The New Ulm Figure Skating Club presents: Skate Games!
Performances are Friday March 3 through Sunday March 5, starting at 7 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, all at the New Ulm Civic Center. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students ages three to 17. They are available at Hy-Vee and at the door one hour before show time.
The theme of the show is centered on games of all types. Performances will bring to life various popular board games, video games and sports.
“We came up with the idea about a year ago, and we really thought it would be appealing to all ages,” Coach Julie Van Amber said. “Games are universal and bring out great memories for family and friends to enjoy.”
This year’s show will feature a larger pool of soloists including Van Amber’s daughter Susan Van Amber — a two-time, consecutive state champion in the open juvenile category.
“We have a lot of talent this year,” Van Amber said. “A lot of girls have been inspired by Susan to train more and go to harder competitions.”
The rest of the soloists are: Malia Wagner, Elise Webb, Ashley Harris, LorRae Portner and Meghan Christensen.
Most years the show features approximately four soloists, but it was too difficult to cut the pool down further this year, Van Amber said.
Each soloist has to audition in front of judges pulled from outside the New Ulm club. They score each soloist and from there the club decides who gets a solo.
However, this year’s scores were so high that Van Amber said she felt it did not do the performers justice if they did not get solos.
The process for selecting the songs began with what games Van Amber wanted to highlight.
“You try to think of certain video games or board games that are fun and then you try to find a song,” Van Amber said. “Like for the board game ‘Sorry!’, Justin Bieber has that song ‘Is it too Late to say I’m Sorry?'”
After she chose the song the private lessons coaches were responsible for creating the choreography to go along to the music.
The senior number this year is to the song “I Lived” by OneRepublic. The number combines the video game trope of multiple lives with the idea of high school seniors starting out on theirs.
“It is kind of tied in with games, being that you are trying to live and tied in with the seniors who are now going off on their own,” Van Amber said.
The seniors performing “I Lived” are Christensen, Clarissa Giefer and Susan.
A couple of performances to look out for include the adult dance and a tribute to the late Minnesota artist Prince.
The adults will be performing a number based on the board game “Clue.” Carolyn Borgen, Tom Borgen, Kevin Christensen, Jason Frederickson and Jim Gieseke will skate to “Shake, Rattle & Roll” by Bill Haley and the Comets.
Webb will perform her solo to Prince’s song “I Would die 4 U,” from the album Purple Rain.
“It is a nod to our Minnesota heritage, that he was a part of our lives,” Van Amber said.
The show also will include a tribute to the Olympics, football, the TV show “Game of Thrones” and Pac-man.
The figure skating club offers lessons in the spring summer and fall. It also hosts an annual competition called the New Ulm Fall Festival.
“I have a deep love for figure skating and I think it promotes individuality, I think it promotes creativity, I think it promotes athleticism and even though it is a very individual sport, as a club we come together in shows or in competitions to support each other and to cheer each other on and that makes it a good community for kids to grow up in,” Van Amber said.
Anyone interested in participating in the club can contact Van Amber at 612-702-5699 or Crystal Frederickson who runs group lessons at (507) 217-1645 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Connor Cummiskey can be emailed at email@example.com.