Coach offers a variety of skating lessons at Sioux Falls Scheels IcePlex

Skating is a full-time job for Raegan Klein.

While she doesn’t always do the skating herself, she is one of many skating instructors at Scheels IcePlex who are dedicated to educating students of all ages in Sioux Falls on and off the field about creative sport. .

Klein leads, coaches, or assists with five different activities at the IcePlex each week: Sunlight Skate, lessons, and ice time for kids who are homeschooling or preschool; “Learn to skate” lessons for all ages; Theater on Ice; Hockey Academy; and a new day trip program she hopes to launch so more children in schools can experience the wonders of ice skating.

Here’s what you need to know about all the types of skating activities that are offered:

sun skate

Sunlight Skate is modeled after the normal Learn to Skate program, but offered during the school day and is aimed at students in the homeschooling community or children who are not yet in full-time school in the kindergarten to 12th grade. The program includes lessons and ice time.

She got the idea for Sunlight Skate because there is a lot of unused ice time at Scheels IcePlex. It’s something the skate club has also wanted to try for a long time, but the timing wasn’t right until now, as the club has grown and developed over the years, Klein said.

Although there are only two skaters in the Sunlight Skate group so far, Klein hopes that now that winter sports are resuming, the group’s small start will snowball into something bigger.

Raegan Klein trains 13-year-old Joselyn Shereck in his figure skating program on Saturday, October 29, 2022 at the Scheels IcePlex in Sioux Falls.

The youngest skaters in the program spend the hour-long lesson with half an hour of instructional skating lessons first, then half an hour of free time. Then the older skaters interact with the younger skaters, first enjoying the free skate time before Klein leads them in a half hour of instructive skating lesson while the younger skaters get some free skate time .

Sunlight Skate is offered monthly, once a week, one hour a week, for $88 for October and November sessions. December sessions are less expensive because there is a week off for the holidays, at $66.

learn to skate

The youngest Learn to Skate skaters are barely 2 years old and the adult class now has 12 students.

“I like letting people know that it’s never too late to learn something new,” Klein said. “Skating is an amazing way to unwind after a stressful day and a great way to stay in shape.”

A 10-week Learn to Skate session meets once or twice a week depending on your schedule. It’s $220 for an hour each week.

theater on ice

Klein also co-coaches with Tasia Hillestad for South Dakota’s only Theater On Ice team, which practices on Thursday nights. The program combines skating, dance and theater into one competitive sport meant to improve skaters’ pace, presentation and collaboration, Klein said.

The South Dakota team has competed only once in the national Theater on Ice competition, in Birmingham, Alabama, in June 2019. The team has not competed in the national championships since then, the COVID -19 impacting major events. However, over the summer, the state team performed at the World Ice Skating Institute competition, Klein said.

Theater on ice is more popular on the coasts because figure skating isn’t always so trendy in the Midwest until the Olympics arrive, Klein said.

In Theater on Ice, there are two types of programs. The first is a shorter program in which skaters tell a story with their bodies. The skaters wear all-black outfits and nothing helps them tell the story other than their skating. Skaters use choreography and movements like dance to represent what they want in skating formations, she explained.

Madison Stengrim, 17, practices figure skating on Saturday, October 29, 2022 at the Scheels IcePlex in Sioux Falls.

The second type of program is longer, bigger and may involve props if skaters choose to do so, Klein said. Skaters can wear costumes to tell a story and perform a scene with one song or several songs mixed together.

Theater on Ice has nine skaters so far this year and it costs them $1,100 each to sign up for the year. Cost includes ice time and competition entry fees, costumes, props, a team jacket and more.

hockey academy

Klein also works with the Hockey Academy, which started more than three years ago. Since hockey has grown so much in Sioux Falls with the Flyers and Stampede teams, Klein and his sister thought it was also a good opportunity to help young players find their footing.

For middle and high school aged students who play hockey, Hockey Academy helps them focus solely on their skating skills and helps ensure they are good skaters before they jump into the game, a Klein said.

“Great skaters make great players,” she said. “Other programs focus on gameplay, teamwork, batting, structure and goals, but never have time to break down all the fundamental skating skills.”

The Hockey Academy meets once a week for 10 weeks at $220 per student.

Day trip

With the one-day skate, Klein hopes to launch a type of field trip opportunity for daycares, elementary, middle and high schools as a new type of field trip opportunity for Sioux Falls. Students could spend time with skating instructions, games and free time during their school day. She is still working to reach out to groups that might be interested.

She also gives private lessons and coaches competitive skaters one-on-one or one-on-one.

Raegan Klein explains to 13-year-old Joselyn Shereck how to adjust her positioning for a figure skating move on Saturday, October 29, 2022 at Scheels IcePlex in Sioux Falls.

One of Klein’s skating students, Mary Kline, just passed the highest level of skating at just 16 years old. Kline, a Jefferson High School junior and member of the Sioux Falls Figure Skating Club, said she fell in love with the sport at a young age.

“I have been working for years on testing in a specific area of ​​skating skills. It took me four years to pass eight levels,” she said. “Only 3% of skaters pass this last level. It’s pretty cool to be part of that small percentage.

Kline said she appreciates that skating with Klein taught her lessons on and off the ice.

“When you fall, you have to get up,” Kline said, which she learned while skating. “Not only is it cool to say you’re good at such a unique sport, but it teaches you how to overcome tough challenges and achieve new things. It’s inspiring to see what you’re actually capable of.

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