15-year-old Maeva Chapman will compete in the “National Solo Dance Final” in Chicago this month | Credit: Courtesy

When 15-year-old Maeva Chapman takes the ice to compete in the National Solo Dance Final in Chicago this month, she’ll be excelling at the highest echelon of competition in her sport. Not only that, she’ll be the first athlete from Goleta’s Ice in Paradise to reach this level. 

“I’m really proud that all the endless hours of hard work I put into this is paying off,” said Maeva, who began skating at Ice in Paradise when the rink opened in Goleta eight years ago. She first learned how to skate at age 3, when her family lived in France, then at age 6 she began going to the rink in Oxnard, before S.B. County had a rink of its own. Currently ranked second in Juvenile Combined Solo Dance and third in Bronze Solo Dance in the Pacific Division, Maeva — whose father is a third-generation organic farmer and grandson of Fairview Gardens founders — is both a freestyle skater and an ice dancer and will compete September 14-17 to try to bring home some medals home to Santa Barbara. 

Credit: Courtesy

She completed her freshman year at Dos Pueblos but is currently being homeschooled in order to focus on ice skating, a sport her mother Nadia Chapman also excels in. Maeva’s main ice dancing coach is Yaroslava Nechaeva, who is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan and has a track record of working with Olympic and World Figure Skating competitors like Evan Bates. Maeva and “Yasa” worked together over the summer in both California and Michigan to prepare for this competition. Her program will include a free dance to the James Bond song “Tomorrow Never Dies,” sung by Sheryl Crow, and she’ll also perform a “Willow Waltz” and two versions of “Hickory Hoedown.”

“I wanted to congratulate Maeva for qualifying for the National Solo Dance Finals. It’s been very inspiring for me to be working with Maeva,” said Nechaeva. “I admire the drive that comes from Maeva. The fact that she sets a goal and follows her dreams by working hard and not getting distracted is such a great example of what could be accomplished if you set your mind on something.”  

She added, “The family support is moving Nadia, you are making it all possible for Maeva and by setting a very strong work ethic example. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a small part of this amazing success story. Thank you for the opportunity and good luck to the team at Nationals Solo Dance Finals.”

Maeva currently trains six days a week at Ice in Paradise and also takes lessons weekly in Simi Valley and Burbank. She’s got her supportive mother — who has been a Figure Skating Coach for over 25 years and currently teaches other students six days a week in Goleta — there to drive her back and forth. 


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