NEW ULM - This year, the New Ulm Figure Skating Club is trying a new type of idea to spice things up a bit. Rather than basing the theme on a play or movie, the club will do "Countries and Cultures: A Musical Trip Around The World."
The presentation will be held March 6, 7 and 8 at the New Ulm Civic Center and will be directed by Trista Shultz, who is making her debut as the club's Director.
"New Ulm has always done more of a threatre-on-ice production, and more following a storyline with characters," Shultz said.
Kristen Eckwright will be one of the featured soloists in this years show.
Seniors Katie Larson, Kristi Dorphinghaus, Kelsey Sabatino, Sarah Berndt and Abbey Filzen will be hosting the show.
"My background is not in that same structure of a show, I'm more used to the rehearsal style. So after seeing the last couple of shows, and they needed a director this year, I thought maybe it would be time to propose a change, to try something different and to spark some new interest.
"Since I have the background of that other side - like a recital I guess - I proposed it and they voted and they took my proposal," Shultz said.
"There was a number of theme ideas thrown around, but this is the one I felt the most passionate about.
If you go...
Show times: Friday, March 6, 7 p.m.,Saturday, March 7, 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., Sunday, March 8, 1 p.m.
Where: New Ulm Civic Center Ice Arena at the Brown County Fairgrounds on 12th North Street.
Tickets:$8 for Adults, $6 ages 2-12, Free under 2
Tickets available at grocery stores in New Ulm.
Also available at the Civic Center one hour before each performance when the doors open. No reserved seating available.
"Shultz said that her love of music also helped pick this year's theme. The show will feature 12 different countries, and Shultz had to find music from those 12 different countries and cultures to fit the show.
"I'm very excited about music from all around the world, and I was able to develop this one very easily," she said.
"As I kept listening to more and more music, it got more exciting to find things from all around the world."
In addition to skating to the music of the countries and cultures, the skaters will also try to dress appropriate to the culture when necessary.
Along with the club skaters, this year the guest skater is Alex Johnson, who will give a special performance to the crowd.
Johnson was the Bronze Medalists at the U.S. Nationals Junior level in January.
In addition to Johnson, there are about 80 members of the New Ulm Figure Skating Club who will be skating in the show ranging in all ages, young and old.
The Gustavus Adolphus College Women's Collegiate Synchronized skating team will also join the show to perform.
Shultz has been coaching with the New Ulm Figure Skating Club since the fall of 2002.
She grew up in Austin and she skated with the Rochester Figure Skating Club until she joined New Ulm's club in 2002.
Along with Shultz's leadership, six seniors will be participating in the event.
The seniors seem to be excited about this year's theme." A lot of it's on the senior's cultures and their heritage and where we'd like to travel and where we have family," Katie Larson said.
"It's really senior-based this year, which is fun."
Larson is one of six seniors who will be skating in the program. It's her 10th show, and she, along with Sarah Berndt, is excited about some of the changes for this year's event.
Both Berndt and Larson are skating in their last ice show, and both are sad to see the experience come to an end.
"It's been really fun, and I've had so many memories," Larson said.
"All my best friends are here, and I'll be really sad when it's over."
Berndt, who's been skating in the annual ice show for 13 years, echoed those thoughts.
"It's going to be really tough because I've been with these girls a majority of the time, and I see their faces every time I come skating," she said.
"It's just going to be an emotional ice show this year."
With the show fast approaching, Shultz and company are getting more and more excited to finally perform in front of a live audience.
So far, Shultz has enjoyed her directing debut.
"To me I think it's going well," she said.
"There's a lot of things you can't practice, such as setting up the curtains and the props and getting all the skaters on the ice in order to do 36 numbers.
We don't have time to do that or rehearse that every week, so we just get a couple days before the show to actually do the full run-through.