The Dryden Observer

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Dryden hosts Sunset Country Region skate testing

Chris Marchand

Chris Marchand served as editor of the Dryden Observer from August 2009 to April 2018.
Dance partner James Callan helps Dryden Skating Club’s Joclyn Armit earn her portrait among the skaters in the lobby of Dryden Memorial Arena.

Submitted by Janice Radburn

The Dryden Skating Club hosted the Sunset Country Region High Test session this past weekend, Feb. 6-8.

Figure skaters from Kenora, Eagle Lake, Dryden, Keewatin, Border and Balmertown Clubs arrived throughout the weekend to test their skating skills. All the skaters participate in the Skate Canada figure skating program known as StarSkate and test through a nationally standardized testing system.

High test weekends are held four times a year throughout Sunset Country to offer senior figure skaters the opportunity to test areas of skating that range from Junior Silver to Gold. A professional dance partner is required and former Drydenite and professional figure skating coach and dance partner, James Callan, was brought in from Barrie to partner the skaters in their dances. An Evaluator who is qualified to test at the gold level must also be brought in. This weekend the Evaluator was a young former skater who flew in from Sudbury.

Joclyn Armit, from the Dryden Skating Club, tested three gold dances. Joclyn is already a gold level skater having achieved her Gold Skills and Gold Interpretive. At the end of the figure skater season, Joclyn will join the elite group of skaters whose photo hangs in the arena lobby. Several skaters from the Eagle Lake Skating Club also tested their dances and skills, including Abigail Tourond who tested two gold dances and sister, Monica, who tested Senior Silver dances. Hailey Lappage, and Emily Wightman also tried Junior Silver dances.

All the figure skaters appreciate the opportunity to dance with professional dance partner, James Callan. At their home club, skaters learn the dance pattern, timing, style and expression of the specific dance but must also learn the “unison” of the dance once James arrives for practice. Not only must skaters learn to dance with a partner, but they also practice some of the more difficult hand holds and changes throughout a dance. From a tango to waltz to a foxtrot, figure skaters master them all!

The weekend proved very successful for all figure skaters with an outstanding 85 per cent pass rate of the 56 tests tried.

Eagle Lake Skating Club’s Abigail Tourond tests a Gold Dance level with James Callan.
Hailey Lappage tests, Feb. 6.


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