Cutting a Fine Figure

Posted on
Natalie Voss

Thoroughbred Figure Skating Club lacing up for their annual holiday spectacular

Thoroughbred Figure Skating Club at the Lexington Ice Center. PHOTO BY SARAH JANE SANDERS

Along with the sugarplums that are certainly dancing in your head with the arrival of cold weather and the holidays, it’s now the season for ice skating.

Lexington’s Thoroughbred Figure Skating Club is preparing for its annual Christmas show, titled “Holiday Classics on Ice,” at 1 p.m. Dec. 16 in the Lexington Ice Center.

Unlike previous years, which have centered around “The Nutcracker,” this year’s show will be more of a variety hour style, featuring familiar Christmas carols, according to club president Lynne Daviet.

Performers in the show are at various levels of the Lexington Ice Center’s Learn to Skate program, which is a standardized program that builds students’ skill sets. Some of them are competitive skaters, and others are recreational members of the club for whom this is their only opportunity to prepare and perform a program all year.

Although figure skating coach Ashley Pekrul says there’s a significant difference in polish from the professional athletes you might see skating on television, the audience should expect the rest to look similar. There will be jumps, although they will be doubles, rather than the triple-rotation movements you see in the Olympics. There will also be spins and ice dance footwork.

“To the untrained eye, you can’t really tell [the difference],” Pekrul said. “A lot of the spins are comparable to what you see on television. There will be a lot of spirals (in which skaters glide on one foot with the other leg stretched out behind or in front of them), big long extensions. Generally what’s showy about the skaters on television are the split jumps (in which the skater leaps into a mid-air split, touching the toes of their skates), and our skaters can do those.

“The only thing that makes our skaters different from the skaters on television, the only visible difference, is that they’re not going to look as composed, that kind of ‘I’ve been doing this for a long time,’ because they haven’t been.”

To prepare for the show, skaters will practice for three days a week for five weeks to learn their choreography. Some larger group numbers will start practice off the ice to work out how they will need to travel around each other, especially younger children. The goal of the show is to exhibit the skills skaters have already mastered for competition, and to give non-competitive skaters a chance to perform a musical program.

Costumes and scenery have been designed or purchased by the club over the years, and are modified by club members or parents as needed. In past years, the show has been more of an acting production and has included large pieces of scenery on the ice, but this year the club decided to focus more on the skating.

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