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Kentville Silver Gliders transport audience to 1950s with fabulous ice show


KENTVILLE, NS - It was like stepping into a time machine and travelling back to the age of Elvis Presley, poodle skirts and hula hoops.

The Kentville Silver Gliders Figure Skating Club hosted The Fabulous 50’s Ice Show at the Kentville Centennial Arena on March 18. The show featured several numbers focusing on 1950’s popular culture.

13-year-old Jennica Graves of Centreville, a member of the novice Revolution Synchro Team, said the ice show gave her the opportunity to work with different coaches and club members. Along with Sarah Parsons and Rebecca Pineo, the Star Five level skater played a 50’s teen posing for pictures on prom night.

She said putting on a show with a 1950’s theme was “pretty cool.” Although it was a learning experience for the skaters, she said some of the older audience members would remember and relate to the subject matter.

Graves said that her mom introduced her to ice skating when she was three-and-a-half years old. Graves found that it became a lot of fun when she started going to competitions.

“I like competing against people and lately I’ve been able to qualify for new competitions, which is super fun,” Graves said.

She has qualified to represent the club and province at the upcoming Skate Atlantica, a competition featuring skaters from all four Atlantic provinces.

12-year-old Claire Slade of Coldbrook is also a Star Five level skater and member of the novice Revolution Synchro Team. She was excited to be skating with one of her friends, Clea Matthews, as a “drive-in diner duo.” She said it was fun learning more about the 1950’s in preparation for the show, such as looking at pictures and watching videos online.

Slade said just prior to show time that the thought of performing in front of so many people made her a little nervous but she was able to get over the butterflies. Slade has also qualified for this year’s Skate Atlantica. Other skaters from the club to qualify include Jane Maillet, Alexa Derrick and Sarah Parsons.

10-year-old Ainslie Gale of Head of St. Margaret’s Bay, a member of the elementary Revolution Synchro Team, said she first got involved in skating through her babysitters, synchro team coaches Ashley and Lacey Walkinshaw.

Gale said she was looking forward to hula-hooping on the ice as part of her number. The Star Two level skater said she liked the 50’s theme, which was rather unique. The skating numbers imagined by producer and coach Cheryle Gaston were fun to perform.

“It’s a little different from our usual ones because usually they’re like actual plays or movies that are already made,” she said.

Gale said that because the show was so original, there was more flexibility for the skaters than performing an established production such as last year’s Beauty and the Beast, for example.

The novice Revolution synchro team recently travelled to Liverpool for the Atlantic Regional Synchronized Skating Championships. They brought home silver medals and a new personal best score. The elementary synchro team finished third at provincials and gave a strong showing at regionals.

Kentville Silver Gliders president Darlene Redden-Graves said the skaters were excited to be putting on the Fabulous 50’s Ice Show. Many spent a lot of time over March break preparing. The music is from an era they aren’t familiar with and the skaters seemed to be having fun with it. In this regard, preparing for the show was a cultural learning experience.

Redden-Graves said the ice show has become an annual tradition for their club. It’s a way to showcase the skaters as the season draws to a close and it serves as a major fundraiser, along with the Christmas show and the chocolate bar campaign.

Redden-Graves said it was a successful season for the Kentville Silver Gliders, with skaters taking part in many competitions.

Club member Dawson Munro is training in ice dance along with his partner, Jailyn Elliott from the Mariposa East club in New Glasgow. Their goal is to make the 2019 Canada Games team. They competed this year at Sectionals and the Rob McCall Memorial as the only ice dance team from Nova Scotia.

Redden-Graves said there is a spring skating school in Greenwood that several club members will take part in and then the Kentville Silver Gliders will be on hiatus until August. She would like to congratulate all the club’s skaters on a great season and a job well done.

Kirk.starratt@kingscountynews.ca

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