Ashley Wagner is figure skater with some serious hardware including being a 3-time U.S. national champion, the 2016 World silver medalist and Olympic bronze medalist for the team event. Ashley is also the fiercest woman in American figure skating, both in her tenacity and her charm and beauty as well. We were privileged to get to spend a few minutes with Ashley during the Stars on Ice tour in Hershey, PA. We were delighted, although not surprised to discover that she’s so sweet and engaging in addition to being talented.
Kari: What are you excited about this Stars on Ice tour?
Ashley Wagner: Stars on Ice is seriously one of the coolest things ever. There’s all this history with the show and being a member of the show is this amazing rite of passage. To get that confirmation that you’re good enough for Stars on Ice? Huge honor! So being a part of that I love. The group numbers are the one thing I love more than anything else. It’s so much fun for me. Being a singles skater, it’s lonely, but when you get everyone else out on to the ice, I love it, it’s so much fun.
Kari: What did you do when you got to do the signature kick line? Did you just die?
Ashley Wagner: It’s such a magical moment, and I’ve never kicked so high in my life. The next day I knew I kicked too high and was like, “that was not good for me.”
Kari: So you grew up loving Stars on Ice, I’m sure.
Ashley Wagner: Yes!
Kari: Who was your Stars on Ice hero? Who’s somebody that you looked forward to seeing every time on TV?
Ashley Wagner: Tara. I loved watching Tara every time was my absolute favorite as a lady skater growing up, and then of course Scott. So many of his numbers were iconic.
Kari: He’s Mr. Figure Skating isn’t he? If you’re a figure skating fan and you don’t like Scott Hamilton, are you really a figure skating fan?
Ashley Wagner: Nope, next, don’t even try.
Kari: You had some gorgeous routines this year and we loved watching you. What are you excited about next season?
Ashley Wagner: This season was tough because it was this weird intermediate season. It doesn’t really count for anything, but also it counts for SO much!
Ashley Wagner: So there was so much pressure and no real reward. So I’m just excited to actually be working toward the Olympics. I am directed and driven and have a sense of where I’m going. So I think that’s going to make next season so much easier for me.
Kari: Are you excited to be getting back in costumes and new music?
Ashley Wagner: Yeah, the creative process of figure skating is so fun for me. I love putting the program together, and then the music cuts, it’s so much fun. I’m very involved in that, so I’m looking forward to the whole process.
Kari: My friend Jonathan and I have been big fans of yours for years, back to when you had the purple costume with flowers in your hair. We were all like, “ I love her! I love her!” and RJ was like “Okay you guys, you need to calm down” and we were like, “No she’s so cool” What are some of your favorite costumes? You’ve had some really memorable costumes.
Ashley Wagner: I really loved, and I’m wearing it here tonight, the grey costume that I started off the season with this year, but it’s really hard to jump in and for competition, that’s not fun. So that was one of my favorites honestly, my short program this year too, because it’s so different. I wanted to look like a dress almost that I could wear out in a club.
Kari: Just a sassy going out dress.
Ashley Wagner: Yeah! Exactly, so I really loved that one. And then probably throwing it back to Black Swan and it was so classic and it wasn’t the stereotypical white and black. Those are my favorites.
Kari: You’ve had some gorgeous ones. I’m always like, “What’s Ashley Wagner wearing?” I always look forward to it.
So what are your plans for summer? What are you looking forward to most either getting a break or getting back to training?
Ashley Wagner: I’m looking forward to getting a break right now, just because that’s the mindset that I’m in. Absolutely training, though, I think this season I was technically so much stronger in my training then I’ve ever been in my life, and I think it’s more about having access to that in competition, and solidifying that so it’s less of a thought process when I’m under pressure that will be really great for me.
Kari: What are your travel essentials? What is it that you have to take with you?
Ashley Wagner: I always take one of my own pillows. I am super weird about pillows, and then I bring a candle.
Kari: That’s always good. Since you travel so much, what is one thing you always like to do when you travel? To get to de-stress or take your mind off the competition?
Ashley Wagner: I love coffee, so for me I like to explore and find little coffee shops and find some kind of local experience in. I’m lucky enough to travel the world for what I do so I always try to get out and see something.
RJ: You’re from Alexandria. We live in the DC area; do you get to the area much?
Ashley Wagner: No. I don’t California is so far from everything and I travel so much that the only time I make it anywhere on the East Coast for something not skating related is to see my mom at Christmas and she lives in Annapolis.
RJ: Do you have anything in particular you like to do when you are close by?
Ashley Wagner: Honestly, if you were to ask me anything about the DC area, I really don’t know a lot because I was a kid when I was there, so I went to the rink, I went to school, I didn’t really have any adult experiences, so I don’t really know much about the city.
Kari: We always have a few questions we ask everybody. You’re in the car, you have 5 minutes, you need to get pumped, what are you listening to?
Ashley Wagner: Anything Beyoncé and I just shuffle.
RJ: If you were a superhero, who would you be and why?
Ashley Wagner: Wonder Woman because she has a really cute outfit, and also I think she’s a tough chick and I think I can appreciate a woman who knows what she wants and knows how to get but still has an awesome set of curls.
Kari: We have one on the way and we have G…
Ashley Wagner: Congratulations, by the way.
Kari: Thank you. What’s one piece of advice you would give them about skating, or just life.
Ashley Wagner: I would say pick a couple people in life where you really care about their opinion and that’s it. Everything else is extra noise and you find a small group of people who you love and care about and the rest is just noise.
Kari: That’s so great, I love that!
Thanks to Ashley Wagner for such a fun interview. We wish her the best for next season and CAN’T WAIT to see her new programs. The day after the show we asked G what he liked best about the show and he said “Ashley Wagner” when I (Kari) asked him why he said “because she appreciates her audience.” That’s a very wise and very accurate statement for someone that’s only two-and-a-half. Ashley does appreciate her audience and watching her and speaking to her were both wonderful experiences.
G also added that she “was a good clapper, too.”
(All images belong to The He Said She Said Experience and may not be used without permission.)