By: Joanne Vassallo Jamrosz
Tuesday nights are special for Austin, Texas adult figure skaters.
That’s because skaters can participate in Adults Skate Tuesday, the combined experience of adult classes followed by an informal dinner gathering.
The Chaparral Ice Rink and Ice & Field at the Crossover in Cedar Park offer adult 1-6 Learn to Skate USA® classes. According to Austin Figure Skating Club Adult Zone coordinator Jeanmarie Jackman, the dinners provide an ongoing opportunity to expand their club’s adult community.
“We have a collection of favorites or go to restaurants near the rink, but usually, we will decide which one we’re going to that week,” Jackman said. “Also, if someone is celebrating a birthday or any other special event, such as a work promotion or competition success or test success, we usually turn to them to choose the restaurant that day.”
Adults Skate Tuesday is open to all adults, and the group strives to invite and include new adults.
“Adults Skate Tuesday is where I met my Austin family,” Jackman said. “I relocated, and all my family and friends are in New York. This community has been encouraging and supporting each other. It’s been wonderful to get to know each of these amazing people.”
Jackman first attended an adult public session where she met adult skater Martha Hurley.
“Martha was there, asked if I was new, and when I said I was, she told me about Tuesday nights. I hadn’t planned to take classes. After my first class, the skaters invited me for dinner.”
Jackman said the community has grown into an extended family, one they value and want to share. Like all extended family, they also get together for holidays, U.S. Championships watch parties in January and they even traveled to see a fellow skater perform in a musical theater production. This is essentially how Tuesdays grew.
“The thing I love most about Adults SkateTuesday is the friendships and community I’ve found,” Hurley said. “I was a competitive baton twirler for 11 years as a kid. I loved competing, but I always had trouble practicing, especially in the second half of my competitive years when I was the only one my age from my studio. I didn’t realize how much that affected me until I started skating a few years ago and discovered a wonderfully supportive community of adult skaters at the rink working toward similar goals and encouraging each other.”
With so much success seen with their Tuesday event, last month, Adults Skate Tuesday held its first Sunday event, something they are trying to grow into a monthly event.
“We had an hour of adult club ice at the HEB Center in Cedar Park, followed by dinner at Chuy’s restaurant. We are aiming to do this once a month,” Jackman said.
According to Jackman, the March event was “super successful,” so Jackman is now looking to work with Austin Club president Cindy Chapa to book more ice time and guest speakers.
“We hope to have adult club ice followed by a brief topic of the month, such as buying skates and blades, off-ice suggestions for adults, the adult competition series, and skating opportunities for adults such as showcase, ice dancing and singles to let adults know all the fun they can have after basic skills.”
They are also working on creating a semi-annual adult weekend skating camp for club members and hope to hold their first event in Fall 2023.
“Adults are enthusiastic and loyal club members,” Jackman said. “We are here to volunteer and support each other and all skaters. We are active on social media spreading the word, not just to adult skaters, but also to parents of young skaters, about the club and all it has to offer.”