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Local figure skating club to present ‘Skating in the USA’

Albert Lea City Arena will be red, ice and blue Saturday and Sunday when the Albert Lea Figure Skating Club presents its 56th annual show, “Skating in the USA.” Packed with patriotic tunes, tributes to soldiers and sailors, and favorite classics, the show includes artistic numbers, solos, the popular boy-girl number and even tiny tots.

“We thought this theme was a great way to pay tribute to all those men and women who have served their country, while presenting skating to music from different eras,” said Nikki Austinson, president of the club.

Show times are 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Advance tickets, available from club members, are $6 per student and $8 per adult with no charge for children age 5 and younger. Tickets at the door will be $1 more. City Arena is at 701 Lake Chapeau Drive, Albert Lea.

This year’s show will feature more than 50 skaters in almost 40 numbers. The audience can expect to see a variety of acts, including four groups of basic skills skaters, along with trios, duets, features and solos by more advanced skaters.

Other highlights include the senior showcase to a medley of songs from “High School Musical” and solos by 12th-graders Maddie VanBeek, Kailey Christensen and Zoe Heimendinger.

VanBeek, daughter of Jeff VanBeek and Jennifer VanBeek, will graduate from Minnesota Virtual Academy in June. She has been skating for seven years with both the Albert Lea club and Rochester Figure Skating Club. Off the ice she enjoys swimming, walking around the lake and hanging out with friends. VanBeek auditioned for Disney on Ice earlier this year and is awaiting the results. If not skating professionally, she plans to attend St. Cloud State University.

Christensen, daughter of Tab and Kiki Christensen, will graduate from Albert Lea High School in May. She has skated for 10 years, all with the Albert Lea club. Her other activities include chorale, show choir and ALHS student council representative to the District 241 school board. She plans to attend Bethany Lutheran College this fall and major in English.

Heimendinger, daughter of David and Mary Beth Heimendinger, will graduate from Lake Mills High School in May. She has skated with the Albert Lea club for 11 years. In addition to skating, she has participated in band, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and winter guard. She plans to major in business management at either Drake University or the University of Iowa.

Other soloists include Carine Rofshus, an ALHS junior; Katie Bradley, an Alden-Conger junior; Dani Helland, an Alden-Conger freshman; Lauren Bizjak, an ALHS junior; and Ella Zelenak, an ALHS junior.

This year’s guest skater is Sydney Berrier of the White Bear Lake Figure Skating Club. She started her skating career at age 5. Berrier recently passed the gold level — top level — in U.S. Figure Skating Association testing for moves in the field, which include spins and other moves in the sport. She has competed at many events, finishing as a Minnesota State Bronze finalist. Berrier skated in the opening ceremony of the 2016 National Championships and Stars on Ice.

In addition to being a junior through Minnesota Online High School, she attends Circus Juventas, performing aerial acts on hoop and working on combining her aerial arts with skating.

Look for more information about the show by searching for “Albert Lea Figure Skating Club” on Facebook.