The Orange Experience (OESU) is a synchronized skating team at Syracuse University that currently competes in the open collegiate division. This division was created to allow athletes to continue skating and competing during college, and allows up to sixteen skaters on the ice (although additional skaters can be kept as alternates). There are currently eighteen open collegiate teams representing universities across the country.
Tryouts are held in mid-September, with official practice starting immediately after. We typically compete between three or four times during the academic year, as well as perform at the Parent's Weekend Ice Show first semester and the Spring/Nationals Send Off Show second semester.
For 6 years the Orange Experience was completely student run. In 2008, we were happy to welcome our new full time coach, Lisa Mirabito. The team meets at the end of each school year to choose music for the upcoming season and elect officers and captains. The program is choreographed by our coach with help from a member of the team.
The team's captains are responsible for running practice, arranging ice time, and numerous other duties. We also have a board of officers who plan our ice show and exhibitions, arrange travel and fund raising, plan costumes, keep in contact with prospective skaters, and every other detail that goes into a successful synchronized skating team. This makes our team a very close-knit group that works together well and has fun both on AND off the ice.
All skaters must be enrolled in a college or degree program as full-time SU or SUNY ESF students in good academic standing. Skaters must also be registered USFS members (we usually take care of this as a team at the beginning of the season).
The cost of the season varies each year and is dependent upon some university funding, sponsorships, and fundsraising. We take pride in the fact that we are one of the most affordable non-varsity teams to skate for in the country.
For the previous seasons, each skater paid four $250 increments before fundsraising. This helped cover ice time, coaching fees, competition dresses, warm up outfits, skate bags, competition fees, travel expenses for three competitions and other miscellaneous expenses. Some additional out-of-pocket expenses do arise during the season (such as USFS membership, meals at competitions, team t-shirts, etc) but we try to keep those optional or to a minimum.