Eau Claire (WQOW) — Once a year, the Eau Claire Figure Skating Club puts on a three day show for the community to enjoy. On Sunday, skaters participated in the 40th Annual Eau Claire Figure Skating Ice Show.
Skaters get the chance to perform on the ice without the pressure of a competition.
“It’s just this time where our community can actually come and see us skate and see what we do, because we’re here the entire year working super hard. So it’s nice to be able to showcase all the stuff we’ve been working on,” said skater Reese Southworth.
While you may only see the end product, the skaters put in an endless amount of work to perfect each of their routines.
“It takes a lot of consistent falling and bruising and sore muscles to get to that point,” said skater Alina McIntyre.
McIntyre said that she rehearsed her solo routine twice a day for three days a week, all while balancing school.
“You get up early and go to the rink and then you go to school and then I’m also in soccer so I go to soccer practice and then I go to the rink and then whatever time I have in between practice sessions, I do school work,” said McIntyre.
Skaters aren’t the only ones balancing a busy schedule, parents also stretch their time to be able to get their kids to and from the rink.
“It’s not ideal, it might be early on a Saturday morning or late on a school night, but we’re at the rink so that our kids can do this,” said Celena Smith Reuter, parent of one of the skaters.
Southworth said that as you get older, skates get more expensive because they need to support progressing skills.
“You have to buy the boot and the blade separately so it ends up around a thousand dollars per a skate,” Southworth.
While the cost of ice time, travel and coaching can be expensive, McKala Nehring said, “When you see your child succeeding and doing what they love, it makes up for all the cost”.
Another parent, Kevin Willem’s agreed that the benefits outweigh the cost because it pays for itself down the road.
“When I was sold and hooked on figure skating was when I saw my daughter go in front of a couple hundred people at a age of six or seven and I thought, we’re building life skills through figure skating that she’s going to use forever.”