On Feb 2nd, 2023, Imani Rickerby, one of the the three cofounders of Aurora Tights sat down with three figure skaters from Figure Skating in Harlem to learn more about each other. Figure Skating in Harlem is a nonprofit that empowers girls and women of color to strive for the best in education and for discipline in skating.
The three skaters from Figure Skating in Harlem are named Ariyona, Victoire and Emily. They are all in their senior year. Ariyona have been in the program for 6 or 7 years. Victoire and Emily have been in the program for 11 years.
Ariyona asked her first question which was Were you afraid of any challenges when making Aurora Tights? Imani explained that Of course, you are afraid of it but we just went for it because we saw the problem ahead. They wondered where the money would come from, how would they get the tights, how can we market this, etc. But they were up to the challenge because they didn't want future performers to have the same problem they had. Imani and Sydney couldn't wear tights of their skin tone. Jasmine could wear tights her skin tone, but they weren't available. She had to dye them on her own before every competition. When Imani and Jasmine were on their team at the University of Maryland where they met, their team was diverse, but they all had to wear the same tone of tights no matter what.
The topic on why Aurora is important came up. Imani then says that even though she loved the sport, she felt always othered. Her make up didn't match, It was hard to do your hair and I look different from everyone on the ice. All that is a lot on top of trying to be a good performer. So she and the other two cofounders wanted to at least alleviate one problem and create Aurora Tights
Emily chimes in and asks Did anyone doubt you? Investors doubted Aurora Tights for sure. Our family and friends were right on board.
One of the best memories Imani has had was when she went an international competition in Sweden. She was the only black person there other than her mom. She was so glad her mom was there to see it. Then the interview turned. Imani asked the girls some questions.
Her first question was how was it growing up in a program like FSH?
Emily enjoys coming here and seeing my friends who are now like a second family
Victoire said it was fun to find a specific community in my age group to grow up with. Ariyana wanted to get into a different rank in competition but didn’t feel put down at all. She was always lifted up by the team.
How was it for y’all performing at your first competition?
The dynamic is harsh when it was a culture shock. They were surrounded by white folks when they were on an all black team. The audience felt shocked to see them there and that made them look at each other crazy. Ariyana said she felt shocked because of all the makeup she had to put on. It gets bumpy and fussy on the bus an hour before you get to the venue.
All three girls say skating will be a part of their lives going into college. They all want to find schools with rinks near them. It will always be something that they love and really helped create who they are
The ladies perform in color with a smile on their face. They try to appreciate where they are and what they learned.
If you want to #Performincolor like the ladies in Figure skating in Harlem, go take our shade quiz here.