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Skating Club at Dartmouth Ready to Put On a Show

Sunday, March 20, 2016
West Lebanon — After months of training and progress, the Skating Club at Dartmouth will finally get to show off its jumps, spins and sequences to the public.

SCaD’s annual Skating Spectacular on Sunday features 62 skilled members showcasing programs they’ve been tweaking all season, some since the first fall season began back in September.

Featured solo performances will come from SCaD’s Paige Loschiavo, Elizabeth Greenan and others, leading into exhibitions from a wide range of high-caliber guest skaters.

Two-time men’s national junior silver medal ist Kevin Shum will have two solo performances, complementing exhibits by the Nashua, N.H.-based Synchro Stars skating team and national juvenile competitors Philip Baker, Alice Serbin and Kenan Slevira.

Etna resident and two-time Olympian Dan Weinstein will also join former U.S. teammates J.P. Kepka and Caroline Hallisley-Kepka for a speed skating demonstration.

Fifty percent of the proceeds from the event will benefit the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth, while the other half helps SCaD, a volunteer-run club, and a scholarship fund it supports. Raffle prizes and baked goods help lure people to the festivities.

“It’s something our skaters look forward to all season,” instructor Rose Grenier said. “This is the way they show off their talents, the many talents they’ve been developing.”

Loschiavo, 15, displayed some of those talents during a busy practice at Campion Rink on Thursday. The Bradford, Vt., resident and Oxbow High freshman has been figure skating since age 5 and training with Skating Club at Dartmouth executive director Jacki Smith for six years.

Loschiavo, who’s reached gold-level novice status in the moves in the field category and is aiming for the same in freestyle, will skate to Birdy’s “Not About Angels” while dedicating the performance to her late grandmother, Beverly Balch.

“(Loschiavo) showed a lot of natural ability when she first started with me, and she’s always been very excited and interested in the sport,” said Smith, who doubles as Dartmouth College’s figure skating coach. “She started a little bit late compared to some but caught up quickly and has steadily progressed to where she’s now one of our featured skaters, along with Elizabeth Greenan. It’s been great to watch them grow not only on skates, but as people.”

Greenan, a Hartford High senior, will perform in the SCaD solo finale. The Quechee resident has been involved with the program since pre-school, Smith noted, and is now an instructor for its basic skills program.

Shum, a former juvenile national champion and MIT freshman, is looking forward to revisiting the Dartmouth campus after considering the school last year. The California Bay Area native will also take advantage of the spectacular’s leisurely, celebratory atmosphere.

“I love doing these types of shows, because you don’t get all of the high stress that you get at competitions,” Shum said in a phone interview. “You don’t have all of the mandatory sequencing and combinations.”

Shum will perform twice, once to Sam Smith’s Writing’s on the Wall, from the soundtrack to the James Bond film Spectre, and once to Gold by indie rock outfit Imagine Dragons.

“They’ll still be choreographed, but there will be some different combinations than you might see in a competitive program,” Shum said. “It will be more free.”

Even the event’s younger skaters aren’t overly nervous about performing.

Skating for the public is already virtually old hat for 9-year-old Katie Pierson, of Hanover, who’s taking part for the second straight year.

“I mean, last year I was a little worried, but this year I’m not worried at all,” said Katie, who’s improved her power moves this season. “I’ve been there before now.”

Weinstein is excited to welcome the Kepkas, who will be visiting from Exeter, N.H.

“It’s kind of unique that we’re all in New Hampshire. Speed skating is a small community, so I wanted to have them come,” Weinstein said. “We’re looking forward to showing people some of what speed skating is all about.”

SCaD personnel will be selling tickets today at Co-op Food Stores’ Centerra Park location, and tickets will also be available at the door.

Jared Pendak can be reached at jpendak@vnews.com or 603-727-3225.




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