KC Ice Center spring figure skating show set for May

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MAY 2015 – If you have the ability to ride around on a 3/16-inch sharpened blade of steel on a sheet of ice, or if you like watching others who do, the Kansas City Ice Center has something for you in May.

The four-on-four hockey leagues that started at the beginning of April will run through the end of May. One of the tiers of an adult league in cooperation with the Independence Events Center will take up the first weekend of the month.

But the big event is the KC Ice Center Spring Figure Skating Show. In its third year, the program will have close to 100 skaters take part in an Oscar-themed event the middle weekend of May.

“It’s kind of like a theatre production, where you have a theme, and curtains with a back stage,” event director Kay Gentges said. “We have music that goes with the theme. We have group and solo performances.

“The theme this year is ‘All About the Oscars.’ The little kids will be skating to ‘Under the Sea,’ which won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 1990 (Little Mermaid). The kids will have Little Mermaid costumes. The next group will be skating to the song from ‘Happy Feat,’ which won Best Animated Feature in 2007. The kids will be wearing little tuxedos.

“We have ‘Chim Chim Cher-ee,’ which won an Oscar for Best Original Song in 1966 (Mary Poppins). The skaters will look like chimney sweeps. The adults will be skating to ‘The Sting,’ which won Best Picture and Best Original Song Score in 1975. We’ll have ‘Theme From Rocky’ (Best Picture, 1977), ‘All That Jazz’ (Best Original Song Score, 1980) and ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ (eight awards in 2009, including Best Picture).”

Gentges has been a part of programs like this one since the early 1970s. She skated as a child, and has been running theatre-type productions for most of her adult life. She skated her first solo performance to Elvis Presley’s version of “My Way” because her Mom’s favorite artist was Presley.

“I grew up in Jefferson City, Mo., where we had a great production organization,” she said. “We had around 300 skaters involved. I’m slowly building it up here. This year we have 90 participants in the show. This is my third year at KCIC and had one show at the Pepsi Ice Center before that.”

kcicecenter.comGentges says she gets great joy watching the program grow, both in participation numbers and in development. “It’s fun to watch them have fun, wearing the costumes, performing in front of their parents and friends, and showing off the skills they’ve learned,” she said.

Admission for the show is $5 for ages 11 and older, while kids under 10 will get in for free. Gentges expects a couple hundred people each night.

While it’s too late to be a part of this year’s Show, Gentges says she gets her skaters from the KCIC’s “Learn to Skate” program. Whether you’re a beginning skater or one with years of experience, there’s room for you in the program.

“I grab a lot of my participants from that program,” she said. “I show videos of previous Shows and try to convince them that they can be a part of things.”

For tickets or information, contact the KC Ice Center at 913-441-3033, or visit the web site at kcicecenter.com.

Never Too Old For Hockey

The most common participants in hockey games at the Kansas City Ice Center are kids. From the Squirts and Pee Wees (ages 9-12) to Bantams (13-14) and high school-aged kids, most of the participants think of Wayne Gretzky as an old man.

But the first weekend of May, gray may be the color of the day.

The Kansas City Ice Center will host an adult hockey tournament with the Independence Events Center May.1-3. The novice division is at the KC Ice Center and the open division is at IEC.

“There are a few guys who play into their 60s,” said KCIC general manager Dean Nelson. “The novice division involves kids who are just barely 18 who are learning to play hockey, and guys who have played for 40 or 50 years but can’t quite keep up with the younger guys.”

There will be teams from all around the area, much like the youth tournaments that go on during the winter. “We’ll have teams from Wichita, Omaha and throughout the Midwest. In that way, it’s like the youth tournament,” Nelson said.

The three-day tournament was all-but filled up by mid-April, but adults have plenty of opportunity to lace them up throughout the year. The adult leagues, which generally take the late-night shifts, begin in September and run through the spring. Go to the KCIC web site to sign up for next fall’s adult leagues.

Article by David Smale

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