Figure skating carnival brings to life Dr. Seuess stories

Two shows planned at Hope Arena on March 2

Sisters Chantal (left) and Eve Hadd practice their bows

The late Theodore Geisel gifted the world with many wonderful illustrated children’s stories, writing under the pen-name Dr. Seuss. Now, the children of Hope are gifting their families and friends with skating routines themed around the Seuss stories.

On March 2, the Hope and District Figure Skating Club is presenting “Dr. Seuss on the Loose” in two one-hour presentations at the Hope Arena. The matinee starts at 2 p.m. and the evening show kicks off at 7 p.m.

“Lori Isbister is our carnival director this year and she has done a lot of work for us,” said club president Lindsay Druet on Monday. “She has sewn a lot of costumes and has been very creative.

“Lori came in super-stoked with the Dr. Seuss idea last fall and she was all ready to go. Practicing started after Christmas,” said Druet.

Decked out in costumes will be truffulas, crazy fish, thneeds, Things One and Two, Horton, Mr. Grinch and the Cat in the Hat, among other characters.

Club pro Michelle Inancsi has choreographed the routines for the 39 club skaters in the show, which involves 16 separate routines.

Club juniors Sophie Ens, Sarah Ouimet, Taylor Green and Sarah Isbister will be skating solos, as will the two guest performers.

Local skater Sarah Steberl started with the Hope club when she was four years old. Now aged 12, she travels to Abbotsford for advanced training at the juvenile level. Steberl was a guest soloist at last year’s carnival and she returns this year for two routines.

“We’ll also have Haleigha Bull, who is 10 years old, from the Burnaby Winter Club. She is pre-juvenile and she’s amazing,” said Druet.

Midway through the show, there will be an ice-clean and a chance for kids to win the prize in the duck toss.

“We’ll have a basket out on the ice, full of kid-friendly prizes,” said Druet. “They can buy numbered rubber tucks and toss them at the target and the closest to it wins the basket. We’ll also have a 50/50 draw.”

While parents have been sewing or acquiring costume parts for a few months, the ultimate volunteer work takes place on the day of the show, with every family expected to pitch in on at least one of the many jobs.

“We need people to run the four spotlights, sell tickets at the door, supervise the change rooms and run the raffles and duck toss,” said the president, who is already looking toward next season.

“The club did well this year,” she said. “We had 10 more Canskaters than last year, so we’re increasing our number of young skaters.

“We tried a new idea this year and offered a try-out from September to December. If they liked it, they could keep on going,” said Druet. “Some others started after Christmas.”

A whole season starts at $361 for a Canskate member and Druet understands the fees can cause hardships for some families.

If anyone is interested in skating next year and they need financial help, they should apply to KidSport.ca now, as it takes 90 days to get approved.

In the meantime, people can support the club by attending “Dr. Seuss on the Loose” on March 2. Show times are 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Single admission is $5 and it’s $15 for a family. Children aged 5 and under are free. Tickets are only available at the door, so come early for best seating choices.

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