National skating competition coming to Dearborn rinks

Photo courtesy of U.S. Figure Skating
The Chicagoland Ice Theatre skating team performs a “Zombie Party” routine for their preliminary free skate during the 2013 U.S. Figure Skating’s Theater-on-Ice Championships. TOI is a form of competitive figure skating that combines figure skating with theater and dance. The 2014 contest will be hosted by the Dearborn Figure Skating Club June 26 to 29 at the Dearborn Ice Skating Center, 14900 Ford Road.

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — With the dates fast approaching, the Dearborn Figure Skating Club is set to host the United States Figure Skating’s National Theater-on-Ice Championships.

The four-day competition will take place at the Dearborn Ice Skating Center, 14900 Ford Road, June 26 to 29 and will showcase more than 1,200 figure skaters from across the country vying for a qualifying bid to compete in the 2015 Nations Cup International competition in Amiens, France.

“We are very excited to be hosting the event,” DFSC Events Co-Chairwoman JoAnn Eastman said. “We bid for it last year and were chosen.”

Theater-on-Ice is a form of competitive figure skating that combines figure skating with theater and dance.

Teams of eight to 30 skaters perform short programs that are evaluated on technical merit and presentation with an emphasis on costuming, originality, artistry and musicality.

Eastman said 65 teams have registered and that more than 1,100 skaters of varying ages will be competing.

“The programs are designed to tell stories so the ages can vary from very young to older,” Eastman said.

She said the influx of competitors will help the local economy.

“Last year’s TOI competition was held in Troy, Ohio, and it brought in about $2 million for their economy,” Eastman said. “Teams will be traveling here and staying at our hotels and eating at local restaurants, so it’s a good thing. We want to bring many new people into the community.”

Eastman said the DFSC has hosted other skating competitions before, including state and tri-state championships and basic skills championships, but that this will be the first TOI tournament.

She said the event will be new to the city because while figure and synchronized skating are well known here, TOI is not.

“We are encouraging all of our teams and skaters to attend the competition but we are also hoping the public come as well because it will be fun for anyone that enjoys skating or theater,” Eastman said.

Daily tickets for the competition are available for $15 from either the DFSC website (
or by calling the DISC at 313-943-4098.

(Bob Oliver can be reached at