As tradition has had it for the last twenty nine years, a certain ice arena in Portland, Maine, will serve as host to a two nights of figure skating, this year’s show being titled ‘It’s My Party’, with performances slated for Saturday, May 2, 2015 at 7p.m. and Sunday, May 3, 2015 at 5p.m.
And as tradition has played for the last twenty nine years, the show will consist of group performances from both the arena’s ISI (Ice Skating Institute) skating school students and solo performances by the local skating community, including Maine’s top competitive skaters. The show also pays tribute to graduating high school seniors and hosts additional guest stars. So, from that perspective, this year’s show is no different than any other.
‘Emotionally charged’ is a phrase that always applies to the sending off of the current year’s graduating seniors, and this year will be especially bittersweet, as three high school seniors will be recognized: Paula Caras (USFSA Pre-Juvenile, ISI FS7) of Saco; Julia Gilman of Falmouth (USFSA Senior Ladies, USFSA Double Gold Medalist), who handed in two amazing USFSA tests in December 2014 to earn her the Senior Ladies status; and Morgan Sewall of Scarborough (USFSA Senior Ladies, USFSA Double Gold Medalist), undoubtedly the most decorated Maine singles skater of recent (and perhaps all) times. Two of these ladies will perform solos and all three will participate in the highest level group number in the show, Freestyle D ‘Gatsby’s Garden Party’.
And just one skater, Lori Snow Sheldon, can claim the title as the only skater to have skated in all thirty shows. She will be making her appearance in the ever popular Adult group number, one of the most anticipated group numbers of the show.
What will make the 30th annual show unique are a few other items. 2015 marks the first year of the show under the ice arena’s new name, the William B. Troubh Ice Arena (formerly known as the Portland Ice Arena), managed now by Alex Marshall, who took over the Ice Arena Manager position in 2014.
But the most emotional part of this year’s show is the fact that this will be the last show involving Sharon Ingalls and Lynda Hathaway. Ingalls, the current Office Manager and 30+ year City of Portland employee, will be retiring on Monday, May 4, 2015. This will also be last time that the show is directed by Lynda Hathaway, the former Director of Skating at the arena. Hathaway officially stepped down from her position on December 31, 2014, but is managing the show one last time, as the City of Portland has yet to hire a new director. Ingalls and Hathaway have worked on the show and its program together since the very first show – countless hours of work to provide a showcase for local skaters. With these two women moving on, a true era will be coming to an end.
But regardless of the reasons why the show is special to any skater, parent, or skating enthusiast, there’s no doubt that the emotions this year will be as great as the performances – but the only way to find out for certain is to attend the show to see why the thirtieth time will be the charm…