was born in Olympia, Washington, but she grew up in the sunshine of Chandler, Arizona. Despite being raised in the desert, she fell in love with figure skating and spent several years competing as a member of Team USA. Since leaving the competitive skating world, she has had jobs touring with Cirque Du Soleil and performing on British reality television. She currently enjoys eating ice cream, engaging with creative approaches to activism, and being bisexual.
The Longer Bio:
I wrote a whole book that’s full of intimate stories about my teenage years, and I work on a reality TV show, so you might already know way too much about me—unless you haven’t read the memoir yet—in that case, go order it here!
I spent most of my childhood and adolescence as a competitive figure skater. My skating partner, Joe Johnson, and I were collectively known for making the sport of ice dance a little bit gayer. These days, I have a complicated relationship to the world of competitive skating, but I still watch the Olympics with a lot of enthusiasm. Like most human beings, I’m a bundle of mixed-up feelings.
Since retiring from competitive skating, I’ve continued performing professionally on the ice with Joe because he’s my best friend, and it’s hard for me to imagine a career where I don’t get to hang out and dance with him every day. And I also still love getting to wear the sparkly dresses.
When I’m not on the ice, I’m a writer. I studied English at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, and I’ve actually used my English degree to write all kinds of things—personal essays, poems, spoken-word performances, elaborate emails, etc. I tend to think the best thing about writing is the way that language can build community. I love bringing written words to life for live events, and I’m passionate about collaborating with of all kinds of creative people, so if you’d like to make something together, I’d love to chat.
Also, my full name is Ana Karina Manta, but I’ve always gone by my middle name. Feel free to call me Ana Karina or just Karina—I like both!