Charly Defouw has been pushing herself since September. Extra lessons with her coaching team, working on choreography and timing, focusing on improving her jumps.
For the 12-year-old veteran of the Nelson Figure Skating Club, competition season is the time when the long hours of training and repetition culminate in a two-minute performance.
It’s the thing skaters love and fear the most.
This year Defouw and her teammates will have the advantage of skating before a home crowd as the local club hosts the West Kootenay Regional Competition this weekend at the Nelson and District Community Complex.
It’s the biggest showcase of figure skating to hit Nelson in years, and there will lots to take in and a number of local skaters participating.
Drawing on a catchment of skaters from Rossland to Fernie, the competition offers a full slate of categories from elements to pairs to interpretive.
Action begins Friday afternoon with the Junior Silver and Gold Solo Dance event where skaters perform two set dances to music.
Defouw, who broke her thumb earlier in the month and has just recently returned to skating, will see action in the Junior Silver Dance event.
The Freeskate events run Friday as well, in which skaters have required elements they must incorporate into their choreography.
Freeskate is divided into a number of categories with skater ranging in ages from eight to 15. Nelson skaters, Angelica Ross and Tao Measure will see their first action of the weekend in their respective Star 3A Girls and Star 3B Boys categories.
The evening wraps with the Introductory Pair Exhibition, a category that allows skaters to perform lifts, jumps and throw jumps.
Local skaters Aurora Pankoo-Dool, Tia Berrens, Lila Mckecknie, Helena Keating, Mallory Pinske, Leo Measures, Tao Measures, Shaen Panko-Dool, Breanna Tomlin and Isabella Kroker Kimber all see action throughout the day on Saturday in the Freeskate and Elements categories.
Nelson Figure Skating Club member Christina Champlin, 15, who competes at the competitive level, will perform her Pre-Novice short program Saturday afternoon and her Pre-Novice long program Sunday morning. For Champlin the season is just beginning and a strong performance at the regionals will help her qualify to skate at the sectional competition in November.
Sunday features the Interpretive Category which is always an audience favourite as it allows skaters to showcase the performance aspect of the sport. Skaters choose any music they wish and develop choreography without having to worry about required elements. Think of Kurt Browning skating to Singing in the Rain. Nelson’s Courtney Shrieves and Breanna Tomlin will represent the home club in the Pre-Introductory Interpretive and Introductory Interpretive categories respectively.
More than a competition, regionals is an event. The host club changes every year giving a chance to welcome the region to their community.
There are gift baskets to win, medal presentations to take in and no shortage of great skating costumes.
Action begins Friday at 6 p.m. and continues through Sunday afternoon with the final medal presentations at 1 p.m.
For more information visit nelsonfigureskatingclub.com.