Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Summer skating finals take center stage

At Sun Valley, showcase is Sunday

    Welcome to a big week of figure skating at Sun Valley!
    The Sun Valley Figure Skating Club (SVFSC) is hosting its 47th annual Summer Skating Championships on two rinks over four days from Thursday through Sunday, July 18-21.
    SVFSC publicist Andrea Nelson said the Summer Skating Championships are one of the largest and most popular non-qualifying competitions in the six-state Northwest Pacific skating region.
    About 185 skaters from across the nation and overseas will compete, so local residents and visitors might notice an unusual number of girls in sparkling dresses towards the end of the week.
    While predominately female, highly skilled male skaters also enjoy the unique blend of art and athleticism that defines competitive figure skating.
    In general, each category of events begins with younger, lower-level skaters and finishes with the highest-level skaters.
    After practice ice sessions today, Wednesday, competition kicks off Thursday at 2 p.m. on the indoor rink. Scheduled are compulsories focusing on a skater’s best technical elements—spins or jumps.
    Thursday about 3 p.m., Free Skate events begin with Juvenile, Intermediate, Novice, and Senior Short programs. Free Skate consists of a program performed to music.
    Points are awarded for technical elements such as jumps, spins, and footwork, as well as an artistic component score. At the Juvenile through Senior levels, Free Skate has both a long and a short program.
    Free Skate long program events will run on the indoor rink through Friday, beginning with the No-Test level and concluding with the highest level, Senior Free Skate. Two Adult Free Skate events have been interjected at around 10:15 a.m.
    Saturday’s event schedule begins with Artistic, in which skaters are judged primarily for the quality of an artistic interpretation of a dramatic music selection. Artistic events begin with the No-Test level at 9 a.m. and conclude with Senior Artistic at around 12:30 p.m.
    At 12:40 p.m, Saturday, Basic Skills competition begins for the youngest and newest skaters. All Beginning level, Artistic and Free Skate events in the Summer Championships are traditionally held on “Basic Skills Saturday.”
    Sunday, after three full days of serious athletic and artistic events, the competition will move to Sun Valley’s beautiful outdoor rink to finish on a light note. It is popularly known as “Showcase Sunday.”
    It’s where skaters of all ages don costumes, grab props, and delight audiences with creative singles, pairs, and group theatre-on-ice productions.
    “Showcase Sunday” begins at 9 a.m. with Interpretive Improvisation.
    Interpretive Improvisation competitors are played a song in the skate house about 10 minutes before their event starts. They must choreograph an original program to the song and perform it for the judges.
    The event is judged on choreography, originality and music interpretation.
    Singles Showcase starts around 10:20 a.m., followed by Pairs Showcase at 4:15 p.m. Group Showcase at 5:20 p.m. concludes the competition.
    This year, the Sun Valley Figure Skating Club’s highest-level junior skater, Shayna Moellenberg is directing an open group number for all club skaters. The Boise Figure Skating Club and the Denver Figure Skating Club have also entered the group showcase event.
    “Showcase Sunday” is a crowd-pleaser, drawing locals and photographers to the edge of the ice for fun in the sun.
    Locals lamenting over the Sun Valley Figure Skating Club’s decision to take a year off  “Battle of the Blades” this summer can get their amateur skating entertainment fix at “Showcase Sunday.” Admission is free to all events.
     The Sun Valley Summer Championships offers many opportunities to volunteer or support figure skating through financial donations. Please call 622-8020 for information.
    A detailed event schedule can be found at The schedule is posted daily in the indoor rink.

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