Local ice show reaches 45-year milestone

‘Tale As Old As Time’ is this year’s Showtime on Ice theme

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Celebrating 45 consecutive years of twirling, jumping and gliding on ice, Showtime on Ice will this year stage three of the show’s most popular performances throughout its history: “Grease,” “The Lion King” and “Beauty and the Beast.”

Four performances of this year’s show, titled “Tales As Old As Time,” take place at the South Suburban Ice Arena, 6580 S. Vine St. in Centennial, April 28-30. Tickets range from $10 to $20.

Professional skaters Ryan Bradley, Starr Andrews and Max Aaron are featured this year. About 150 performers of all levels from across metro Denver, ranging in age from 3 to 65, take to the ice.

“What I hear from people year after year is that they had no idea there were this many talented skaters in the area,” said Sally Smith, the show’s style coach and theatrical director. “It truly is a spectacle.”

Janie Ochitwa, 18, a ThunderRidge High School senior, is playing Sandy in “Grease.” This is her 11th year in the production. She said the event is a highlight of her year.

“This is something that I have been doing so long that I fell in love with performing,” Ochitwa said. “It is awesome that the show has gone on for this long.”

Daniel Arsenault, 22, plays Danny in “Grease.”

“I think this is something that has given a lot of us a love for performing,” Arsenault said. “It has really sparked a love for the sport... A lot of skaters out here live all year for it.”

In 1973, Peggy DeLio created the show to expose figure skaters and their communities to Broadway musicals and classics. The goal was to give figure skaters a way to come together as a team.

“When she started this, Peggy felt that what the skaters could get from the show is more than what they could get from a competition,” Smith said. “This is a lonely sport. This is a chance for the kids to get a team feeling. They come together as skaters.”

Smith started her career in musical theater. After a vocal cord injury, she decided to go into teaching theater and taught at Ponderosa High School in Parker for 20 years. After retiring from teaching, she started working with Showtime on Ice.

The show is an annual event in Centennial. While most ice shows have an opening and ending number with several individual performances, Showtime on Ice is an entire production.

“There is always something to watch,” Smith said. “People can see the story unfold in front of them and see national and world competitors who come out and skate. It is not a recital.”

Smith, who has worked at Showtime on Ice for 22 years, admires the camaraderie, commitment and dedication that the young skaters demonstrate. She said the parents, volunteers and staff commit their time to the show for the kids.

“For all of us it is an investment in children,” Smith said. “There is no better investment than the investment in children and helping them make a memory.”

For tickets, visit showtimeonice.com/ticket-information

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