Manta/Johnson USA Ice Dancers

We began our careers together in 2014—simply seeking to train our best and hoping to eventually make it on to Team USA. However, as the seasons have progressed, our purpose for skating has grown with our careers. Now, embarking on our fifth season as a team together, we hope to take on future competitions with a bigger purpose in mind.
As athletes, we have always been passionate about pushing the envelope to create unique and exciting material that engages audiences in our sport and inspires interest in skating. Together as a team, we’ve routinely put out content that has stretched traditional ideas about ice dance, and we hope to continue to do so with our programs this season. We feel that our programs this year will truly capture the joy we both feel while on the ice and demonstrate how connected our hearts are to this sport.
Additionally, we are both extremely passionate about making ice dance more inclusive and accessible. Since we became a team, we have been working to spread a message of diversity but have grown more outspoken in our purpose in recent years. As an openly gay athlete, Joe has been working to serve as a role model to a new generation of athletes growing up in this sport—attempting to share that being yourself will not hold you back in working towards your dreams. We both are looking to promote this message and to keep supporting LGBTQ communities in sport. Additionally, we have both been very outspoken in recent years promoting body positivity within our sport and embracing wider diversity in terms of body acceptance. We spoke with a reporter from Al Jazeera this season, speaking candidly about ways we hope to see the sport learn to accept a greater variety of body types and instill not only ideals of physical health but also mental health in athletes. Skating has had a tried history with athletes’ relationships to their bodies, and we are hoping to demonstrate that there is an alternative to this existence: we both embrace that athleticism goes so far beyond physical appearance, and we hope to serve as role models for younger athletes who feel like they may not belong.

Donations ()

  • Naomi Paiss 
    • $50 
    • 10 mos
  • Allison D 
    • $30 
    • 11 mos
  • Mugisuke Kannoji 
    • $10 
    • 12 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 12 mos
  • Ishita Kent 
    • $25 
    • 12 mos
See all

Organizer

Joseph Johnson 
Organizer
Colorado Springs, CO
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