Skating club presents fifth annual finale

Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Juneau Skating Club culminates its season at 3 p.m. today at Treadwell Arena with its fifth annual season finale - The Wild, Wild West: Going for Gold in the Last Frontier.

Pam Green and other JSC coaches crammed to teach the routine's choreography to 60 participants, which proved to be as tense for them as the skaters.

"We only had a week of practice, believe it or not, so it was a very intensive week where the coaches had already created the program, but then we had to put the program to ice with the kids," she said.

Green is one of the JSC head coaches coordinating today's recital. With the help of her colleagues, Green took the JSC's Gold team - 12 soloist figure skaters who skated in a competition earlier in the year - and formed a storyline from the names of the songs to which the skaters performed.

The coaches weaved the song titles into a story about the Gold team's ambitious pursuit of gold as they head out into the last frontier of Juneau.

Some of the songs featured are Ghost Riders in the Sky, Home on the Range, I've Been Working on the Railroad, North to Alaska, and the theme from the movie "The Magnificent Seven."

Green said the JSC was formed to help Juneau's residents increase their skating skills - from the very basic of levels to the highest. Children from the age of 4 to adults in their 60s either learn to skate for the first time or brush up on skills at Treadwell Arena.

Since Treadwell Arena opened last August for its winter season, the people in the recital have taken four, six-week sessions of lessons where they've progressively learned more difficult skills. The recital is a chance for them to demonstrate to friends and family the skills they've acquired throughout the year.

Haleigh DiCarlo, 8, and Marie Barstad, 9, said they are excited to perform the technical skills they worked on all season.

"I like how you get to do your favorite moves," DiCarlo said. "My favorite move is the three-turn, but we also do jumps called bunny-hops."

Besides the technical skills, Barstad anticipates her big moment on the ice.

"I look forward to doing my solos," Barstad said. "It has swizzles, two-foot turns, and my favorite move, the salchow."

An additional challenge the skaters must deal with is skating to live music. Collette Costa will perform during the show.

"It is hard to skate to music that is recorded, but it is really hard to skate to live music and this is the first time we are going to attempt it," Green said.

There will be a silent dessert auction during the program. Everyone is encouraged to bring their skates since the JSC will sponsor a free open skate following the recital.

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