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Traverse City Central High School

Traverse City Central Figure Skater Syncs with Western Michigan

TRAVERSE CITY - Traverse City Central’s Mary Palamara will continue to juggle school and athletics in the fall as she will be figure skating at Western Michigan University.

The future Bronco not only figure skates individually but will also be on the synchronized skating team. For those who are unfamiliar, Palamara breaks down what a synchronized routine looks like.

“The point is to stay in line with another skater and then work together as a team,” said Mary. “Older groups and advanced teams lift skaters. You link up, skate in the same direction, same moves, same styles, a lot of legs up, [then] down, [then] extensions. All the pretty stuff that you see in skating when you’re not thinking about jump and spins.”


The sport is not always pretty given the dangers of some skills. The skaters can reach speeds up to 30 mph while they are intertwining on the ice.

“We have intersections, so like we line up at top speed and then we slice through teach other and it can be scary,” said Mary.

“There are times when we, all of us collectively as parents, hold our breath when they’re going through a move,” said Mary’s father Joe Palamara. “God, forbid we watch practice when they’re learning it for the first time.”

Mary was torn between Michigan State and Western Michigan, both schools offering their figure skating camps on the same day. She decided to give WMU a chance and she fell in love with the campus, education program and the girls who would be on her team.


“It was so fun it felt like another home already,” said Mary.

Mary will practice with the Broncos all year round. Her synchronized competitions will take place from the fall through the winter and her individual freestyle competitions happen from the spring through the summer.

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