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Ice Station offers skating classes

An affordable after-school activity

Posted: March 7, 2009 1:22 a.m.
Updated: March 7, 2009 11:00 a.m.

A group of kids practice balance and spinning on the ice rink at the Ice Station Valencia Wednesday evening.

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With their hands stretched out like airplanes, the small group of elementary-school-aged children bent their knees and glided across the ice at Valencia Ice Station.

As a few stumbled to find their balance, Cece Frankhuizen encouraged the youngsters to take their skills one step further by crossing their right foot over their left foot.

It was a tough task for some of the students, decked in their mittens, coats and scarves, who stared at their feet and silver-bladed shoes. The lessons were part of the weekly ice skating classes that crowd the cool white ice every Wednesday.

"We teach with games. We make it age-appropriate. The key word is fun," Frankhuizen said.

Frankhuizen's ice skating class typically include eight students, but the current session has 13 students.

The economy could be a factor, as ice skating lessons could be a cheap after-school activity for some.

"I'm hoping that people are spending their money in town," she said.

The Ice Station offers about 30 different classes for students of all ages and experience levels, said Melanie Kline, Valencia Ice Station front office manager.

"We have a seen an increase in our beginner skating classes this past semester," she said, prompting The Skating Academy, which offers the classes, to add sessions.

Kids as young as 2 years old can enroll in classes and build their experience while learning tricks like forward swizzles, bunny hops and backward spirals.

Ice skating usually turns into a hobby, but some skaters advance into competitions.

"You don't know which kid is going to be the hockey kid and which one is going to be the ice skater," Frankhuizen said.

While the sport includes a lot of play time, it's not like other "rough and tumble" sports, she said. "It's physical. It's challenging."

Lynn Rolbin of Castaic enrolled her two children in ice skating about two months ago.

So far, they're hooked.

"This is one thing where they really like it. They like to come and practice," she said Wednesday outside the ice skating rink. "It's good for coordination too."

Her daughter, a big fan of the movie "Ice Princess," enjoys the classes.

"You get to put your foot up in the air," said 8-year-old Taylor Rolbin.

The family ice skates together on weekends and attends live shows like "High School Musical: The Ice Tour" and "Disney on Ice."

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