Perfect Duet

The Great Bay Figure Skating Club's annual ice show features memorable performances by all skaters. 

Above: Mom and daughter Yuko and Lauren Lynch (photo by Amanda Callahan Photography)

By Joanne Vassallo Jamrosz

The Great Bay Figure Skating Club in Dover, New Hampshire, is proud of its 46-year history and annual spring ice show.

The show always features skating groups, solos and an occasional duet. This year, however, four duets took center stage, each with a unique skating story.

Peyton and Lilly stand in skating practice outfits and black leggings on the ice.
Peyton McKee and Lilly Pelletier (courtesy of GBFSC)

“The spring show is an annual event,” said club president Mercy Marchuk. “We’ve had shows yearly for 46 years except in 2020 when we canceled due to COVID-19. The theme this year was Future Dreams. This was a fitting theme in an Olympic year, with the kids dreaming of all their figure skating potential.”

Mother-daughter skaters Yuko and Lauren Lynch took to the ice skating to “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.”

“It’s always been fun to skate with my daughter,” Yuko said. “I felt that performing with her is a special treat we can cherish for years. This year’s performance was probably our last one since she is going off to college, so I chose the music ‘I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing’ to express my love for my daughter.”

The mom-daughter duet was indeed emotional for skaters and the audience.

“I was so emotional after their skate,” Marchuk said. “I could hardly see them coming off the ice through my tears.”

Two skaters in Broadway inspired costumes perform a duet on the ice.
Jes York and Lauren Lynch (photo by Amanda Callahan Photography)

Lauren then returned for a second duet with fellow graduating senior and dear friend Jes York. The two skated to “Death of a Bachelor” by Panic! at the Disco, a program York found fun and creative.

“My duet was special for many reasons,” York said. “My partner Lauren and I would work on our choreography in school during lunch. We had a huge whiteboard and drew a rink map to help place all our elements. This routine was special to me because the memories of creating the program were just fun.”

Marchuk noted the special connection between this duet featured graduating seniors leaving the ice and lifelong skating friends.

“They competed on their high school skating team together,” Marchuk said. “These two young ladies brought so much joy and energy to our club. We will miss them even while we wish them well at college next year.”

The show’s final two banner duets highlighted the club’s younger skaters.

Friends Peyton McKee, a fifth grader, and Lilly Pelletier, 10, skated to “Moonlight” by Jubel. Both skated for the last four years and showcased their friendship on the ice.

“Skating this duet was special because I got to skate it with my best friend,” Pelletier said.

McKee agreed and loved that her best friend could also be on the ice and share their time in the spotlight.

“Lilly gives me confidence. By looking over at her while skating with me,” McKee said.

Mason and Paige in their skating costumes by the boards.
Mason Webber and Paige Puglisi (courtesy GBFSC)

The last duet was probably the most special since the duet suddenly became a last-minute solo performance.

“Our final duet was supposed to be Paige Puglisi and Mason Webber,” Marchuk said. “Mason and Paige are great friends on and off the ice. They have been skating about four years and are 10 years old.”

The two diligently practiced their show program, but Puglisi had to go into quarantine at the last minute. When Puglisi couldn’t attend the show, Webber went on alone.

“He was a standout of only two male soloists in the show,” Marchuk said.

However, two weeks after the show, Puglisi and Webber did perform their ice show program duet during the club’s learn to skate session, complete with costumes.

“Mason and I have known each other for a long time,” Puglisi said. “It was nice to bond with him more while learning the routine. Every week when I get to practice, I learn something new. Learn to skate has helped me do things I never dreamed of doing.”

For Marchuk, as club president, watching these perfect duets this year was special for many reasons.

“I see these kids every Saturday as they check-in for their lessons. I am often the point person as they migrate from LTS to freestyle and private lessons. I love to see all the skaters grow from year to year. Watching them take the ice with their best friend or family is really special,” Marchuk said.