PPA Profiles: Shanley Pascal, Lakeside Recreation Manager
December 15, 2015
If you’ve spent any time at the LeFrak Center at Lakeside this season, you’ve undoubtedly seen the usual crowds of ice skaters gliding rhythmically around the rink, as well as the fast-paced frenzy of a hockey game. You’ve probably also noticed the emergence of a few winter activities less commonly seen in the City, like broomball and curling. Whether you’re a wintertime classicist or have learned the ins-and-outs of more untraditional sports, Lakeside Recreation Manager Shanley Pascal has likely played a role behind the scenes.
Ice skating has always been a major part of Shanley’s life. She grew up figure skating in the warmer climate of her native South Florida, and began her involvement in the skating community in New York City after matriculating at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2005. While still a student, she taught skating at several local rinks, and after graduating with a BFA in Theatre, she became the Skating Director at City Ice Pavilion. She was additionally elected to be Assistant District Representative of the Ice Skating Institute’s Metropolitan Area.
No stranger to the rest of the city’s rinks, Shanley first became a regular fixture on the ice at the LeFrak Center at Lakeside in 2013. While working for a local film distribution company located along Prospect Park West, she made sure to hit the ice at Lakeside weekly during lunch breaks. “I would ride a funny green and pink folding bike gifted to me solely so I could get there to skate,” she recalls. “I’ve been connected to this rink since long before I started working here!” Her transition to heading up programming at the Skate School was only natural.
New York City’s skating scene has broadened the figure-skating Floridian’s horizons on the ice. “While I taught skating at World Ice, I continued figure skating, but also tried out hockey and speed skating.” She’s been able to knock off two more winter sports from her bucket list since joining the team at Lakeside. “I always joked that curling was the only ice sport I hadn’t tried, and broomball wasn’t even on my radar yet,” she explains. Fortunately for Shanley as well as countless Brooklynites, the LeFrak Center at Lakeside offers both. “That’s one of the best things the LeFrak Center, the idea that anyone can participate—from learning to skate to figure skating, hockey, curling, and broomball.”
In addition to sharing her wealth of figure skating knowledge, Shanley is passionate about getting people involved in these off-the-beaten-path winter activities. Since its launch in November of 2014 curling at Lakeside has been a hit. “It’s a fun game to play, especially as we provide beer after,” which is a time-honored curling tradition known as “broomstacking.” Those well versed in curling and its accompanying social antics can opt for league play. Beginners are encouraged to partake in a five- to six-week long clinic, after which they will be prepared to participate in the action and revelry.