Southfield (CW50) – The sport of ice skating was largely dominated by White Americans in the states, especially in the suburbs. But over the last few decades the sport is largely populated by Asian-Americans, growing the representation of minorities in the sport. However, ice skating has never been a popular sport in the Black community, mostly due to the accessibility of skating clubs and rinks in urban areas. An ice skating club in Detroit is trying to change that.

Candice Tamakloe, Co-Founder of Dream Detroit Skating Academy, with Coach Crystal Stewart and fellow Co-Founder Angela Blocker Loyd

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Born and raised in Detroit, Candice Tamakloe began skating at 9 years old with the first and only African American figure skating club in the United States, Renaissance Figure Skater’s Club. In her youth, she competed in the Eastern Great Lake Regional Competition representing the Berkley Royal Blades Figure Skating Club and later the Detroit Skating Club at the Intermediate, Novice, and Junior freestyle levels. Her career brought her to Ebony on Ice, which was the first show of its kind to highlight a cast of African American professional figure skaters. As one of only a few African American skaters at the competitive level in her youth, Tamakloe thought that there had to be a way to expose the Black community to ice skating easily and affordably.

Dream Detroit Skating Academy team coaching young skaters in the program

Tamakloe had been approached by a friend of hers, Angela Blocker Loyd, who was another African American competitive skater in the area, about opening up a skating club with her. The two came together to co-found Dream Detroit Skating Academy, Detroit’s first female Black-owned skating club. The idea behind the club was to provide easy access to the necessary space, skills, equipment, and fundamentals of skating to Detroit’s Black youth. The hope is that one day the students at the club can go on to compete competitively at the highest levels of skating.

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Community Connect Host Jackie Paige, with Candice Tamakloe, Co-Founder of Dream Detroit Skating Academy

Tamakloe joins Jackie Paige on Community Connect to talk about why Back representation is important in ice skating, and what it can mean for a young kid in the city to have access to the sport.

Learn more or sign up at DreamDetroitSkate.com

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Watch Community Connect, Saturday at 7am on CW50