Happily Ever After

New Ulm Figure Skating Club puts together a Disney featured show for this years production

March 16, 2018

Bring your favorite childhood memories back to life as the New Ulm Figure Skating Club presents the 2018 ice show, “Happily Ever After.” This show features a bundle of songs from Disney Movies including Cinderella, Frozen, Beauty and the Beast, Mulan, Pocahontas, Tangled, The Little Mermaid, The Princess and the Frog, and Aladdin. Dazzling ice skating and unforgettable music will magically transport you to the world of Disney Land. This show is a family friendly event with songs from each Disney movie soundtrack.

LET IT GO, Elsa guides little Olafs through a skating performance

The story-line was inspired from New Ulm Figure Skating Club director, Ellie Elchert. “I wanted a theme that everybody could connect to whether they were young or old,” she said. Her extensive experience on Disney On Ice has helped her create this year’s production. “Disney is something everybody grows up with and loves, so I really wanted to bring the community together and bring out their inner child,” says Elchert.

People of all backgrounds are united by these well-known Disney fairytales. Elchert’s production has a good flow of various songs from the Disney soundtrack designed to tie the stories all together. The New Ulm Figure Skating Club has brought back a show that includes popular characters who are starring in the show. For the past few years, the ice shows have been less of a story-line. The last time the New Ulm Figure Skating Club has had prominent story-line was back in 2007 when the club presented “The Flintstones.” This year is different and should surely bring a larger audience in especially since the shows theme includes Disney’s classics. 

Although this is her first year as director of the New Ulm Figure Skating Club, she believes her experience and knowledge of figure skating shows could draw the community of New Ulm to this event. For the past couple of years, Elchert has expanded the club with many more community events. One in particular is the New Ulm Steel Blades. The Steel Blades consists of thirteen skaters from eighth grade and up. The Steel Blades provides an extra activity for the NUFSC skaters to participate in. Figure Skating is typically an individual sport, so it is fun for the skaters to do an activity as a team. Elchert taught the group every week a new routine in which they had one practice to perfect for the New Ulm Steel’s game. The season ended after their last performance February 24. Elchert has plans for the Steel Blades next year and is excited for another year.

BE OUR GUEST, Amy Harris (Belle) curtsies along with two other young skaters

The ice show consists of thirty-six different numbers in which seventy skaters will be performing to many popular Disney songs. The skaters have been working hard since the first week in January to put together an amazing show for New Ulm and the surrounding communities.

The skaters will perform in this year’s ice show with the youngest skater being just three years old and the oldest being ninety. Elchert believes this is proof that anyone can learn to skate. The skaters are from all over Southern Minnesota, which is neat to see everyone from different communities come together as one. The skaters practice multiple days a week for long hours to prepare for the many different numbers that each child participates in during the ice show. Some known faces from New Ulm High School to look out for are Amy Harris (Belle), Malia Wagner (Mulan), and Elise Webb (Pocahontas). 

Figure Skating requires skill, persistence, and a good mindset. Ellie Elchert has been skating for over twenty-two years and feels that figure skating has had a huge impact on making her the person she is today. “I think figure skating has the power to teach so many great life lessons other than just teaching the sport. The skaters in NUFSC mean the world to me and I do not think they know how much I think of them and try to strive daily to make them have great experiences here,” she said.

Living in five different states, traveling to eighteen different countries while touring for skating, Elchert is beyond happy to have finally found her home here in New Ulm teaching at the New Ulm Figure Skating Club. Elchert is ecstatic during the show season. “The show is a beautiful thing because it brings our skating family together and gives the skaters a fun reward after working so hard throughout the year. I know a lot of skaters started skating because they saw an ice show when they were little kids and fell in love with skating just like some of our seniors did many years ago,” she said.

Happily Ever After will take place on February 24 and 25 with three performance times: Saturday 1 pm and 7 pm, and Sunday at 1 pm, with a special introduction and recognition of the seniors during intermission.

This year, the show honors the nine seniors who have been members and skated for the New Ulm Figure Skating Club for several rewarding years. The show includes a special performance recognizing the nine seniors skating to the song “Almost There” from the movie soundtrack “The Princess and the Frog.” Elchert said her reasoning for this year’s senior song reflects “the seniors having many great things ahead of them,” so she wanted the meaning to be more looking towards the future instead of being sad leaving high school behind. In the song, the first lyrics talks about growing up in a small town, much of what the seniors can relate to. However, in the end the lyrics symbolize chasing big dreams and working hard to get there.

This year’s ice show is a tribute to a fellow skater, Heather Giefer, 16, who lost her courageous battle with brain cancer on November 18, 2017. Heather was a part of the New Ulm Figure Skating Club for several years, skating in many ice shows before being forced to stop when she found out she had an inoperable brain tumor. This news left the New Ulm Figure Skating Club heartbroken as the club watched Giefer battle for her life. The traumatic event brought the club closer than ever before. The club will forever remember her and her beautiful contagious smile.

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