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Winter fun means rink activities at Mt. Vernon RECenter.

Grab Those Skates

Emme Porter and her students Ava Dempster, 8, and Griffin Sendek, 12, enjoy the ice. The Mt. Vernon RECenter has made a commitment to provide ice time for diverse activities including hockey, free skate, and public sessions.

Emme Porter and her students Ava Dempster, 8, and Griffin Sendek, 12, enjoy the ice. The Mt. Vernon RECenter has made a commitment to provide ice time for diverse activities including hockey, free skate, and public sessions. Photo by Montie Martin.

Group lessons, public sessions,and skating development classes are some of the many ways to have fun on the ice this winter at the Mt. Vernon RECenter.

With its diverse schedule of activities, the RECenter caters to ice fans of all levels and interests.

“It’s like riding a bike, skating is something you need to know how to do.”

Emme Porter, a skate coach at Mt. Vernon

“It’s a community center and isn’t like other rinks, where ice time goes to the highest bidder,” said Emme Porter, a skate coach at Mt. Vernon. “The center has made a commitment to give a variety of activities.”

A range of introductory classes is available for the three-to-five age group. Snowplow Sam classes teach students how to fall, get back up, and focus on getting skaters off the wall. Family-oriented activities such as Mom or Dad and Me sessions are also available.

“Skating is different, there’s something fantastic about gliding across frozen water.”

Mike Richards, head rink guard at the Mt. Vernon RECenter

Hockey classes include levels one to four, and are available for those aged six to adult.

Basic 8 classes also focus on the six to adult age group, and make for a traditional approach to skating. Level one handles the basics of marching and gliding, level four includes forward crossovers, while level eight covers scratch spins and waltz jumps.

“It’s really cool because you get to go fast and do spins,” said 8-year-old Ava Dempster, a figure skater enrolled in group lessons.

“Skating is different, there’s something fantastic about gliding across frozen water,” said Mike Richards, head rink guard at the Mt. Vernon RECenter.

For more information and a complete calendar of events visit: fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/rec/mvrec.htm

Classes tend to consist of eight to 10 people, and registration is available at the front desk or online. Although ice-skating is a traditionally expensive sport, Fairfax residents receive a discount and skates can be rented at the rink.

“Go to the public skating sessions, check out group lessons,” said Porter. “It’s like riding a bike, skating is something you need to know how to do.”