It was all about fun for figure skaters from the South Dumfries Figure Skating Club on Monday in St. George.
But, as one of the more experienced skaters noted, the club’s annual gala at the South Dumfries Community Centre also offered a chance for young skaters to get used to putting on a show.
“It’s less pressure and it gives you a chance to skate in front of people and get used to an audience,” 17-year-old Carolyn Hall said.
Hall has been with the club since she was two years old and managed a top-10 finish at the Trillium STARSkate provincial championships last season.
She was one of almost 30 young skaters to perform their program for a sizable crowd at the community centre on Monday as part of the club’s Christmas gala.
“It’s a chance for them to go out and do their solos in a non-competitive atmosphere,” club president Lorraine Little said. “They have so much fun supporting each other.”
After each performance, a young member of the club’s CanSkate program skated out to give the performers a rose.
“CanSkate is our big focus this year,” Little said. “We are trying to build our membership back up by focusing on that lower level and really getting them interested.”
Dawn Hall, a coach with the club for more than 20 years, is facilitating the official Skate Canada training program for children as young as three years old.
“Skate Canada is looking for kids to be moving 98 per cent of the time they are on the ice,” Hall said. “We want to keep them interested, motivated and moving.”
The CanSkate program instils fundamentals through six stages before skaters graduate to regular coaching by the South Dumfries club.
As for Carolyn Hall, she will be aiming for another shot at the provincials in 2013 at a qualifier in February.
The Burford Figure Skating Club is hosting its annual Christmas Follies Show this Friday at the Burford Community Centre at 6:15 p.m. They will be celebrating the receipt of a provincial grant for a new state-of-the-art sound system at the arena.