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NU Figure Skating Club presents ‘Wonderful World of Skating’

BlueSky Online senior Kenzie Havemeier has been skating for four years. Her favorite memory is taking part in the production of “The Wizard of Oz.” She says she’s been able to learn much from figure skating, improving her focus, setting goals and the thrill and self-accomplishment of meeting her goals.

The New Ulm Figure Skating Club will present a high-energy ice show bringing the Wonderful World of Disney to the ice at 1 and 7 p.m., Saturday, April 10 only, at the New Ulm Civic Center. A limited number of tickets are available at Hy-Vee Foods, New Ulm. No door ticket sales this year.

The stories of Mary Poppins, The Lion King, Aladdin, Coco, Frozen 2, Moana, Toy Story, and more will be included in the show.

Putting the show on has been a challenge, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Skating rinks have closed on and off due to COVID-19 restrictions. NUFSC Board President Chad Ebert said this has been a tough, sensitive time for everyone, but many different things have been done during 2020 to maximize efforts and results for the club’s skaters.

“Going all the way back to the summer, we’ve done off-ice training,” Ebert said. “In the summer, some of our local coaches would meet and work with our kids in the park socially-distanced and working on things like balance and spin and those sorts of things. We’ve also done virtual Zoom meetings. We’ve had nationally recognized coaches work with our kids on some of those similar jump and spin type of things where you can put them on a monitor or you can do it at home and they can work along with the coaches. Even though we can’t always be on the ice, we work on key things to help them that when they have been able to get back on [the ice], they haven’t been just completely cold.”

The club currently features 62 skaters from 48 families.

Nicollet High School senior Kassidi Gomez has been skating for 13 years. A New Ulm Figure Skating Club coach, her favorite memory is going to skating contests and coaching her own skaters.

The show includes high school seniors Kassidi Gomez, Alexis Rustin, and Kenzie Havemeier. Rustin has been skating for 14 years. Her favorite memory is landing her first axel (an edge jump in which a skater springs into the air from bent knees. It is the oldest and most difficult figure skating jump).

Currently a Freestyle 6 skater, Rustin has been figure skating since age four. She has been playing soccer for 14 years and participated in dance for five years. She also plays clarinet in the New Ulm High School Band and is on the Knowledge Bowl team.

Rustin is also active in Network New Ulm and the National Honor Society.

She plans to attend the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire and double major in chemistry and physics.

Gomez, the current Miss Nicollet and a Nicollet High School senior, has been skating for 13 years. She currently skates in Freestyle 6 and is a New Ulm Figure Skating Club coach. Her favorite memory is going to contests and beginning to coach her own skaters.

New Ulm High School senior Alexis Rustin has been skating for 14 years. Her favorite memory is landing her first axel (an edge jump in which a skater springs into the air from bent knees. It is the oldest and most difficult figure skating jump).

She also participates in school and summer softball, dances with the Nicollet Just for Kix team, is class vice president and a student council member.

Gomez plans to major in nursing at South Dakota State University and become a pediatric nurse.

Havemeier, a senior at BlueSky Online, has been skating for four years. Her favorite memory is taking part in the production of “The Wizard of Oz.”

“I’ve been able to learn so much from figure skating,” said Havemeier. “I improved my focus, set goals and had thrill and self-accomplishment of meeting goals. When I’m on the ice, the outside world disappears. It’s a moment of peaceful, self expression that I can’t get anywhere else.”

She is an Honor Roll student, avid reader and enjoys knitting, swimming, spending time with horses and participating in volunteer groups.

Photo courtesy of Rachel Hoffmann Members of the New Ulm Figure Skating Club pose together on the ice. “Legends and Divas” was the theme of the Ice Show last year. This year’s show will be Disney-themed — “The Wonderful World of Skating.”

All three girls said they have enjoyed skating immensely, thanked their coaches and parents for believing in them and said they’ve made many friends.

Havemeier said she is keeping her future options open. She plans to take a gap year after high school and focus on personal growth and exploring future possibilities.

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