Shows and Carnivals
San Diego Figure Skating Communications
a non-profit educational organization
Amateur Ice Productions
Ice Shows and Carnivals
From the late 1940s through the 1970s figure skating clubs have held ice shows or carnivals. Some were very elaborate with many clubs holding an annual show. Many clubs would also hold a competition open only to its members,
Both of these activities were very important to parents as they provided an opportunity for their children to display their skating talents. There were also a great many dancers who supported dance sessions and enthusiastically participated in these shows and club competitions.
Professional ice shows such as Ice Follies and Ice Capades toured the USA and even had production companies that toured other countries. These entertainment organizations usually featured top competitors who had turned professional.
These theatrical forms of figure skating with spotlights, special costumes, with a live orchestra provided audiences a new and enjoyable experience. Feature actions such as Richard Dyer, who caused the ladies to swoon, and a comedy dance couple, badminton on ice, and Freddie Trinkler's acts delighted all ages of the audience.
In Southern California amateur show/carnivals are not commonly hosted. A major exception is the December Christmas show held at the San Diego Ice Arena in San Diego, CA. Their show involved every skater in the club and skaters enrolled in their group classes from pre-schoolers to adults. It is quite an undertaking to organize the costumes, music, and choreography.
The Showcase Competition was an idea of Morrey Stillwell of the Los Angeles FSC. The concept has grown and now has a national championship. This concept and the development of the Theater on Ice competition events have provided skaters with opportunities to participate in a competition version of the ice shows and carnivals.
The "drill teams" of the 1960s evolved into precision skating teams, and ultimately into Synchronized Team Skating teams of the 2010's.
Eventually the professional ice shows ceased to be profitable as TV Skating Special flooded the TV schedules. Even the Professional Skating Championships became unprofitable to host.
Some sections of the country still host ice skating shows and carnivals that vary in sophistication because of differences in the number of club members and local market demand necessary to support multiple performances.
Organization and Expense Considerations
A Local Planning Committee (LOC) is either formed when needed or may be a permanent standing committee. The LOC generally hires a Show Director who may be the head of the rink's class program, the head coach, or one of the other coaches on staff.
The responsibility to develop a theme may be a decision of the LOC and/or the Show Director. The show director and other coaches provide music and choreography for the production numbers. Individual solo, duets, and mini groups would be choreographed by coaches of the skaters who may be required to arrange their own practice time in addition to their costumes.
The LOC and coaches generally work together to plan and carry various responsibilities. The following include most of the positions necessary to organize such an undertaking
The LOC usually presents a projected budget to the club's board prior to receiving its approval. Financial and other off-ice decisions are usually delegated to the club's board of directors.
Club members are necessary to provide the many volunteers needed to carry out the details of organizing the approved project.
Costumes have to be designed and sewed or selected, rented or purchased from a commercial source.
The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:
All materials are copy protected.
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.