MARSHALL - For most of their childhood, Marshall High School seniors Caitlyn Schaeffer and Melanie Smisek have spent their time on the ice perfecting their jumps and learning new moves.
The Southwest Figure Skating Club, along with Marshall Community Services, is presenting "Blades at the Box Office at 7 p.m. today and 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the Lyon County Ice Arena.
This will be the last time Schaeffer and Smisek will perform at the annual skating show. Smisek started when she was just 3 years old, while Schaeffer was 7 when she joined.
Photo by Cindy Votruba
Melanie Smisek, left, and Caitlyn Schaeffer will be performing at their last ice show today and Sunday at the Lyon County Ice Arena. The two have been members of the Southwest Figure Skating Club for several years.
"This is my 15th ice show," Smisek said. She remembered that the first number she performed to was "The Mickey Mouse Club."
Schaeffer said she was at an open skate with her family and her older brother was going to join hockey and she decided to try the Learn to Skate program. That's when she was noticed by Andrea Sattler, who was then coach of the Southwest Figure Skating Club.
"Andrea asked if I could have private lessons," Schaeffer said.
Smisek and Schaeffer said they appreciated the sport of figure skating, which kept them in the program for so many years.
"I really enjoy that this is an individual sport," Schaeffer said. "When I would compete, I would only be affecting myself."
Smisek said the club is like a "little family."
"It's been exciting to move up in the levels, it's just a personal accomplishment," Smisek said. "Since it's a personal sport, it's definitely self-motivating."
When she was a freshman in high school, Schaeffer started getting extra training. When her coach moved, she had to find a new coach and now goes to St. Cloud.
"I skate five days a week for seven hours total," Schaeffer said.
Schaeffer goes to regular competitions that is like a qualifying competition plus the ones that the other Marshall skaters compete in.
Smisek said she took the season off from competing.
"I focused more on testing," Smisek said. She said that she's going for her moves in the field test.
During their time with the figure skating club, both Schaeffer and Smisek have worked with the younger kids in the Learn to Skate program.
"It's fun to watch them get on the ice for the first time," Schaeffer said.
Schaeffer said one of the highlights from her skating career is when she passed her senior free skate test.
"It's the highest test you can pass," she said.
Smisek said landing her axels and getting to move into doubles a few years ago was her major accomplishment.
As the two get ready for their last show, Schaeffer and Smisek said they'll miss being part of the close-knit group.
"I'm going to be a puddle," Smisek said.
"I'm definitely going to miss all the girls in Marshall, but I'm lucky I'll be continuing to skate next year," Schaeffer said.
For the show Schaeffer and Smisek will skate together to the song "Don't You Forget About Me" from the movie "The Breakfast Club" for their senior skate. They also perform another number "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" with fellow intermediate plus skater Becca Klein.
Both girls said they plan on continuing to skate in some form or another when they enter college. Schaeffer said she's thinking about going to the College of St. Benedict where there's a synchro skating team. Smisek will be attending Winona State University.
"Hopefully I'll get a part-time job coaching there," Smisek said.