Prior Lake, MN – Dakotah! Ice Center is now home to the Dakotah! Figure Skating Club. Established in mid-2009, the club currently has about 40 skaters and member parents. Community children, youth, and adults who train as figure skaters formed the club with DSF figure skating coach Trudy Oltmanns.
“Our program prides itself on instilling hard work and discipline into its participants. Most of the skaters train five to six days per week. We train all year round and compete all over the country. Our local skaters have travelled as far as Colorado Springs and Spokane, Washington, this year,” said Oltmanns.
Trudy Oltmanns is a skating coach at the Dakotah! Ice Center which opened in November 2008.
The Dakotah! Figure Skating Club is a non-profit organization. Community member Tina Van Cleve, president of the Figure Skating Club explained. “All of the money we bring in goes back to the club to support the skaters. Some of the things we will do with donations are buy extra ice for more practice, buy the skaters warm up suits, buy off-ice equipment, and hopefully build lockers for the skaters in the off-ice room downstairs. We also hope to sponsor skaters that have talent but can’t afford the costs of figure skating since it is a very expensive sport.”
Trudy’s daughter Olivia, a member of the Dakotah! Figure Skating Club, is already a champion skater at the age of 12. For two years Olivia partnered with Tyler Broderick. The two of them won the National Intermediate Pair Champion title at the US Junior National Figure Skating Championships in 2008 and 2009. Olivia has a new partner, Josh, also a member of the club. Both Olivia and Joshua Santillan relocated to Minnesota to train at Dakotah!. Olivia and Josh placed second at sectionals in Wichita, Kansas, this year which earned them a spot at the U.S. Figure Skating Nationals in Spokane in late January 2010 where they placed sixth. Josh is also the 2009 Pacific Coast Sectional Champion.
Tina said, “It is a great sport for my kids and others to be involved in. It is great for the kids to have something to work for and to set goals for themselves. I believe that it is a great focus for them to keep them out of trouble as they enter their teen years.” She has been impressed with the positive changes in her own children since they started skating.
The Dakotah! Ice Center presented a holiday ice skating exhibition and fund raiser December 14, 2009, which was well attended by family and friends. Children in the Learn to Skate Program as well as figure skaters participated in the exhibition as well as some visiting skaters from other clubs. Skaters showcased the skills they learned while figure skaters demonstrated their competitive programs to an array of holiday music. Seventeen groups of Learn to Skate students and more than 20 figure skaters performed.
The club hopes to host a U.S. Figure Skating competitive event sometime in the near future. For more photos and video of the event, go to www.dakotahsport.com. Membership in the Dakotah! Figure Skating Club is $150 a year for a parent and child. Contact Trudy Oltmanns at Dakotah! Ice Center at (952) 496-6856 or email Tina Van Cleve at email@example.com for more information or to join.