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Figure Skating Exhibition Features MIT Students, Guests

By Diana Cheng

TEAM MEMBER

MIT’s figure skating club held its annual United States Figure Skating Association sanctioned exhibition on Saturday, March 15, at Johnson Rink. Thirty-four programs included group numbers, synchronized skating, pairs freestyle, ice dance, and solo programs. Nineteen MIT students performed, along with MIT alumni, employees, community members, and guest skaters from three local figure skating clubs.

The opening number had 16 participants who skated to the music of “I Said I Love You” with various highlights, including straight-line jumps, a pairs death spiral, lunges, and spirals. The number ended with a pinwheel formation.

Another group number was the linear progressions synchronized skating program to “Beep Beep,” choreographed by Bonny S. Kellermann ’72, with its signature kickline. Synchro team members included Susan Alpert, Jesse M. Chen ’03, Diana S. Cheng ’04, Delphine M.D. Dean G, Jessica A. Eisenstein ’06, John B. Gonzalez ’04, Allison H. Mo ’03, and Elliot Schwartz ’89.

Group ice dances included the swing dance from the beginner’s ice dance group lessons, and the Silver Tango from the advanced ice dance group lessons. Each group ice dance had several pairs of skaters performing the patterns simultaneously.

Finnish National Champions Jessica R. Huot ’06 and Juha S. Valkama ’06 performed their original dance program to the music of Chopin’s “Fantasie Impromptu,” a program that they will show next week at the World Championships. Their speed and dance lifts appeared effortless as they whizzed around the rink. MIT alum Gilbert Chiang SM ’82 and his wife April, who represent the Skating Club of San Francisco and are the 2002 champions in Adult Dance, performed their newest original dance program that they will use to compete in the 2003 Adult Nationals.

Guest skaters Lara and Neil Shelton, the current New England Regional Intermediate Pairs champions who represent Colonial Figure Skating Club, had several beautiful lifts in their program to “Escape.” Cheng and Mickey Barry, a Draper Labs employee, just started skating pairs last year and performed their first program to “Attack” from the movie Pearl Harbor.

Solo programs

The exhibition also featured 27 individual free skate and interpretive programs, including those of 10 figure skating team members.

Christina E. Mills G skated her first program at the show. She has only been skating for a little more than a year.

Eisenstein choreographed her own program with vocals, to “Spies” by Coldplay. Caitlin Q. Marlow ‘03 skated a fun program to “Friend Like Me” from Disney’s Aladdin.

Guest skaters from the Skating Club of Boston Carly Milden and Stephen Carriere also performed solos. Sarah Farley from the New England Figure Skating Club performed her junior-level program to “I Will Survive.”

Next Tuesday, the figure skating club will hold a USFSA test session and next Saturday, the figure skating club will host the USFSA-sanctioned Eastern Small Team competition for teams of 15 skaters or less.