Lake Region Figure Skating Club continues to bring community together

John B. Crane
Devils Lake Journal

DEVILS LAKE – At times, the seasonal transition from fall to winter can be seamless. Leaves fall, the weather turns over and people bunker up for the coming chill with beanies, jackets and gloves. 

A fresh pair of skates round out the clothing itinerary for those involved in the Lake Region Figure Skating Club (LRFSC) at Quentin Burdick Sports Arena. 

Members of the Lake Region Figure Skating Club (LRFSC) skate at Quentin Burdick Sports Arena.

Of course, the LRFSC does not merely span only a handful of get-togethers. Instead, each LRFSC season spans many months. The club’s current season, which started on Oct. 17, will eventually culminate with a trio of ice shows during the spring. The LRFSC will officially present its ice show on Mar. 19, 2022 (2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.) and Mar. 20, 2022 (2:00 p.m.). 

Alexis Sotvik’s history with the club spans deeper than her simply being the club secretary. From taking skating lessons as a youth to her time as a coach, Sotvik has recognized the program’s significance to the community.

“It has been a huge part of our community,” Sotvik said. “We serve all. We serve kids that want to learn to skate. We serve families. We take our biggest pride in our family skating program. We want our families out there skating together. We want them to enjoy the time on the ice with the parents of our skaters or the guardians and their skaters.” 

In Sotvik’s mind, family skating has been the catalyst toward the program’s continuation year in and year out. With 60+ families signed up for the current season (with each family ranging from one to four kids), each skater has the opportunity to take part in the program in one form or another. The program offers learn to skate programs, synchronized skating opportunities and even hockey skills lessons to diversify their community outreach. 

Sotvik, who currently has a daughter in the program, has been blown away by the commitment each skater has brought with them to each ice practice. This commitment reminds Sotvik of her time learning to skate as a two-year-old while with the program. 

“I see it in a lot of the kids,” Sotvik said. “We have a lot of morning ice skaters, and it is fun to see them put in the commitment and time to get up early, get to the rink, be on the ice, practice and go to competitions and test sessions.” 

Nicole McIvor, one of four LRFSC coaches and one of three newcomers, prioritizes coaching hockey skills, power skating and free skating, just to name a few. McIvor, who started skating when she was six, has also developed a bond with the program. Whether it be from her previous experience as a coach or her relationship with many families, this bond has continued to bring her back to the rink. 

“I enjoy being on the ice and being around kids,” McIvor said. “It is great to see how kids develop over time and having young ones starting again and keeping them going through the years.” 

Although COVID-19 forced the program to proceed in a more limited fashion in terms of enrollment and practice times during the 2020-21 season, the program has found resiliency in a way to make them come back even stronger for the new season at hand. 

This resiliency, in turn, has helped the club come together not as separate skaters but as one unified family. 

“The people are what brings this club together,” McIvor said. “I know we have a lot of families I grew up skating with. Some of the parents and moms are people I figure skated with all the way through high school, and it is really nice to see that their kids are joining in with their love for skating, and they love it as well.” 

As the LRFSC continues to grind its way through another season, Sotvik shares the same sentiment she possessed during previous years. 

Excitement. 

"It is always exciting to get back on the ice, see our families and see our kids, see our competitors, our hockey kids and just all of the kids be a part of the program,” Sotvik said.