A Wonderland on Ice: Skating club’s annual showcase returns after hiatus

After a pandemic hiatus, the Revelstoke Skating Club's annual showcase of talent returned to the ice at the Revelstoke Forum. Here's an update on happenings from the club.

Alice and the Tree: Willow Brown as Alice, the tree left to right: Tegan Grimsdell, Cleo Pertici, Poppy Eadie and Daisy Bostock Photo: Contributed by Revelstoke Skating Club

Contributed by the Revelstoke Skating Club. Contribute your club’s story to revelstokemountaineer.com. Email info@revelstokemountaineer.com for details.

The Revelstoke Skating Club returned to the world of live performance in full force with a production of Alice in Wonderland (on ice of course) on Thursday, March 17. It had been two years since their last Carnival performance on March 13, 2020, under the shadow of Covid-19. On March 18 all performances and public gatherings were cancelled. A week later, parents were informed that students would not be returning to school. And so it all began.

Sophie Ngo, Maya Bollingbroke, Emma Erwin and Cleo Pertici as butterflies. Photo: Contributed by Revelstoke Skating Club

The Skating Club had a lean 2020 season with no Can Skate program (the little ones); program assistants and coaches were not allowed to touch the athletes to help them up should they fall. Registration was down, competitions, dryland training and fundraisers were cancelled and live performances (the favourite events of the year for most skaters — a chance to show off their stuff) were out of the question. In the face of all this, the Revelstoke skaters and their coaches Ciara Michaluk and Lauren Goss buckled down for a season of training.

Lia Morrow and Evan Smith as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. Photo: Contributed by Revelstoke Skating Club

Despite these challenges the season was a surprisingly good one, with more time to concentrate on training and individual skills. Ciara used a GoPro to video each of the skaters in their solo performances at the end of the season, and it was a wonderful new experience to have the camera so close, following every spin and hear the crisp sound of skates on ice.

Then, a curve ball! Our beloved coach Ciara was accepted into a nursing program just weeks before the new season began and made the difficult decision to leave the club. How to fill those giant skates with a new head coach? Up stepped Marisa Salon, three months into motherhood. She had recently moved back to Revelstoke to start a family and had been part of the skating club in her youth. In fact, while cleaning out the skating office most of the certificates and trophies we found were for her as a young skater! She was looking for somewhere to turn her significant focus and energy, so it was kismet. We had ourselves a new coach.

Anna Brown as the Cheshire Cat. Photo: Contributed by Revelstoke Skating Club

Along with a new coach, we would attempt something different for the year end Carnival. Rather than a “theme” show, we took on a production of Wonderland on Ice (Alice in Wonderland adapted as an ice show but Disney says we can’t call I that). Audiences were keen to see something, anything, live without a mask. We plastered posters all over town, and some of our skaters went live on Stoke FM to promote it (“We’re famous now! Are we famous?”) Would anybody come?

Success. The show had record attendance and we received $1,200 in donations; $600 of which the club will donate to the food bank and $600 of which will be used to offset registration fees for deserving families.

Photo: Contributed by Revelstoke Skating Club

This season is a wrap, but if you or your children would like to strap on some skates next fall please visit our FB page for more information. A new website will be up and running in the next few weeks, and we start taking registration in August for the upcoming season which runs September to March. We did have a waiting list this past season so don’t ponder too long! We offer Can Skate (for new skaters, some as young as 3), Star Skate (stuff most of us can’t do), an Adult Stroking Class (get your mind out of the gutter) and Synchronized Skating. The athletes have access to dryland training, nutrition and health seminars and a dance class for skaters.

Members of our skating club are a team, with older skaters teaching younger skaters, encouraging and supporting each other. Like gymnastics and dance, it’s not just for girls. And if you think figure skating is all about dresses and makeup, come and see these young athletes during a warm-up. Their power and speed is mesmerizing and you can’t take your eyes off them as they fly around the rink.

This post was published by a member of the Revelstoke Mountaineer staff. Stories published under the staff byline include news briefs, stories that consist mostly of media releases, social media post shares, and stories by contributors with the author's name listed in the body of the story.