(June 12, 2015) Five former competitive figure skaters will dazzle audiences this summer during The Next Ice Age at the Carousel Hotel on 118th Street.
Performances began on Wednesday and will take place at 6:30 p.m. nightly through Aug. 20. Each show will run about 30 minutes and are free to the public.
Returning to Ocean City for its 15th year, the show is a favorite among Ocean City residents and visitors.
“The unique proximity to the ocean… there are not many ice rinks near the beach and the ocean makes it special,” said Nathan Birch, The Next Ice Age executive director. “It’s a free thing to do and exposes the family to a winter sport when they are not expecting it. The show may even inspire people to try skating afterwards at the Carousel.”
The performances involve a story about a family and every genre of music will be heard during the shows, Birch said.
This year, Megan Marschall, 23, will skate alongside, Julianne DiMura, 23, Rachel Jones, 21, Shaun Rogers, 29 and Michael Solonoski, 31.
“I love performing in Ocean City because it’s so exhilarating performing for live audiences every night,” Marschall said. “We have a feel-good, family-friendly show where audience members will experience fantastic tricks, beautiful skating and choreography filled with interesting story lines.”
For the opening weekend of June 13-14, World Figure Skating Champion Kimmie Meissner will join the others and make her Ocean City debut in The Next Ice Age performances.
“I’ve always wanted to perform in the show, especially growing up in the area [raised in Towson],” Meissner said. “It’s a company [The Next Ice Age] you want to be a part of and they spend a lot of time thinking up the idea and building the foundation, which sets them apart.”
In 2005, Meissner became the second American woman to land the triple axel jump in national competition. She was a member of the 2006 Olympic team and the youngest American athlete to compete at those games.
Meissner is the 2006 world champion, the 2007 United States national champion and the 2007 four continents champion. She is the first American to simultaneously hold the world, four continents and national titles.
“The skating has to be at a certain level and the performers are all strong skaters,” Meissner said. “It’s what we really need in the sport and what people love to watch.”
Since spectators are standing during the show and their proximity to the action on the rink is within a few feet, performers are constantly interacting with the crowd.
“You are really close, with just a rail separating audiences and they get drawn in,” Birch said. “Everyone is invited and encouraged to meet the cast to get autographs and take photos after the show.”
Birch said he has met a fair amount of skaters who told him they got their start after seeing a performance.
“I am happy to be associated with something so positive and heartwarming,” Birch said.
“Performing in skating shows for a living is honestly a dream job,” Marschall said. “Skating is something we fell in love with when we were little kids, and we are so grateful to have careers we trained in our whole lives and truly enjoy it so much.”
Watch the Ocean City show every night at 6:30 p.m., June 10 through Aug. 20, at the Carousel Hotel on 118th Street. There will be no shows on July 9 and 10.
Those who wish to eat dinner during the show should call the hotel in advance at 410-524-1000 to make a reservation for rinkside dining.
Visit www.thenexticeage.org to learn more about The Next Ice Age skating company.