Aspen skaters offer Broadway show | AspenTimes.com

Aspen skaters offer Broadway show

Ann Larson
Snowmass Village correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
Aspen High School senior Kaitlyn Hooper will skate to music from "Cats" during the Aspen Skating Club's spring show, "The Stars Skate on Broadway," on Saturday at the Aspen Recreation Center. (Ann Larson)
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ASPEN ” From cute beginners to a world-class star, skaters will jump and spin across the cold surface of the Aspen Recreation Center’s Lewis Ice Arena on Saturday for the Aspen Skating Club’s spring show, “The Stars Skate on Broadway.”

The annual spectacular ” with performances at 4 and 7 p.m. ” will feature local up-and-coming skaters along with U.S. regional-level ice dancers Lili Lamar and Zach Donahue, and U.S. World Team member/home-town skating celebrity Jeremy Abbott.

Abbott got his start as a 2-year-old at the Aspen Ice Garden back in 1987. He competed with the Aspen Skating Club for years before moving to Colorado Springs in order to train at the World Arena Ice Hall, home to the famous Broadmoor Skating Club. The 2005 U.S. national junior champion finished 11th at the World Championships in Sweden in March.

An Aspen native, Abbott often returns to entertain at Aspen Skating Club shows with the goal of inspiring young skaters, particularly boys, to enter the sport. As a 4-year-old, he decided to become a figure skater after watching Olympic gold medalist Robin Cousins of England skate in a show at the Aspen Ice Garden.

Also making a mark in the skating arena is LaMar, who grew up in Snowmass Village and trained at the Aspen Ice Garden with the club’s head coach, Teri Hooper. Like Abbott, she moved to Colorado Springs for its world-renowned training center and became an ice dancer.

Since January 2007, she has been skating with partner Zach Donahue. At the 2008 Eastern Sectional, they placed fourth in freestyle and fifth overall. Their goal is to qualify to skate at the U.S. Nationals and then compete internationally.

While Abbott and LaMar are living their skating dreams, the weekend performances will also showcase the talents of club members Shannon Dick and Kaitlyn Hooper. The Snowmass Village residents and Aspen High School seniors began skating together as 5-year-olds.

“They have grown up together through the various levels and both were very successful. They were extremely dedicated and great students,” said coach Hooper, Kaitlyn’s mother. “Recently, they have been coaching and choreographing for the younger skaters. They are very talented.”

For both young women, skating has translated to lessons off the ice.

“Skating helped me develop determination to constantly improve. I learned to motivate myself, not just in skating, but in various aspects. When you fall on the ice, you have to get back up, just as in life,” said Dick, who spent much of her senior year coaching for the club and teaching dance at Dance Progressions. She is heading to Seattle University in the fall to major in journalism.

“I learned responsibility and time management from my skating. It is a huge time commitment. You have to give up many things and make sacrifices,” added Kaitlyn Hooper, who has been coaching for the club and the city of Aspen for the past two years. Off to Wagner College on Staten Island to study nursing, she wants to continue coaching on the side.

Both will take to the ice for one last time together on Saturday.


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