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North Park ice show takes audience on a 'Tropical Fantasy'

Skaters do a routine from the 2012 ice show at the North Park Ice Skating Rink. This year's ice show, 'North Park Tropical Fantasy,' will be at 7 p.m. March 11, 2013, at the rink. Submitted

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What: “North Park Tropical Fantasy” ice show.

When: 7 p.m. Monday.

Where: North Park Ice Skating Rink, 303 Pearce Mill Road, Pine Township.

Admission: Free, but attendees are asked to bring a nonperishable food item to donate to the needy.

Details: Call 724-935-1780.

By Natalie Beneviat
Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Audience members will be transported from a wintery ice rink to the beach during the “North Park Tropical Fantasy” ice show at 7 p.m. Monday.

The rink's 31st annual ice show is a way to celebrate the end of the winter season and collect food for the needy.

The free show at the North Park Ice Skating Rink, 303 Pearce Mill Road in Pine Township, will have more than 100 skaters and will include participants in the rink's “Learn to Skate” program and its competitive skating team. Among the performers will be “Tiny Tots” skaters ages 3 to 5, said Nancy Sudsina, skating director for the ice rink.

Sudsina said this year's show has a tropical theme and will last about two hours.

“It's wintertime, and it makes you think of the tropics,” said Sudsina, of Ingomar.

With some of the group numbers having a Hawaiian theme or a nod to the classic television show “Gilligan's Island,” Sudsina said, watching the show might help wash away some of those winter blues. The “Tiny Tots” skaters will be donning little crab hats for their number, she said.

“They always have the best costumes,” Sudsina said.

A number of skating solos will be featured, including those by seniors at local high schools who soon will be graduating and leaving the program.

For Alexandria Polanosky, a senior from Hampton High School who has been in the skating program since she was 3, the show will be bittersweet.

“It's kind of like saying goodbye to the rest of the team. They're all like family to me,” said Polanosky, 18, of Hampton.

She said along with doing a senior group number, graduating skaters leaving the program get to do two solos instead of just one.

Polanosky said she'll be skating a freestyle solo featuring a variety of jumps, spins and footwork. Her other solo will be artistic and to the song “Whenever You Remember” by Carrie Underwood.

Another graduating senior leaving the program is Joey Eisner of McCandless.

A senior at North Allegheny Senior High School, Eisner has been in the skating program since the fifth grade and said that it helped push him out of his comfort zone.

“We really are kind of a family,” said Eisner, 18.

And just like a family, despite any disagreements along the way, he said, participants still support each other.

“We all want each other to do well in competitions. We all want to see each other really progress,” Eisner said.

People attending the show are asked to bring a nonperishable food item to donate to the needy.

The rink does have parking, but, Sudsina said, because the show can draw 200 to 300 spectators, it is wise to come early. Also, because the rink is outdoors, she suggests people dress warmly.

Sudsina said the rink's skating program is quite successful and that more than 1,000 skaters took lessons this past year. Also, the competitive skating team came in 10th out of 46 teams at a recent Ice Skating Institute competition at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, she said.

Natalie Beneviat is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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