Practice makes perfect: Arena hosts ice skating through January


TUPELO – Mississippians may be more accustomed to mud riding than ice skating, but that didn’t stop people from piling into the BancorpSouth Arena on Sunday to try ice skating.
The Arena is hosting public ice skating through January. From beginners to experts, the ice was full of folks trying to master the sport.
For the beginners
First-time ice skaters Allen Myers and his son, Austin, 12, of Hamilton, tried ice skating for about 20 minutes on Sunday.
That resulted in both of them falling, three times each.
“The third time’s the charm,” Allen said, laughing.
The Myers men both suggested hanging onto the wall for safety.
“I actually got off the wall, and that’s when I fell,” Allen said. “It was fun, but it’s something you’ll have to work at.”
Tried and true
Charlene Swedenburg and her children, 10-year-old Mackenzie and 9-year-old Winston, were returning ice skaters.
The crew from Columbus skated at the Arena two years ago and returned this year. After skating for about an hour, the trio had the hang of it and all three glided across the ice with ease – though Mackenzie said she fell three times.
Charlene also suggested sticking near the wall
“Stay close to the wall until you get comfortable,” she said. “It’s fun.”
Mackenzie’s lesson: “Stand up straight.”
Expert advice
Booneville native Jennifer Arnold not only seemed to float on the ice, but she showed off a few moves.
Arnold, decked out in ice skating necklace and shirt, has skated for two years and has taken lessons. She goes to a rink in Decatur, Ala., once a week.
She practiced scratch spins, Salchow jumps and toe loops.
“Practice off the ice,” she said. “If you’re not comfortable on the carpet, you’re not comfortable on the ice.”
She said starting off slowly is always a smart idea.
“Just don’t go so fast,” she said, “or you’ll knock yourself down or knock someone else down.”

* Try it yourself
The BancorpSouth Arena is hosting public ice skating the following dates and times.
Cost is $7, which includes skate rental. No hockey equipment allowed.
1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 11, Jan. 15
1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Dec. 12
4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 18
1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Dec. 19-23 and 26-30, Jan. 2-3, 9, 16-17

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