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Figure skating club to perform The Lion King

It’s the end of season performance for young skaters
Houston Figure Skating Club member Addie Chaffer practises a routine. (Submitted photo/Houston Today)

Months of hard work and preparation narrows down to two days — March 25 and March 26 — when the Houston Figure Skating Club takes to the ice to perform The Lion King.

And compared to performances watched virtually because of the pandemic, this is an in-person event so that the audience can better connect with the talents and skills of the skaters who have put in long hours.

While there are individual performances in telling the story of the trials and tribulations of the young lion Simba who succeeds in taking his place as the rightful king, every one of the club’s skaters will be on the ice.

The main cast line up consists of Simba (Charlotte Mackenzie), Nala (Jordyn Brent), Timone (Darby Mackenzie), Pumba (Kaydence Kaszas), Zazu (Addie Chaffer), Mufasa (Kaydence Kaszas), Young Simba (Mattea Sjoden), Young Nala (Karys Cochran), Scar (Elizabeth Chapman), Rafiki (Heather Newell), Surabi (Autumn Brosseau), Rain (Mylee Roney), and Sunshine (Layla Derkson).

The group routines consist of hyenas (Moira, Macy, Erica), elephant graveyard (Athena, Ella), monkeys (the pre-star group), monkeys (pre-star group), stars (junior group), Canskate group 1 (Jesse, Jacob, Piper, Farrah, Kaylee, Valerie, Braelyn) and Canskate group 2 (April, Scarlett, Forrest, Georgia, Nevaeh, Mykah).

Creative director Jill Mackenzie, working with coach Stephanie Auston, are in charge of costumes.

“They have a group of parents who are creating costumes for each group. Parents work together with Jill and Stephanie to fulfill their vision,” explained club president Elaine Kaszas of the background work that has gone into the production.

“Parents pay for the costumes while some come from within the club and are recirculated as we can. We have also had some sponsorship this year which has helped keep the cost down for parents as some kids will have multiple parts and costumes.”

Kaszas said this past year has been one of coping and adapting to various pandemic protocols, something the club began the year before.

“We haven’t changed a lot. Last year was the biggest challenge as we were all learning and working through COVID and developing policies/procedures around COVID.”

“I don’t think we’ve been affected — there are a few parents who have signed their children up but are unable to watch which is very unfortunate. Other than that numbers are pretty consistent with previous years,” Kaszas said.

The end of season performance of The Lion King will be special for one skater — Elizabeth Chapman, who is skating as Star, is graduating from the club.

“She will also have her final skate at the end of the show. This will be her grad skate,” said Kaszas.

Tickets are available at the door: adults $10, children and seniors $5, families $25, children under 3 are free.

Houston Figure Skating Club members Kaydence Kaszas and Darby Mackenzie. (Submitted photo/Houston Today)