Silver Screen Spectacular' highlights local talent

ROUSES POINT Can Cinderella share the stage with the likes of James Bond, Robin Hoods men in tights, the Spice Girls and three dancing orangutans? Yes if youre talking about the North Country Skating Clubs recent ice show, Silver Screen Spectacular. From Grease to The Jungle Book to Titanic, movies were the theme last weekend as skaters whirled and twirled on the ice at the Rouses Point Civic Center to sounds from the silver screen. The event, now in its 29th year, staged its traditional lavish year-end extravaganza. While every year hasnt featured dancing, cooking rats, a la Disneys Ratatouille, they have all featured some exceptional local skating talent. A lot of these kids are very talented, claimed the clubs vice president, Tricia Guay. This shows the community. Club president Maria Boyer agreed, explaining ice skating also helps the children develop a strong sense of self confidence. Plus, its good exercise, she added. The club was founded in the late 1970s by two women, Francis Boyden and Harriet Roth, who were looking for an opportunity to ice skate with their daughters. Since that time, the club has taken off, growing to nearly 90 skaters from throughout the region. The skaters range in age from 3 and older and have different skill levels, from complete novices to experienced seniors. In order to move up in the ranks, skaters must pass various tests by demonstrating certain skills. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect, and at this level, it takes a lot of practice. For 9th-graders Courtney Marks and Aleigha McGoldrick, that means practicing Mondays and Fridays with their groups, private lessons on Saturdays, plus attending free skating whenever possible to practice on their own. Despite the hard work required to move into the higher levels, there are definitely benefits. Only those ranked at the freestyle level can perform as a pre-show soloist, while a rank of at least pre-preliminary is needed to perform as a featured soloist. Still, both Courtney and Aleigha confessed to a small case of pre-show jitters. Im nervous behind the curtain, said Aleigha. She explained her nerves settle down once shes out on the ice and actually performing. On the novice side of the spectrum, a dressing room full of mice and lion cubs were found backstage awaiting their debuts. The girls, who ranged in age from 3 to 6, are at the snowplow level and for many this was their first opportunity to show off their new talents to their families and friends. Luckily, pre-show jitters didnt seem to be a concern. Instead, the children offered their best advice if you fall down on the ice, try to get up. Otherwise your bum will get wet.

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