Autumn Skills 2016 report

The LAFSC Autumn Skills Competition took place on Saturday 12th November 2016. Building on the success of the Spring Skills, it was wonderful to see new skaters take to the ice and an increase in male skaters. Held at Alexandra Palace, over 30 skaters showed off their skills in Dance, Spin Jump Spiral and the Exhibition categories.

The first category was the pattern dance, with three solo pattern dance categories and a couples dance category. Pattern Dance 1 (Novice Foxtrot) was won by Becky McGregor, who displayed a wonderful grace on the ice. Pattern Dance 2 (Canasta Tango) saw Kitty Swanson scoop the gold medal. The last of the Solo Pattern Dance categories (Golden Skaters Waltz) was won by Liberty Watts, with her wonderful lines and precision. New couple, Vivienne Smith and David Vaughan, delighted the audience and took the gold in the Couples Pattern Dance (Rhythm Blues). We hope to have more couples compete in the next competition.

The Spin Jump Spiral section came next and this category continues to grow in popularity. There were lots of strong performances. Taking gold in Spin Jump Spiral 1 was Sylvia Baxter; Susan Edwards picked up the gold in Spin Jump Spiral 2; in Spin Jump Spiral 3, the competition was fierce with Lucy Wilson on top of the podium; and in Spin Jump Spiral 4, Liberty Watts bagged her second gold of the competition.

With a short intermission to allow for costume changes, the exhibition category was the final section of the competition. All the performances were fantastic and the Committee would love to see all of these performed in the Gala. In the Solo Exhibition category, Liberty Watts skated her way to 1st place with a beautiful and delightful performance to Nancy. Peter Hambleton’s heroic programme saw him take silver after entertaining the audience with his Superman piece. The bronze was awarded to Ekaterina Stafford with her moving piece, skated to Je Suis Malade.

In the Group Exhibition category, Ashleigh Bate and Lucy Wilson took gold with their highly entertaining and skillful choreography, along with great use of props, to Young at Heart. Melody Sharifi and Kerry Baynes’ Aladdin piece, complete with a lamp and carpet, was a pleasure to watch and won them a well-deserved silver. The Corny Collins Show took bronze, performed by Ashleigh Lowin, Alison Clark, Clare James and Helen Leighs.

We are hoping to host a Gala Show in March and will be releasing more information in the coming months. If you would like to perform in the Gala — and we do hope to see all of the exhibition performers sign up for the Gala — then do get in touch with us either through our Facebook page or via the club email.