The Hagerstown Edge Skate Academy (HESA) performed its annual Winter program, Holidays on Ice. HESA puts on this bi-annual figure skating show, featuring skaters of all levels, which showcases their accomplishments made as a result of their lessons and practice. This year, there were 27 individual performers and 2 groups of Sparklers (synchronized teams). This year's youngest participant was 6 years old, although past shows have included performances from skaters as young as 4 years old.
Some skaters begin preparation months in advance for the show, from music selection to dress and more importantly practice. Most skaters work with a private coach to help with choreography while others have the ability to prepare their own programs.
How do novices get involved with this program? New skaters are encouraged to be involved in the shows as soon as they feel comfortable. Working with a private coach to choreograph and further their skill set is very helpful and also helps to boost their confidence. For skaters who may be a bit shy performing solo, we offer a Prepare to Perform class in which there are several skaters doing a group performance together. This is a great way for beginners or first time performers to get a feel for being in front of an audience.
Figure skating director Lorraine Olson believes that the lessons learned on the ice help participants achieve success away from the rink. "Lessons learned in figure skating are lessons in life," Olson said. "Figure skating develops self-confidence, reliance, and discipline, along with managing stress and performing under pressure. Additionally, skaters will master skills, learn artistry, and increase their athleticism."
What's next for the program? Come check out their summer skate show, which will be held on June 10, 2017 at the rink. Ticket sales will be announced in May.