Skating Toward Greatness
Human resources management student Nathalie Borgella ’15 balances a full course-load at Pace while skating for the NHL’s New York Islanders Ice Girls team.
When Nathalie Borgella ’15 laced up her ice skates 10 years ago at an “Iceland Day” fieldtrip, she had no idea that that moment would set her up for a future skating in front of thousands with the New York Islanders Ice Girls. The Lubin human resources management student recently made the team of what she calls “cheerleaders on ice” for the National Hockey League’s (NHL) New York Islanders, based out of Long Island.
Borgella auditioned for one of 12 spots available on the Ice Girls’ team in August. The Ice Girls perform dances on ice, remove snow from the ice during home games at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, as well as volunteer and participate in various community events. “You have to be able to smile and you have to amp-up the crowd. You can’t be scared. It’s more for the bubbly, outgoing type,” says Borgella.
For her, making the team is a testament to hard work both on and off the rink, and is a chance to take her skating career to the next level. After that field trip 10 years ago, Borgella and her mother both worked hard to fund the costly sport and to advance in it.
“During high school, after a while, it was a little bit of a struggle, but that’s when I started working myself. When I was 16, I got a job so I could continue skating,” she says. Borgella had the chance to become an assistant coach at her rink and has worked her way up to become a teacher and coach today. She currently coaches at three rinks—one in Queens, one in Long Island City, and also at the iconic Bryant Park Winter Village skating rink.
This is the first time Borgella is skating as part of a team with the Ice Girls and also her first time doing show skating—something she hopes to continue in the future, with her sights set on Disney on Ice. While the NHL season is just getting started, she says her time with the team so far has been welcoming and nothing short of a positive sorority experience.
Borgella and the Ice Girls have already participated in one charity event together hosted by former Yankees outfielder and designated hitter Carlos Beltrán at the annual “A Night in Old San Juan” to support health, fitness, and education for children from lower income families. “I know, I had a single parent, it was hard for me at one point too. So I love any opportunity to help get underprivileged kids to a higher place,” she says. “[The Ice Girls] do a lot of children’s-based things, so I’m excited. I can’t wait for my next one.”
Borgella is currently gearing up for her season with the team and managing her last year at Pace. With the time commitment of three games each week, coupled with her coaching at multiple rinks, she says the pressures of time management are nothing new to her. In fact, she’s even made time to experience more of the University than many students. One of her favorite memories at Pace so far has been spending a semester in Westchester as a way to slow down her jam-packed schedule. “How many times do you have two campuses in the same school?” she says. “At any other school I couldn’t do that.”
After graduation in May, Borgella plans to pursue human resources management in France and work toward show skating for a large show, like Disney on Ice or possibly a cruise line.
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There’s no better way to beat the chill than by stepping under the Schimmel Theater lights! Pace’s Commercial Dance majors will be performing nine original works on December 2 and 3.
David Sharif ’19 is a Political Science major with a minor in Peace and Justice Studies currently blogging from Spain. He was diagnosed with autism and overcomes adversity by breaking down barriers across the world—one country at a time.
Around The World In 30 Countries
Wild about Setters Madness? Always ready to rock the blue and gold? You won’t want to miss the Men’s and Women’s Basketball home opener against our Adelphi rivals!
Bringing Home The Win