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Skating in the spotlight

Campus Correspondent

Published: Sunday, February 23, 2014

Updated: Sunday, February 23, 2014 21:02

On Saturday, Feb. 22, the UConn Figure Skating Club took to the ice for their Spotlight Show. It was hosted at the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum from 5 to 6 p.m. with free admission.

In its second semester, the UConn Figure Skating Club features 14 competitors and 24 recreational skaters; they range in ability levels and come from various groups on campus. Saturday’s show gave the skaters an opportunity to present their talents and acted as practice for their upcoming competition. Many UConn students, family and friends were in the audience.

“The support for this club was astounding,” said Sarah Kerger, a second-semester marketing major. “A lot of other club sports came out to cheer and it was cool to see the unity of UConn.”

Next weekend, the club sport will be taking the nine-hour drive to compete at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. The event will be hosted at the LaHaye Ice Center and has program events including free skate, short program, solo dance and team maneuver — all with varying ability levels.

Club President Melanie Furman plans to compete at the preliminary skate level and demonstrated elegant grace on Saturday night. She skated to “Seasons of Love” from the musical “Rent.” Furman had elegant camel spins and moved fluidly across the ice. Although she had a couple missteps, Furman’s performance was pleasant.

Another notable skater was Stephanie Brady, who plans to perform in the junior short program and the preliminary solo dance program. Brady, the only skater to fall, was also the only skater who demonstrated ease and enjoyment of her sport for the full performance. She risked more by trying greater feats: jumping more often and higher than many of her teammates.

“In this sport, it seems like falling is the only way to success,” said Matt Olson, a second-semester accounting major. “Brady went down, but she was confident enough to attempt figure skating in the first place. Tonight, she skated courageously.”

But to focus on Brady’s fall would be a giant mistake. Her performance was littered with impressive spins and movement across the entire rink. Every audience member was transfixed by her ease and captivated as she flowed by.

“The show demonstrated athleticism and grace,” Lauren Silverio, a sixth semester English and psychology double major, said. “Most of the things they did on the ice, I could hardly do on a gym floor. They reiterate how much work it takes to get to their level and helped me appreciate the ongoing Olympic games so much more.”

As a group, the team looked stunning in 14 unique dresses. Castella Copeland had on a fabulous outfit reminiscent of the Queen of Hearts. It was a dramatic addition to her spirited skate.

“Copeland’s dress was so different from the other girls; it helped her stand out,” said Megan McCollum, a second-semester allied health sciences major. “It was amazing the aesthetic effect a simple outfit had on the entire performance; all the girls looked great though.”

Saturday night’s Spotlight Show was a great demonstration of the young club’s talent. In Virginia next weekend, the group will look to bring home UConn’s first figure skating medal.


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