The Langdon Area Skating Club (LASC) will be lacing up their skates for their annual show on March 23 and 24. The shows begin at 1:00 p.m. each day as skaters showcase their hard work over the past season on the Dakota Spirit Arena ice. The LASC, which began in 1997, is a basic skills and free skate program under the guidelines of US Figure Skating. A basic skills program is a compilation of skills that every athlete who has a recreational interest or who competes on the ice should learn and master.
By Melissa Anderson
“The club changed the name to Langdon Area Skate Club a couple years ago because it isn’t a figure skating association anymore. They changed to Learn to Skate,” Hayes said. “We encourage boys and girls, even hockey players, to join the basic skills program to learn the basics of skating. Last year we added the hockey skills levels for hockey players and that went really well! We had 5 hockey players test out right away! We are always hoping to improve our hockey numbers in the following years to come, so we have added another new skills level this year for hockey skaters that test out of Hockey Skills. This year we have added Speed Skating, and so far the 5 kids that are in this program really enjoy it!”
The age range involved in the programs is from 3 years old to 15 years old. Skaters must turn 3 by the end of that year. This year’s season was 18 weeks with practices starting on November 4, 2018, for a basic skills level and the free skate groups. Their regular Monday night practices started on November 5, 2018, with 6 different levels running from 4-6:30 p.m. In this time frame, lessons were cancelled over Christmas break and a snow day in February due to weather.
“Our numbers were a little down this year from last year with 76 skaters, and I think it had to do with adding another skating day due to our club expanding ,” Hayes said.
Registration takes place in October so the coaches have enough time to place kids in the groups they need to be in and to get practice times figured out.
“The club typically has the first practice on the first Monday in November of that year,” Hayes stated. “This year, we added a little skate camp at the end of October plus added another lesson day to break up the groups since we have a high number of free skaters, which is good! The skaters continue to expand their skills the older they are getting. My older groups and a basic skills level group practice on Sunday evenings now, and the rest of the groups practice on Mondays.”
The theme for this year’s skating show is ‘Skating through the Decades’. The program will allow the kids to “show off” their hard work in learning new skating maneuvers and everything else they have learned this year.
“We have songs ranging from 50’s to 80’s. Old Time Rock and Roll, Lollipop, Wild Thing, My Girl, Tutti Frutti, and Footloose are a few songs this year,” Hayes shared. There are 29 routines this year averaging about a little over a minute each in length.
Guest skaters for this year’s show will be Kaydee Koistenin, Jenny Schrader, and Nicole Berg.
“All are past club members. Kaydee is our assistant coach, Jenny is a past time assistant coach, and Nicole skated with our club for years until she wanted to expand her skills into a synchronized skate,” Hayes said. “We are excited to see how our guest skaters are doing outside of our club and to show our younger skaters how far they can go with their passion for skating.”
The club hosts a skate show for friends and family of their club members so that they can show off all of the newly learned skills. It is a fun time had by all and a little reward for the skaters for doing incredibly well throughout the season!
Testing is done during the last couple practices and is also based off of the previous skate shows. Testing moves the skaters through levels of figure skating.
Paige Gellner is the head coach and is the daughter of Darren and Lisa Gellner. She graduated from Langdon Area High School in 2015. She has a minor degree in accounting and has graduated in December 2018 from the University of Minnesota Crookston with a major in finance. Gellner started with the Langdon Skating Club in 2002. After passing her levels in Langdon, Gellner went on to compete through Devils Lake and Jamestown skating clubs for five years. While competing she passed pre-preliminary free skate, pre-preliminary moves in the field, and preliminary moves in the field. After competing she joined the Langdon girls hockey team. Gellner was an assistant coach to Andrea Moser, the previous coach, for six years.
“Watching how much all the skaters can excel in their skating through just one season is one of the best parts of coaching,” shared Gellner.
“Having Paige as our head coach has gone very well! The board and I are pleased with how things are going and how much work she puts into making our club successful,” Hayes shared.
The assistant coach this year is Kaydee Koistenin, and Graci Witzel has been helping with the younger groups.
“We are very fortunate and thankful to have them as well,” Hayes stated. “Having someone available to help the younger skaters during practices with the coaches, benefits the skaters because I think it gives the younger skaters something to look forward to and wanting to expand their skating skills.”
Thank you to the rest of the club’s board members: Lisa Howatt for working with all of the costumes and so, so much more, and Megan and Travis Hakanson for always running the concessions and helping anywhere and everywhere it is needed! The LASC wants to send out a huge thank you to all the businesses and families that have donated to the club. Last year, with donations, their club purchased 10 skate walkers for new skaters learning how to skate. This year, donations will go towards the extra practice day costs and show expenses.
“Without all the donations and time, we wouldn’t be able to make this a non-profit organization! All will be recognized in our program,” Hayes said.
The LASC has figure skating sweatshirts, jackets, hats, mitts, and scarves for purchase at Sports and Shirts which can also be personalized. Please call to 701-256-4200 to order one.
At the shows, the club parents will be making cotton candy and selling window decals for a fundraiser. Want to get a gift for the skater in your life? No worries, the LASC has that covered as well with no hassle involved.
“Our club will be having Langdon Floral come into the Dakota Spirit Arena during show times to sell flowers and gifts for your special skater,” Hayes said. “Thank you to Mark and Shauna Schneider for the use of the cotton candy machine. Also, thank you to Leon Pederson for announcing as he always does an amazing job!”
Kaydee Koistenin on Sunday and Autumn Howatt on Saturday will be our National Anthem singers. Our 50/50 ticket earnings will be going to the Mike and Cheryl Muhs family.
The shows will be on Saturday, March 23, at 1:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 24, at 1:00 p.m. Cost of admissions is $5 for adults, $2 for kids aged 6 to 12-years-old, and 5 and under are free.
For more information on how to join the LASC or about the upcoming show, please contact Bobbi Hayes by phone at either 701-256-5827 or 701-370-3979 or email her at one of the following: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.