Skaters celebrate ‘Holidays Around the World’ on ice in Gilbert - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Skaters celebrate ‘Holidays Around the World’ on ice in Gilbert

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Posted: Wednesday, December 7, 2011 6:00 am | Updated: 10:31 am, Wed Dec 7, 2011.

For most of us, exposure to figure skaters is limited to watching them spin, jump and flip in a dazzling whirl of sequins on televised specials or the Winter Olympics.

But you can see them up close at “Holidays Around the World,” Polar Ice Gilbert’s annual holiday show.

Skaters ages 3 to 70 will perform routines choreographed to cultural and holiday tunes, says Johnathan Barksdale, director of figure skating at the ice rink.

“We’ve picked roughly ten countries with various holiday traditions, and some of the holidays we highlight are Christmas, Diwali — which is a festival of lights — Chinese New Year, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. The skaters are in costumes that reflect the holiday traditions, and the music matches up with that,” he says.

Spectators with tickets to either of the Saturday shows may “skate with the stars” in the hours between the performances for an additional $5. The fee includes skate rental, and access to the ice will be limited to ticketholders and performers.

“We want you to enjoy seeing what we do, but we also want you to come out and skate and get a feel for what it takes to be a skater. We’ll have instructors out there to give you a hand,” says Barksdale.

If you would like to skate on Saturday, he recommends registering in advance at the Polar Ice Gilbert guest services counter, so they can be sure to have enough skates ready.

The show lasts about 50 minutes.

DETAILS >> Dress rehearsal performance is 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Performances are 6:30 p.m. Friday, and 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Polar Ice Gilbert, 2305 E. Knox Road. $10 for a show ticket; $8 for a dress rehearsal ticket. $5 to skate with the performers between shows on Saturday. (480) 503-7080 or

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