Even though spring is in full bloom in Athens, some Ohio University students and Athens residents have yet to bid adieu to winter.
This weekend, though, members of OU’s Learn to Skate program and the Athens Figure Skating Club will finally say farewell to the ice during the annual ice show at Bird Arena.
The ice show, which is in its seventh year, is an event in which Athens community members, OU students and members of the synchronized skating team join together to perform original choreographed skating pieces.
“It’s a fun event for the skaters to showcase what they can do,” said Anne White, a member of the synchronized skating team. “The rink actually closes the day after the event, so it’s the last hurrah of the season.”
The theme of the show this year is “All Around the World,” in which skaters will perform to songs dedicated to different destinations and cultures across the globe including “New York, New York” and “Walk Like an Egyptian,” according to a press release.
One of the groups participating in the event consists of members of the Learn to Skate Program. This group, made up of around 80 children from the Athens area, takes to the ice in Bird Arena on Saturday mornings to receive group skating lessons.
Many of those who teach in the program are a part of the OU synchronized skating team, which will also be performing in the event. In addition to this event, the team participates in three competitions throughout the year. This year the team placed third in the Midwest division.
“The team was such a huge part of my later teen years and gave me a huge support system in my transition from high school to college,” said Parker Deweese, the team’s secretary. “I love that I get to skate with my best friends and be a part of something that is bigger than ourselves.”
The team, which is made up of 11 members, also participates in several philanthropy events throughout the year including “Toe Picks for Tatas,” a breast cancer awareness skate, events for Martin Luther King Day and National Skating Month in January.
Though the girls on the team may be more comfortable in glitter than other athletes, White said this makes figure skating all the more challenging.
“I think that skating is difficult because not only do you have to skate, keep time with music and be in shape, but you have to look good doing it,” White said.