club in Heredia puts its frigid facility to good use, thanks to a massive expansion completed earlier this year, as well as to their dedicated coaches. Members of the Country Club can participate in a variety of wintry sports, and this week the spotlight falls on synchronized skaters.

Mainly geared toward younger pupils, the synchronized skating course is available to all Country Club members. Classes are taught in groups and take place only once per week, but students have the unique opportunity to learn skating techniques on actual ice. Starting Nov. 19 and continuing through Nov. 30, the students are demonstrating their skills for family and friends, performing choreography they have learned throughout the year. As their instructors describe it, the performance doubles as a kind of final exam.

The program is very popular: There are four instructors and 110 regular students. Including part-timers, there are about 220 students in all.

One of the instructors is Jovanka Tesanovic. At 29 years old, Tesanovic has led a remarkable life: Born in Sarajevo and raised in Serbia during the Balkan conflict, Tesanovic also lived in Britain and Cuba before settling in Costa Rica. She is both an experienced figure skater and competitive white-water rafter.

“I came here for other reasons,” Tesanovic recalled recently. “And then someone said, ‘Hey, there is an ice rink in Costa Rica.’ And then I was like, ‘Are you sure?’ I was thinking maybe I could [teach] some classes. They gave me a job, and three years later I’m still here.”

The Tico Times caught up with Tesanovic, her fellow coach Sofia  Elizondo, and their students during a weekend practice at Castillo.

Synchronized skating is its own kind of discipline. Groups of skaters carry out complex dance routines on the ice, much like synchronized swimmers. While the form is not nearly as popular as traditional figure skating, Tesanovic says the synchronized skating may soon be approved as an Olympic sport.

“I really hope someone will decide to take this more seriously than just as recreation,” said Tesanovic of her students. “They can go to the [United States], and they can skate more, and maybe we can decide to take them to a competition.”

Performance takes place Nov. 19-30 at Castillo Country Club, San Rafael, Heredia. Various times. ₡3,000 ($6). Attendants must be Castillo members or a member’s guest. Info: Castillo website.

You may be interested

Top dental clinics in Costa Rica meet patient needs in the age of COVID
Dental Tourism
2502 views
Dental Tourism
2502 views

Top dental clinics in Costa Rica meet patient needs in the age of COVID

Vayolla Quiros / Goodness Dental - September 18, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its guidelines for dental settings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.…

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Friday, September 18
Costa Rica
5390 views
Costa Rica
5390 views

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Friday, September 18

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 18, 2020

Costa Rica announced 20 new coronavirus-related deaths over the last day for a total of 686, according to official data…

Costa Rica proposes tax measures as part of IMF negotiations
Costa Rica
770 views
Costa Rica
770 views

Costa Rica proposes tax measures as part of IMF negotiations

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 18, 2020

The Costa Rican Presidency on Thursday announced the fiscal measures it will present to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as…