My name is Raegan Toomey, I am from Queensbury, NY and this is my story. My passion for dancing began at the age of 3 when my Mom enrolled me in my first ballet class. When I turned 7, my Mom brought me to the skating rink for the first time. I remember the smell of the ice, the cold biting my face, and the lights twinkling high above as I spun around and around, and although I spent most of my time sitting on the ice my smile could have reached the moon. From that day forward my love for dance and my passion for skating were forged.
When I was 8, I began training at many of the local Capital Region rinks. I also began to compete and win local ice dance competitions. Due to the success I was having locally, my coach decided to enter me onto the National level. At 9, I qualified for the National Ice Dance Championships in Colorado Springs, Colorado (the first of 3). At 12, I was competing and winning all over the United States. At this time my coach recommended to my parents that I train and compete at a higher-level. At 13, I moved away from home to attend the prestigious Emma Willard boarding school where I could train during the day. At 15, I made the decision to leave this amazing school behind to follow my partner to Delaware so he could train and go to college. There, I attended a boarding / sports academy that could accommodate my rigorous training schedule. At 17, my partner decided to stop competing. This was shattering news. I had moved far from home, left my friends behind, and jeopardized my education. After much praying, I made the very difficult decision to follow my dreams and leave school (homeschool my Senior year), forgo competition in the 2015 – 2016 season, and move to Montreal, Canada to be coached by world-renowned coach, Igor Tchiniaev. At 18, I began skating with an Australian partner.
In February of this year my partner and I were on track to make the Australian National team when I was involved in a life-altering car accident. I was headed to one of the local rinks to coach. In order for me to make this dream come true I not only have to work but I have to work a lot to support myself, and even then it is never enough. So on that night my car hit black ice, slid across two lanes, hit a pole, hit a drainage ditch, and flipped 3 times. And on that night I was blessed 3 times. The first was when the farmer ran from his house and cut me out of my seat belt through the broken glass, the second was when the firemen pulled me from my crushed car through my sunroof, and the third was when the stranger and her daughter stayed with me through the night at the hospital.
The next day reality came to find me. I was injured, I lost my partner as he decided he didn’t want to wait for me to recover, my car was totaled, I lost my coaching jobs because I had no transportation, and I had to move back to New York to live and recuperate with my family.
I quickly realized that my new reality was a blessing in disguise. The Upstate New York community has rallied around me and my family and has been an integral part of my recovery. They have not only helped me heal physically but they have given me the love and encouragement to keep on this path! This encouragement has only fueled my desire to get back to Canada. I now have the opportunity to start training with a Canadian National champion with hopes of making the 2018 Olympic Ice Dance Team.
I know that this is God’s path for me but in order to make this my new reality I need your help. Please consider donating to help me fulfill my lifelong dream. Any amount of kindness will help relieve the cost of training and be much appreciated.