Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Gliding away a Sun Valley day

Cool down with skating programs


Young skaters enjoy getting dressed up for summer shows. Photo by Willy Cook

    Sun Valley’s iconic outdoor skating rink is the coolest place to be in the summer months.
    Whether you take to the ice in the peaceful morning hours when the air is cool and light is perfect, escape the afternoon heat by taking a lesson with one of the rink’s top professionals, or glide beneath the stars on a clear summer’s night, no summer in Sun Valley is complete without a lap around the largest year-round outdoor rink in the country.
    The lure of the ice calls many, but invariably yells to children.
    It’s irresistible and getting the little ones into skates couldn’t be easier for parents. During the summer months, throughout the day and night, numerous general sessions are available to recreational skaters.
    To enjoy a spin, just visit the skate house and select a package that includes ice time, skate rentals, even a helmet. Call 622-2194 for a current schedule.
    For those interested in improving their swizzles, scratch spins and Salchows, lessons are also readily available.
    If your budding skater would like to learn some basic skills, group lessons are offered from mid-June to mid-August. This drop-in group format accommodates beginners—teaching figure skating building blocks like stroking, skating forward, skating backward and that all-important skill, stopping. Classes are instructive and fun and prices are affordable.
    For even more opportunities to improve, semi-private lessons are given for up to four skaters of similar level.
    Popular clinics are also offered throughout the summer season. The Sun Valley Skating School offers up to 20 classes a day on both the beautiful outdoor rink and the full-size indoor rink that is equipped with a ballet studio and a jumping harness.
    Such clinics begin at 8:30 a.m. and run to 5:30 p.m. They include classes on spinning, jumping, stroking, performance, spirals, ice dance and more. Students can pre-register for the whole summer or pay by the week.  Walk-ons are available on first-come, first-served basis. Visit
    If you want to look the part, the full-service shop at the skate house sells beautiful one-of-a-kind skating dresses, athletic wear and skates.
    Each July, Sun Valley hosts hundreds of competitive skaters for the Summer Championships sponsored by the Sun Valley Figure Skating Club. This year’s event is July 24-27. Even if you aren’t a skater, find a spot on the bleachers July 27 to cheer on the popular showcase events—an entertaining (and free!) way for a family to spend a summer Sunday.
    Skating and Sun Valley share a storied nearly 80-year history. Come out and see why for yourself!

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