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Eden Prairie Figure Skating Club

One of the Top Figure Skating Clubs in Minnesota

Ice may mean anything depending on which Minnesotan you ask about it. To the ardent fisherman, it is the reason for gas-powered augers. To the 55+ crowd it is justification for buying plane tickets to Florida. To me, it is the leading culprit behind watered-down drinks.

But ice means something far more special to the kids of the Eden Prairie Figure Skating Club. Ice is why they get to thumb their noses at concepts like friction and gravity as they effortlessly glide about and shoot up into the air like spring-loaded toys. Ice is also one of the reasons why their parents can feel so immensely proud of them.

The EPFSC was founded by Lonnie Anderson in 1982, simply because she wanted her daughter Nicole to have a place to skate. Lonnie’s granddaughter Haley would one day join the club as well. Since its inception the EPFSC has remained exclusively managed by local parents, whose sole interest in the considerably large project is to improve their kids’ lives – and, by extension, the Eden Prairie community itself.

“Like most Minnesotans, when my kids were little I would take them to the rink,” said Joel Papa, president and co-treasurer of the EPFSC. “After they each took a few lessons at the community center and some private lessons with a coach, and their coach said they were doing well, my kids all joined the club.

“Personally speaking, I was never a great skater. I can get across the rink without falling down, but if my skates stop touching the ice it’s only because my whole body is going to be laid out on top of it a moment later. That’s why I’m grateful for the EPFSC – it offers kids an opportunity to learn skating directly from expert coaches, most of whom have competed at the highest levels.

“Over the years I watched their involvement with the EPFSC help my kids in a number of ways. Above all else, the sport of figure skating has taught them the value of perseverance. They now appreciate that things aren’t always easy, especially wherever ice is involved, and if you don’t practice you cannot expect to succeed. Figure skating also taught them the spirit of competition, how to build lasting friendships, and how to interact with other adults. EPFSC members spend a lot of time with their coaches, whom they come to respect and admire.

“The competitions add a whole different element. They’re really what teach kids how their hard work and dedication pays off, and also how to perform under pressure. I remember back when my daughter was only eight years old and competing in Burnsville. It wasn’t her home rink, so she got confused during her routine and started going the wrong way, but she worked out how to fix it on the fly.

“You’re just as proud to see that as a parent as you are when your kid wins a competition. Though I have to admit, overall this sport is probably more stressful for the parents!

“The EPFSC isn’t solely about competition. Our kids also perform in shows, and in recent years we have done The Lion King, The Wizard of Oz, and Mary Poppins. Skating to entertain hundreds of people is quite a different experience from skating to impress a few judges. There are going to be jitters either way, but at least with our shows the kids each get three separate nights to nail their routines.

“Whether they’re having fun with the group, training one-on-one with their coach, or just working on developing their skills alone out on the ice, the EPFSC is always improving our members’ lives. To some degree, the parents might consider the club self-serving as well. I’ve made a lot of great friends out of the other parents who volunteer as well – even if we’re all rooting for a different skater when it comes down to competition time!”

Would you like your kid to learn the virtues of real athleticism in a supportive community environment? You may learn more about membership in the Eden Prairie Figure Skating Club, as well as get updates on their upcoming ice shows, by emailing