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At Ice World, skating lessons aren't just for kids

Andrew Konetzki, right, of Aberdeen played ice hockey as a youth and is learning to figure skate with his wife, Megan, left. They eventually want to compete in ice dancing together.
Andrew Konetzki, right, of Aberdeen played ice hockey as a youth and is learning to figure skate with his wife, Megan, left. They eventually want to compete in ice dancing together. (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

Aberdeen resident Megan Konetzki grew up taking ice skating lessons, so it was only natural that she’d sign her kids up for skating at Ice World. She never expected she’d be lacing up a pair of skates again.

“I didn’t think that it would ever be an option for me to take up lessons as an adult,” Konetzki says.

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Now the 29-year-old is back on the ice with other grown-up skating students of all ages and ability levels. At Ice World in Abingdon, Monday evenings and Tuesday mornings feature adults-only lessons, while a Saturday class allows parents and children to learn to skate together.

Julianna Donahue of Parkville, right, skates part of a figure eight during adult ice skating lesson with instructor Alex Hayden at Ice World. Donahue, 18, has been learning to skate since February.
Julianna Donahue of Parkville, right, skates part of a figure eight during adult ice skating lesson with instructor Alex Hayden at Ice World. Donahue, 18, has been learning to skate since February. (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

“There’s a lot of benefits to taking up ice skating as an adult,” says Sarah McKahan, skating director at Ice World. “It’s a unique skill to have, and it really works about every muscle. It’s also something that’s fun to do during the winter for exercise when you can’t go outside as much.”

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Adult skaters can work their way through the basic levels, where they learn simple moves like glides, swizzles and bunny hops, all the way to freestyle classes, where they put moves together with music. They also take part in Ice World’s annual winter show, performing what they’ve learned in lessons throughout the six-week session.

Lessons are $125 per session, with 30 minutes of instruction followed by 30 minutes of practice time. They also include free skate rentals and seven free passes to public skating sessions.

Konetzki’s husband, Andrew, 28, started skating when he was 4 years old and played hockey through high school. While the idea of skating again wasn’t that strange, the concept of figure skating never crossed his mind before his wife suggested that they give it a try.

The PowerWall first went up at the gym in April and has been challenging members ever since.

“It definitely takes a lot more finesse and less aggression than hockey,” Andrew Konetzki says.

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Since starting lessons at Ice World, Megan and Andrew have taken up ice dancing. They plan to try out for competitive ice dancing once they get through all of the levels of lessons.

“Our entire relationship is now mimicked on the ice,” Andrew Konetzki says. “There are times when we’re working really well and then times when we’re not on the same page we’ll kick each other and it’s kind of like almost therapeutic in a sense. At the end of the day we end up laughing about it and learning from each other.”

For Megan Konetzki, a full-time Towson University student with a double major who works part-time as a cosmetologist in addition to being a mother of two, skating is great exercise she can fit into her spare time.

“If I can find time in my crazy schedule to make my childhood dreams come true, anyone can,” she says.

Governmental elections weren’t the only races running last fall. More than 12,000 people also cast their votes in the annual Best of Harford County readers’

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