Houston Figure Skating Club held their annual carnival this year, albeit virtually.
At the end of each season, the club puts on a carnival to showcase what the skaters have been up to throughout the year and to show off their talents.
The theme for this year’s carnival, held on Mar. 27, was Wizard of the Oz selected by Stephanie Auston, the head coach and the director of skating.
“Each year we like to present something different, in the past few years we have done Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast- to name a few. This year, she had decided on The Wizard of Oz- a classic we all know and love,” said Kaszas.
However, this year due to the pandemic, the carnival will look completely different. Kaszas explained that putting together a virtual carnival meant hours, upon hours of volunteer work and expressed her gratitude towards Rachel Chapman, or Carnival Chari for dedicating countless hours of hard work.
The club also bought a video camera, tripod and all accessories to get a better quality recording for the show.
The club has a total of 45 kids and since they wouldn’t have all been allowed in the arena at the same time, the kids were divided into groups. The Carnival was an all-day show and each group was to perform their numbers individually according to their schedule; there were also a few acting scenes in between numbers, and the soloists were also to perform.
Every year at the end of the carnival the graduating skater performs their own solo. This year, there was just one graduating skater, Hailey Kettle. Kettle started skating with the Houston Figure skating Club in 2009 and this was her final skate with the club, sort of like a goodbye.
Coach Auston is now in the process of going over the several hours of footage, line up the music and piece the show together.
“We usually collect admission at the door and sell fresh flowers as well as gumball flowers, along with a few other small items- these are gifts that can be purchased by friends and family and given to the skaters. Due to COVID this year we will not be doing this as it will be a recorded event with no one, but a few volunteers in attendance,” said the club President, Elaine Kaszas.
Last year, the club had planned for the carnival with the theme “Frozen” of the Disney movie however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic related restrictions, the arena was shut down within a week or two of the scheduled show.
“All our kids had their routines, costumes, etc. however unfortunately we did not get to host this show,” she said.
Once coach Auston has pieced together the show, it will be available on DVD for people to purchase. The club is hoping to have the DVD ready by the first week of April.