From left to right: Katie Grant, Baillie Jackson, Alexa McTavish, Grace Dunn, Beverly Smetaniuk, Mitchell Dunn, Carly Dinicol. Ronan O’Doherty photo

Members of Quesnel’s Figure Skating Club push themselves to ace weekend tests

Coach Dinicol is proud of the all the work the growing club has done

Figure skaters from Quesnel, Prince George and Williams Lake twisted, spun and flipped their way into high marks at this weekend’s tests.

Twenty-four skaters, ranging in age from 10 to 17 were put through their paces at Quesnel’s Rink 2 on Sunday, April 8.

Tests are performed twice yearly with the goal of moving the skaters up levels in the sport.

The disciplines that are marked include free skate, which consists of jumps and spins; dance, where skaters perform patterned dances like the rhumba, the paso doble and the waltz; and skills, where judges look at turns, edges and stroking power.

Graham Casey was flown up from Vancouver to skate with those being tested for dance.

Practice with him took place on Saturday, so that the skaters could prepare before the examination.

The Quesnel Figure Skating Club’s coach, Carly Dinicol, was impressed with the dedication the students showed.

“They all had to take a lot of their own responsibility and work on their own tests because I have so many kids right now,” she says.

“I’ve got 24 kids that are skating and it’s a lot for one coach to look over and make sure all the elements are correct and the patterns are on pattern, so they’ve done a lot of that work themselves.”

She says she prepared them duotangs to study from, and lightly supervised their training.

“They did really well.”

Dinicol says figure skating in Quesnel has exploded in popularity recently, noting that the club’s size has almost doubled in two years.

The club has had some recent successes with Mitchell Dunn, 12, achieving the highest overall score in the province this season.

His club mates are striving to match his accolades with everyone performing excellently on their examinations.

“I’m really proud of all the kids,” says Dinicol

“They’ve all past all their tests so far, and it’s not easy.

“Often times when we’re from small towns we put them up for tests that they might not be ready for because if they don’t pass now, they’re not going to get an opportunity to test until next December.

“So it’s kind of like – Get her done!”

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