Blue Mound Figure Skaters gear up for Spring Ice ShowLUVERNE — Taking its cue from the television show, “So You Think You Can Dance?” the Blue Mound Figure Skaters have selected some Glee-inspired music — as well as other well-known tunes — as they take to the ice March 23-24, for their 21st annual Spring Ice Show, “So You Think You Can Skate?”
By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe
LUVERNE — Taking its cue from the television show, “So You Think You Can Dance?” the Blue Mound Figure Skaters have selected some Glee-inspired music — as well as other well-known tunes — as they take to the ice March 23-24, for their 21st annual Spring Ice Show, “So You Think You Can Skate?”
The event brings together skaters from as young as 3 years old to adult, with a full range of skill levels, according to team liaison Marian Schneekloth.
Participants come from across southwest Minnesota and eastern South Dakota to take part in the event.
“We have between 90 and 100 skaters that come to Learn to Skate lessons,” said Schneekloth, adding that skaters began a 14-week practice program last October.
When the program was finished, students had the option of taking part in the ice show, which required additional training and costume purchase.
The Friday and Saturday night performances, which begin at 7 p.m., vary to give all of the individual and duet performers an opportunity to skate. In between those performances are group events by beginner, intermediate and senior-level skaters and synchronized teams.
“The people love to come and watch the little kids skate,” said Schneekloth. “We begin our show with the production number, ‘So You Think You Can Dance?’ and all the kids in our freestyle level are in this number.”
In addition to the individual and team performances, there is a special event pairing hockey players and figure skaters to the tune of “Dance-Off,” as well as a father-daughter skating performance to the song, “Mr. Mom.”
The show lasts approximately two hours each evening, and includes competitor recognition prior to the Friday night show. A competitors awards ceremony precedes the show on Saturday.
The Spring Ice Show is a prelude to the Spring Fling, which is the Ice Skating Institute’s (ISI) District 10 competition. The event is hosted by the Blue Mound Figure Skaters in Luverne from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. March 31, and from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., April 1
There will be 48 students from the Blue Mound Figure Skaters competing at the district contest this year against skaters from nine other programs.
The hope is they will do as well as they have in the five other competitions they’ve participated in this season.
“Our skaters skated well,” Schneekloth said, adding that the Blue Mound Figure Skaters took first place in all of the larger group contests.
“There are 10 levels in ISI, and for our skaters to be where they are is pretty awesome because our kids don’t get to skate year-round,” Schneekloth said. “We have ice on Monday nights for practice and on Saturday mornings.”
Last year, the Blue Mound Figure Skaters competed in the World’s competition in Blaine, bringing home second place.
Schneekloth said their success is attributed to the skaters, which hail from as far west as Hartford, S.D., and as far east as Brewster. Nearly a dozen skaters come from Sioux Falls, S.D.
“I think we have a very successful program when (we’re getting skaters) from Sioux Falls,” she added. “It helps that we have a really nice facility — it’s something to be desired.”
The Blue Mound Figure Skaters have a coaching staff of five, four of whom have graduated from the program. They also rely heavily on parent volunteers to help, especially during the Ice Show and the Spring Fling.
Daily Globe Reporter Julie Buntjer may be reached at 376-7330.