Kalamazoo, Mich. - Teams
from all across North America will converge for one of the greatest synchronized
skating competitions in the country, as the Greater Kalamazoo Skating Association
(GKSA) host the 14th annual Kick-Off Classic this Saturday, November
23rd-Sunday, November 24th.
total 116 teams will be competing this weekend, that a far contrast to the inaugural
Kick-Off Classic when 11 teams competed in 2000. The event, which is sanctioned by the U.S. Figure
Skating Association, will feature over 1,800 skaters at various skill levels
from beginner through adult.
will be six states and two Canadian provinces represented this weekend. The furthest
competitors will come from Laval, Quebec, Toronto, Ontario, Edina, Minnesota
and St. Louis Missouri.
teams traveling to Kalamazoo, local skaters will also have a chance to shine. Western
Michigan University will making their annual appearance and the GKSA will have five
Beginner1, Beginner2, Open Juvenile and Intermediate) competing.
team skating is a fast growing team sport with over 400 teams currently
registered with the U.S. Figure Skating Association. Teams typically
consist of 8 to 16 skaters and compete in divisions defined by age of the
skater and the size of the team. Synchronized skating is comprised of
intricately choreographed footwork, difficult pass through and for some
divisions even doing lifts like you see in Olympic ice dancing. Similar
to Olympic skating, the teams all have required elements that their programs
must contain and they are judged based on the entire team’s achievement of
those required elements. There are many patterns during their performance
including a circle (skating in a circle formation), line (skating in one long
straight line), block (skating in a closely packed formation), wheel (rotating
lines or pinwheels) and intersection (lines or groups passing through each
Synchronized skating may soon become part of the Olympic experience,
which will give fans of figure skating an opportunity to expand their knowledge
of team skating.
competition begins at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 23rd at Wings
Stadium and will run until 8 p.m. On Sunday, November 17th,
the competition will continue from 8 a.m.-11:30 a.m..
for the event is $9; $8 for adults over 62 years of age, and children under 5
are free. Organizers of the event invite the entire community to attend.
Hospitality Group offers an unmatched choice in world class hospitality
through a variety of offerings from hotel lodging and events to dining,
retail and entertainment. The Kalamazoo-based company owns and operates
the Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites, Holiday Inn West and Wings
Stadium. In addition the following businesses are part of the Greenleaf
Hospitality Group: Blush Salon + Spa, Burdick’s for Breakfast, Old
Burdick’s, Rio Coffee, Sydney Apparel, Kalamazoo Athletic Club,
Kalamazoo Wings, Webster’s Prime, Wings West and Zazios Italian Restaurant &
For more information about this
weekend’s event, please contact Mike Modugno, director of public
relations and broadcaster at 269. 226.0384.