This year more than last gave local skaters a chance to shine at Ice Party Champions last night, as performances from the IW’s competitive ice skaters were interwoven with those from TV skating celebrities and top professional skaters.
Individual spots gave level 8 skaters Archie Bicknell and Nikita Heathfield, plus level 9 skater Maggie Read a chance to show off the routines they have been taking to the UK’s key novice and, in Maggie’s case, junior level competitions. All three skaters have helped to vastly increase the range of levels at which the IW competes by opening up the higher levels.
Fourteen members of UK junior synchronized skating champions the Wight Jewels also took to the ice for a specially choreographed routine to Beyoncé’s Crazy in Love.
For two IW skaters, however, Ice Party Champions provided more than one moment in the spotlight. Fifteen-year-old Archie Bicknell and 17-year-old Gemma Marsh had a real taste of what it is like to take part in a big budget ice skating show by performing as part of the ensemble skaters right from the opening number. The two performed with the professional cast in a 1960s Austin-Powers themed medley, with Archie kicking off proceedings in a routine involving actress Clare Buckfield to Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots were Made for Walkin’.
Archie said: “Taking part in Ice Party Champions was like a dream for me. Knowing that skaters Steven Cousins and John Hamer have won the British championships, it was an honour to skate both for and with them. I knew Steven wanted me in the Beyoncé number, but then to have been in all the major numbers was a dream come true.
“The best part of the show was actually getting to know all the famous stars – Kieran Bracken, Clare Buckfield and Laura Hamilton. And of course performing Beyoncé’s Single Ladies with the main male performers of the cast has to be up there as well.”
Gemma, co-captain of the Jewels, was also involved in the skating club’s hoe-down number and her own solo, giving her eight routines to learn in a short space of time – a particularly demanding requirement. Plus she had the honour, along with former Scottish novice champion Taylor Ronald, of leading Radio 1’s Comedy Dave onto the ice for the finale.
And of course, one of the IW’s newest skaters had her moment too: Isle of Wight Radio’s Emily Wells performed to Ravel’s Bolero with Kieran Bracken, with as little as eight hours’ of skating lessons behind her.
There was good news after the interval too, with the announcement of the results of the IW branch of the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club’s fundraising efforts on behalf of the synchro teams. Chairman Keith Parish presented the teams with a much-appreciated cheque for £1,600.
Kyran Bracken moves onto Blackpool in October with his other show, Kyran’s Ice Party: http://www.kyransiceparty.com/