2019-20 U.S. Figure Skating DREAM Program and Crystallettes Senior Synchronized Skating Team Member, Rachel Teets
Hi everyone! My name is Rachel Teets, and I’m from Livonia, Michigan. I am truly honored to return to the DREAM program for my third year. Being the daughter and niece of Crystallette coaches/directors, Holly Teets-Malewski and Shannon Peterson, I was destined to be a figure skater. At 17 months old, my mom had me walking around the house in figure skates, and soon after I was taking my first steps on the ice. I’ve been a member of the Dearborn Figure Skating Club since birth and a Crystallette since I was 5 years old.
My love for skating carries over to every discipline. I was on Harmony Theatre Company’s senior team for four years, a past participant in the solo dance series and still take freestyle and dance lessons. I have a few international dances left to test and hope to finish my freestyle tests too! I truly love all disciplines of skating, but my heart belongs to synchro. I patiently worked my way up through the Crystallettes organization, following natural progression of team advancement. I began on synchro skills 1 and skated in every division all the way through senior. This will be my 14th year of synchronized skating and fourth year competing in the senior division!
I cross-skated (skating for two levels during the same season) for the Crystallettes from juvenile through senior, but sadly this year I was too old for novice. It may sound crazy, but I truly love double teaming! Our discipline has evolved so much since I first began in 2005. We seem to be getting closer and closer to our Olympic dream and regardless of that outcome, I am humbled by our accomplishments so far.
In addition to skating, I’m a freshman at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Michigan, in their Honors Program. Through Schoolcraft College and the Michigan Transfer Agreement, I will attend Wayne State University in fall of 2021. At WSU I plan continue my studies to become a physician assistant. Many Crystallettes on the senior and adult teams attend WSU and other universities across lower Michigan, including Michigan State University, Adrian College and Oakland University to name a few! Being centrally located to all of these schools is a blessing to be able to pursue collegiate careers while continuing to skate for Team USA.
Outside of school and skating, I am a nanny for an 8-year-old boy named Henry. I practice every morning from 5:30-6:30 a.m. and then take care of Henry before school, drive him to school and then head off to school myself. After school and studying, I head back to the rink, where I teach Learn to Skate USA classes and private lessons. Sharing my love of the sport with others is so fulfilling. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing the smile and sense of accomplishment on the faces of these athletes after they master something new.
As we prepare for this competitive season and our two international events, I reflect on the privilege bestowed upon me and my teammates, both DREAM and Crystallettes. The ultimate goal for me was to make the senior team and represent my country. Though it’s already my fourth year in the senior division, the excitement and honor still bring chills up my spine. We will represent the United States of America. Our colors are the same, red, white and blue. The roar of the crowd chanting “USA! USA! USA!” is still the most thrilling thing an athlete can experience.
I hope the best for you and your team this upcoming season and hope to see you wearing red, white and blue one day too!