Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Night at the Library - 2015 Pincher Creek Skating Club Carnival

Tessa Roy in her final performance as a member of Senior Starskate
C. Davis photos/video
Chris Davis

The Pincher Creek Skating Club presented their annual show on Saturday evening, March 28, the final big event of the season at the Memorial Community Centre Arena.  Themed "A Night at the Library", the Skate Canada sanctioned event  featured approximately 40 local skaters and guest performers.

Participating were members of the Pre-CanSkate, CanSkate, Junior StarSkate, and Senior StarSkate categories, coaches Sherry Mackenzie, Krystle Bordyschuk, and Brooke Dorge.  Pincher Creek Skating Club President Allison Malhi played the role of Librarian.  Guest skaters were Brynley Gross (9) and Emma Gross (13) from the Lethbridge Skating Club.  They are also members of the Calalta Skating Club in Calgary.  Jeremy Nelson acted as MC for the event.  Behind the scenes there was a small army of volunteers, who helped make props, set up the decorations, ran the lights, and helped keep the event flowing.  "Hours and hours of parent volunteering," according to  Pincher Creek Curling Club President Allison Malhi.  "We start in January with ideas and grouping kids, the coaches, to songs... the parents are given a list of what the songs are and then they go for it."

"This is all parent volunteer that goes into it.  Most of us are sewing dresses right up until last night and making alterations and the decorations out there are all painted and done by some of the kids, the adults... You know what, it's a complete collaboration."

"Without the parents you just don't have a carnival."

Wednesday CanSkaters get Seussical
"The Juniors and Seniors come up with a lot of their own choreographing.  They do get help from Krystle, their coach, to go through and just to make things, you know, better, to enhance...  The Seniors come up with their own programs, of course they are helped (with) choreographing.  Most of the Senior's programs though, they've been doing all year, because most of the Senior's programs are used for competitions." 

The event began with Malhi, in full crazy-hair-and-spectacles Librarian mode, seated in a big comfy chair at centre ice.  Pre-Canskaters joined her, sitting on the ice to hear her read from A.A.Milne's Winnie the Pooh.  From there we were treated to interpretations of a large number of children's classics, as well as solo and duo spotlights.  The audience was entertained and dazzled by the two act presentation.

Erica Mackenzie and Ellie Stauffer's Hunger Games
This year's Pre-CanSkate and CanSkate groups had a significant number of boys.  "I think the biggest thing is parents wrapping their heads around the fact that this isn't a figure skating club," explained Malhi.  "You don't actually start figure skating until you're in Juniors. The CanSkate and PreCanskate program, I cannot  emphasize this enough, is not figure skating.  It is skating.  It is learning how to get up, learning how to do edges, it make the hockey players great, it makes the ringuette players great, it makes the figure skaters great. Without the CanSkate program you don't have the same quality.  And that's not just here.  In some of the provinces it is part of a mandatory program prior to other sports."

"If the boys want to continue, they make big cashola as partners, like 80 bucks an hour."

As for the final steps before the curtain calls, Malhi said "Friday night is always the worst... and then it happens and it's magical, and that word is so cliche but it is.  It happens, the kids go out, the spotlight hits them, and they love it, and that's why we love it."

Treasure Island with the Junior StarSkaters


Krystle Bordyschuk has been coaching in Pincher Creek for 6 years, travelling from Lethbridge to do so.  This year she took a little time out after giving birth to a son, Greyson Aaron Tarditi, in February.

Tessa Roy gave her final Senior Starskate performance, as she graduates this year after 12 years with the Pincher Creek Skating Club, to move on to the University of Lethbridge.  Roy represented the South Zone at the 2012 Alberta Winter Games.  She also earned Triple Gold in her SkateCanada tests.  "Tessa has been a mentor to our children, to my child, specially," said Allison Malhi.  "She's been one of those remarkable girls that comes into your life and is beautiful on the ice, and inside.  And so for our club... we're glad to see her move on, we're glad to see her grow up, but we'll miss her dearly."

Senior StarSkaters Taylor Wells and Alexandra Morgan were unfortunately missing from the event, as they are currently overseas on a school trip.  Alexandra also graduates this year.

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