Skating club hosts annual show at Ice Sheet

(Source: Betty Winters) The Wasatch Figure Skating Club will host its annual spring show, this year titled Spectacular Skating Circus on Ice, this weekend at the Weber County Ice Sheet.

The Wasatch Figure Skating Club’s annual spring show fundraiser will be this weekend at the Weber County Ice Sheet.

Each year, the show’s director comes up with a new theme. This year it will be the Spectacular Skating Circus on Ice. The Ice Sheet’s Learn to Skate children are grouped up with professional champions costumed as circus performers.

Letitia Ahrensback, the creative director for the show for the past four years, has been coaching at the Ice Sheet since 2003. This year she was inspired to do a circus theme after watching her summer camp group skate with a parachute, which reminded her of a circus.

“I like to do numbers and themes that are really fun and outgoing, because the kids work so hard all year competing and trying, so I feel like the shows are the one time that they get to let loose and have a good time and be a character,” Ahrensback said, “kind of bring out the performance side of skating — all the costumes and all that kind of stuff. I like to do something that they can escape into that’s really fun.”

Ahrensback grew up skating with the program and performing in the shows. She said her fondest memories of skating growing up are of performing in the annual spring show. She is now carrying on the tradition with her 7-year-old daughter, Shelly, who will perform the ballerina, lion and production numbers this year.

“You get to go out there and be a star and have fun, and there is no pressure or competition; you get to just enjoy yourself,” Ahrensback said. “I think it’s so much fun to be a character . . . Honestly, that is probably my favorite part of being a coach, too. I love the ice shows.”

Club president Betty Winters said the annual show has been running strong for about 25-plus years.

“We’re a nonprofit organization, and it’s basically our biggest fundraiser,” she said. “All the money we make, we use to keep the skaters on the ice. We also use it to keep our special needs program. We have some kids that skate in our show and in our club; we try to use some of that money to keep them on the ice, as well as our special needs kids.”

Winters said there is a variety of skaters in the program. “We have some of our kids (who) have been to nationals every year, and regionals and sectionals every year. We have some exceptional skaters who skate for our club.”

Club treasurer Doris Friess’ two children have been skating since they were 3 and 5. They started out skating at the Ice Sheet in the Learn to Skate program, and are now national skaters at the ages of 14 and 16. Her son, Mitchell, was the 2013 Pacific Coast Sectional Champion at the intermediate level.

“Mitchell is the magician and my daughter is the fortune-teller,” Friess said. “He is in a group that is the clown group, and she is in the group that’s the fire dancers.”

The spring show will starts at 7:30 p.m. March 21-22. Tickets cost $5; ages 3 and younger are free. Afterward, everyone can skate with the performers for $1. The Weber County Ice Sheet shares a parking lot with the Dee Events Center on 4390 Harrison Blvd.