Cassandra Cavuoto '22 Completes US Figure Skating Senior Test

Michelle H. Daino
Cassandra Cavuoto '22, a Mount senior, has successfully completed the rigorous requirements for the senior test conducted by U.S. Figure Skating. This is the highest level in the free skate tests and an incredible achievement, according to Anne Cammett, U.S. Figure Skating President.

“Advancement through the various levels of free skate tests requires many hours of instruction, practice, and disciplined concentration,” she noted.

Cassandra, who has committed herself to the sport of ice skating since she was four years old, shared, “I love being on the ice. I love the feeling of gliding on my blades, the feeling of cool wind on your face, and crazy as it may seem, even the rink and ice smell.”

“At four years old, jumping and spinning looked like so much fun to me, and all I wanted to do was be able to jump. In my private lesson, I kept asking the coach when I would be skating because jumping was all I wanted to do. She kept saying, ‘But you are skating.’ Motivation came from the desire to be able to learn the jumps and different spins,” explained Cassandra.

“Figure skating is a challenging sport; one in which only a small percentage of individuals in the world can really do; particularly at a higher level. It takes a great deal of discipline and persistence over time to master the technical skills, skate with grace, and incorporate the artistry,” she said. “Desire to be the best I could technically was my motivation.”

When she was nine, Cassandra begged her mother to find a better coach to improve her training – coaches who were Olympians, World Champions, and Stanley Cup winners.

“They were true professional athletes that taught me much about patience, working hard, and yet maintaining balance for fun, school activities, piano lessons and music shows,” she said. “You learn quickly in the skating world that it is about the journey not one specific test, competition or show. You learn to set and work towards goals to constantly keep motivated and with each achievement you reset a higher goal to move towards. It is a build - an experience of constant personal growth. Skating also humbles you – when you fail, you know it quickly. You learn early on even if you place first in a competition, you are only as good as your next skate. You seek validation of yourself for the hard work and time you put into training but also from your coaches. You seek to please them as they work very hard to help you be the best you can. All of this feeds into self-motivation.”

“Skating has given me the confidence to feel like I can accomplish anything now,” added Cassandra, “including my schoolwork, speaking, and interacting with others. It brings me great joy and is a release to be on the ice – jumping, spinning, and performing. I cannot imagine my life without skating. It is in my blood and has contributed to how I have grown as an individual. I will skate as long as I am able.”

Cassandra plans to join the skating club of the university she chooses to attend in the fall. She would like to compete head-to-head in USFSA Intercollegiate Regional and National competitions in Ladies Free Skate and/or Ladies Solo Dance.

Rock on Rock! Ice Show at Rockefeller Center, New York City, January 2021
"Performing at Rockefeller Center is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It is typically a venue where only elite professional figure skaters and Olympians get invited to perform. I am honored I had the opportunity to perform in this show." When I had stepped on the ice at the Rock, I told myself to enjoy this moment in time, and as the music started, I let go and lost myself in the experience." "It was awesome, and I will remember it always! 
Recognized by U.S. Figure Skating as one of its “2021 Get Up Champions” for having the courage to share my story of overcoming adversity and those who have inspired me.
“The sport of figure skating has taught me that being a champion is not always about winning, it is about attitude. In my sport, you fall, and you learn that when you fall, you get up, brush yourself off, and keep on going. I experienced an injury outside of skating and it affected some training years. They thought I might not be able to skate any longer, but I fought through it and achieved much during and after the injury. This award has great meaning for me.”
North Atlantic Regional Championships
  •  2018- 2019 North Atlantic Regional Figure Skating Championships 11th place Intermediate Ladies Freestyle Competitor
  •  2016-2017 North Atlantic Regional Figure Skating Championships Juvenile Ladies Freestyle Competitor
 Excel Festival Sectional Skating Championships
  • 2018-2019 Excel Festival 5th place Sectional Novice Excel Ladies Freestyle Competitor 
Excel Festival National Skating Championships
  • 2018-2019 Excel National Festival National Championship 14th place Novice Excel Ladies Freestyle Competitor
  • 2019-2020 Excel National Festival National Championship Junior Excel Ladies Freestyle Virtual Participant
The test structure is one of the most important and rewarding aspects of figure skating, often called the “backbone of US Figure Skating.” Starting with the first test you take, through your entire career, it is the national standard you are measured against.
In each figure skating discipline, there are either six or eight test levels, with the highest one being either “Senior” or “Gold”. When an athlete passes their Senior or Gold test, it is a huge accomplishment, marking many years of dedication to the sport, and their mastery of that discipline. The athlete earns the title, “US Figure Skating Gold Medalist.” Less than 3% skaters achieve Gold Medal status in one discipline. My achievements so far, include:
  • Accomplished US Figure Skating Association (USFSA) having achieved Gold Medal in Moves in Field and in Ladies Free Skate (Junior Ladies Freestyle level with Distinction, Senior Ladies Freestyle with Honors) and as high as Pre-Gold Patterned Dance tests
  • Actively pursuing Patterned Dance Gold Medal
  • Ladies Solo Dance Gold planned upon completion of Patterned Dance Gold Medal award
  • Seeking to recognition as USFSA Gold Medalist across four disciplines
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