Figure skating students perform in annual spring show

Emily Wray

Lycra and sparkles took over the Robert Crown Community Center & Ice Complex on Sunday afternoon, as local figure skating students from the Figure Skating School and the Competitive Ice Program drew their families and friends to the final performance of Skate by Numbers, their annual spring ice show.

The show explored the link between artistry and numbers, with each performance choreographed to songs with numerical titles and themes. Kicking off with Prince’s “1999”, the countdown showcased a series of routines from students ranging from high school seniors to toddlers led across the ice by adult spotters.

Audience members came to support their children but said the event had an additional draw: the chance to bond with fellow parents and neighbors.

“It really shows the community getting together and supporting their children in their efforts to be skaters,” said Chris Martin, an audience member waiting with a bouquet of flowers to give his 11-year-old daughter after her performance.

“Extended families come to these events, and it’s a nice thing for families to get together to do,” he said.

Martin said he thinks high levels of community participation in events like Skate by Numbers will encourage the city to expand the Robert Crown Community Center’s ice complex and general facilities.

“Hopefully, when the City Council sees this sort of participation level, it will see the need to expand,” he said. “The facility is being used more and more by people both in and outside of Evanston.”

Chicago resident Maria Olmos attended the show to support her friend’s daughter. A fan of figure skating, Olmos said she thinks the sport helps children develop useful skills.

“The students have good choreography, and even for the little kids, it’s good for their mental and physical development,” she said.

Mary and Elizabeth Grady, twin sisters who compete on the competitive synchronized skating team, have taken figure skating lessons at the Robert Crown Community Center for 11 years. After skating in the Act One finale, the high school juniors said they looked forward to the concluding speeches honoring the graduating seniors after their final performances.

“It’s a nice tradition,” Mary Grady said. “It’s good to see everyone here at one time.”

And that’s what it all adds up to: entertainment, athleticism and community.

“I know a lot of people enjoy the show and figure skating in general,” Martin said. “It’s a feel-good kind of sport.”

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