Talented skaters light up the ice with Grease

Relive the magic of Grease with the Racquet Club of Victoria Figure Skating Club

Denika McDonald

Relive the magic of Grease, but this time on ice.

With a cast of 60 ice skaters recreating this classic musical, audiences are bound to be rocking out in their seats.

The cast consists of skaters as young as two years old up to 30. The group has been practising and rehearsing the show for the past six weeks.

“It’s full of phenomenal skating and lots of tricks,” said Deena Beacom, the show’s director. “People will be impressed by the quality skating of all these young athletes.”

Elise Von Howlede, 17, is playing the lead female role of Sandy. “It’s interesting. I get to play good Sandy and see see how she changes throughout the show. It’s neat to play a Hollywood character,” Von Howlede said.

Von Howlede has been gliding on blades since age three and has competed in two national level competitions and in the Canada Games.

“My ultimate goal is to compete in the Olympics, I’ll see where my talent can get me,” she said.

Several of the skaters in the show have skated at the professional level, touring with groups including Disney on Ice and Holiday on Ice. The skaters have travelled the world, sharing their talents.

Some of the skaters in the show are in between tours and others have returned to the Racquet Club of Victoria Figure Skating Club to coach and inspire young skaters.

Overhead lifts, pair spins and double flips will match in time with classic Grease numbers, such as Summer Nights and You’re the One I Want.

“It’s going to be very intricate, with lights and costumes. It’s is going to be Broadway on ice,” Von Howlede said, adding her favourite number in the show is Born to Hand Jive.

“There are a lot of big lifts and spins. We are doing a lot of group numbers and we will be doing a lot of splicing, and in that timing is huge.”

“If you put in the CD, you just want to dance,” said Beacom, formerly a professional skater for Ice Capades. “We are telling the story through song.”

While some of the performers will be lip-syncing the iconic tunes, many will just be focusing on skating and body language to tell the story.

“People should come because it’s a really good family show,” Beacom said. “From one act to the next it’s really exciting.”

The club hosts a musical show every two years and Beacom has been directing the shows since they began 10 years ago. So far the most successful show in the club’s history was The Sound of Music, the first show the club ever performed.

“We had long lines of people, there was standing-room only and we had to turn people away,” Beacom said. With the music of Grease, she hopes to recreate that success.

Grease on Ice shows are March 24 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and March 25 at 1 p.m. at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, 1151 Esquimalt Rd. Shows run 1.5 hours.

Tickets are $15 and are available through the  McPherson Box Office (250-386-6121), Archie Browning Sports Centre (250-412-8510)  or  Esquimalt Recreation Centre (250-412-8500).

For more info, see www.racquetclubofvictoria.com.

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