American Skating Idol March 24 at Carlson Ice Arena

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-117269467026690.jpg’, ‘Photo courtesy of‘, ‘Rory Flack Burghart brings her backflip and split jumps to Carlson Ice Arena March 24.‘);

The Northern Illinois Skating Club (NISC) presents the second annual “American Skating Idol” contest and benefit at 4:15 p.m., Saturday, March 24, at Carlson Ice Arena, 4150 N. Perryville Rd., Loves Park.

The audience judges the figure skating competition in this twist on the national singing competition, American Idol. Proceeds from the ice show, also featuring Keegan Messing, 2007 National Novice Men’s bronze medalist, benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

NISC has raised more than $42,000 for St. Jude through 10 years of benefits. Ticket prices are $10 for adults, $8 for groups of 10 or more and $7 for children 10 and younger. Call 1-815-986-5412 for tickets, or e-mail

Featured figure skater Rory Flack Burghart was the 2001 American Open Champion and a member of Team USA for the 2006 Olay Ice Wars Competition at Sear’s Centre in Hoffman Estates, Ill. Rory’s exciting programs usually include her famous backflip and gravity-defying Russian split jumps.

Keegan Messing, 14, coached by Rory’s husband, Ralph Burghart, 1992 Olympian and seven-time Austrian National Champion, took first place in the long program at Nationals, completing the first triple axel in national novice men’s competition. The Burgharts and Keegan will travel to Rockford from their home state of Alaska for the ice show. Guest skaters include the Revolution Synchronized Skating Teams.

American Skating Idol is an audience participation event. Skaters are grouped by age and skating level, and perform the program of their choice. Ballots are given to all audience members, and are collected and tallied at various times throughout the show. Skaters are awarded the gold, silver or bronze medal in each group, depending on audience choice. Every competitor receives an award.

Competitors must register by Tuesday, March 6. Entry fee is $30 per skater, and includes a show-themed T-shirt.

Following the ice show, the Burgharts will present their daylong “Artistry of Movement” skating workshop Sunday, March 25, at Riverview Ice House. Classes include Flack’s signature class, “Slidesteppin’-Funk on Ice,” skating artistry, jumps, dance performance, power, hip-hop, and moves and edges. The $160 early registration fee for the workshop includes two tickets to American Skating Idol. Workshop participants must register by Wednesday, March 7, to qualify for the reduced fee. Coaches featured in the workshop include Audra Abernethy-Hinds, director of Off Ice Edge and Fine Lines Skating Company; Jennifer Caron, director of Revolution Synchronized Skating Teams; and Erica Swanson, director of Fine Lines Dance Company.

From the Feb. 28-March 6, 2007, issue

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