Young skaters glide into their roles in `Oz on Ice'


March 09, 2001|By Lourdes Sullivan | Lourdes Sullivan,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THE COLUMBIA Figure Skating Club will celebrate spring with a performance 10 days into the season. On March 31 and April 1, the club will present "The Wizard of Oz on Ice."

The skating extravaganza features the tale of Dorothy and the wizard, as well as excerpts from other productions - "My Fair Lady," "Aladdin," "The Wiz" and "Annie."

The Pearl Ensemble of the Chesapeake Skating School will perform the songs of Ricky Martin. It's an eclectic show with something for nearly everyone to enjoy.

The Columbia Figure Skating Club puts on two performances each year, in winter and spring, with a cast of about 100 club members. Among the considerable joys for the audience is watching the progress made by young skaters as they learn and rise through the ranks. This year, five young Laurel skaters will be in the show.

Elizabeth Pflaum, 10, and Rhani Pflaum, 7, are first-time performers with the ice skating club. Elizabeth plays a lollipop; Rhani, a munchkin.

Ashley Brooks, 12, performs as a flying monkey. Paul Tran, 12, and his sister, Rebecca, 10, will also perform - Paul will be the mayor in "The Wizard of Oz" and Aladdin; Rebecca is a member of the Pearl Ensemble.

Their mother, Tracy Tran, said the two started skating 2 1/2 years ago. The Trans, who had recently moved to Laurel, watched a performance by skater Michele Kwan on television. Rebecca was entranced with Kwan. "My daughter related to that," Tracy Tran said of Kwan's performance.

With no experience in ice skating, Tran first took her daughter to the Laurel ice rink for leisure skating, then to group lessons. Soon, Paul started lessons, and within a year, the two began taking private lessons with coach Michael O'Rourke. They joined Columbia Figure Skating Club.

The children's passion for skating has changed the family's life. Skating classes and rehearsals are the children's extra-curricular activities. Bedtime is early because rehearsals start as early as 6:45 a.m.

Through it all, Paul and Rebecca have managed to keep up their grades. Both are excellent pupils at Hammond Middle and Elementary schools, respectively. Paul and Rebecca's brother, Steven, 6, has learned to skate, but he prefers Harry Potter books to the ice.

Tracy Tran learned to sew, so she can make and maintain her children's skating costumes. Her husband, Triet, an aerospace engineer, has learned to skate and occasionally indulges in an afternoon at the Laurel rink.

There will be four performances of "The Wizard of Oz," at 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. March 31 and April 1. Tickets are $8.50; toddlers are admitted free.

Information: Beth Dattaro, 410-799-5356, or June Hackman, 410-750-0237. Performances will be at Columbia Ice Rink in Oakland Mills Village Center.

Information: 410-730-0322.

Activities for seniors

The Savage Senior Center offers activities and classes for seniors as well as serving great lunches. Among its offerings are line-dancing instruction, weekly Bingo games and exercise classes. A needlework club, Sit and Stitch, is also available.

The Senior Trailblazers, an excursion group, sponsors trips to area casinos, restaurants and outlet malls.

Learn computers

The Savage center offers programs each month in addition to its regular activities.

The Computer Seniors of America is a group dedicated to helping senior citizens keep ahead of their grandchildren when it comes to technology. CSA is offering Introduction to PCs with Windows 98 on Wednesday at the center. This user-friendly class costs $24 for the three-hour session.

The senior center will also offer help preparing income tax returns Wednesday. Members of AARP will help sort out the forms.

On March 16, the center will celebrate St. Patrick's Day with music, games and a deli-style lunch. Participants are asked to bring a dessert to share.

Information: 410-880-5915.

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