A local ice dancer recently wrote a book that shares her experiences as a queer person and Latina
Nov. 3, 2021
Karina Manta is a former Skate USA ice dancer who was raised in Chandler and made history when she and her dancing partner become the country’s first openly LGBTQ ice dancing team. Manta recently wrote a young adult book about her life growing up on the ice and the many challenges she faced in finding her place in the world. We spoke with Karina Manta.
Manta’s book is titled “On Top of Glass: My Stories as a Queer Girl in Figure Skating” and she titled it this because, “there’s a lot of reasons but the pretty obvious one is just that ice looks like glass…it’s the skating kind of imagery but also because as someone who is queer growing up in skating that environment felt sort of precarious, and I felt really nervous a lot of times of making a mistake and making a wrong move and that could be dangerous,” Manta said.
She continued that this environment didn’t always feel safe. She also added that this takes on a symbolism of “glass ceilings” in that, “by more people advocating for a more inclusive environment in sports we can hopefully get on top of that glass ceiling.”
This book follows a lot of her adolescence and she shared she got into skating from attending a birthday party at a local ice skating rink in Chandler. She fell in love with it.
“I begged my parents for lessons and they said ‘okay, if you practice roller blading, we’ll sign you up’ and here I am 20 years later,” Manta said.
But the book isn’t so much about ice skating, it’s about Manta’s experiences as a teenage girl.
“I love coming of age stories…it’s kind of taking my life and my life as a queer person and my life as a Latina and exploring those experiences under my lens,” Manta said.