Locals take to the ice tonight

Exhibition to feature solo, synchronized performances

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— If you're looking for a place to brush up on your figure skating spectatorship before the Olympics, the Steamboat Springs Figure Skating Club exhibition will be a good place to start.

Tonight, 20 skaters from the club will be performing their competition routines at the Howelsen Ice Arena. In the first of three public performances, the skaters between the ages of 8 and 16 will be performing solo.

Howelsen's skating director, Courtney Gill, said the club was planning to do a larger Christmas production that had a common theme and a few routines that had the girls performing together. Because of the construction at the arena, Gill said she was not sure earlier in the year if the club could have a Christmas exhibition and did not want to prepare for an elaborate show if the arena was not ready in time.

"It's not a formal show like we normally do, it's the local figure skaters doing their programs," Gill said. "Starting next year, we'll do a real Christmas show."

Among other improvements, the arena's bleachers have been finished and tonight will be the first time the club has performed in the upgraded arena.

Although tonight's exhibition will not have any guest skaters, it will debut a synchronized skating performance. Twelve skaters will come together for the synchronized skating, something Gill said she sees as the up-and-coming branch of figure skating.

Gill said the club's bigger performance would come during Winter Carnival and their end-of-the-year performance in March. The club begins competition on Feb. 7 in Pueblo and will continue competing all over the state throughout the spring.

Tonight's exhibition, which begins at 7 p.m., is free to the public and will feature skaters from beginner to intermediate levels.

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