Ice Is Nice – Tips for Beginning Ice Skaters

© Lisa Shara, Published in North State Parent, December 2013

The Siskiyou Ice Rink

The Siskiyou Ice Rink

There’s nothing quite like the experience of ice skating to cultivate smiles. Whether gliding on ice yourself or merely observing the experience of others, the laughter and spirit of skating is contagious.

Ice skating is all-ages fun, and is truly a community experience, whether it’s happening on a frozen pond or lake, or at an ice rink. In the North State, frozen lakes coupled with suitable skating conditions are rare (but oh-so-fun when it’s possible!), making local ice rinks all the more special. Continue reading

Who’s Behind the Magic? A deeper look at three North State holiday productions

© Lisa Shara; published in North State Parent, December 2013
The North State offers numerous holiday productions, as evidenced in our Going Places events calendar. We took the time to find out about the creative force behind three of them:

Redding City Ballet: The Nutcracker

Mother Ginger and the Peppermints in The Nutcracker. Photo: Redding City Ballet.

Mother Ginger and the Peppermints in The Nutcracker. Photo: Redding City Ballet.

In Redding, the Redding City Ballet (RCB) presents The Nutcracker, a classic family holiday ballet that audiences love.

“Every year we try to add something new to the production,” says Diana Christensen, the company’s artistic director. This level of creativity is one reason RCB’s Nutcracker is a much-anticipated North State holiday tradition.

Last year’s audience was amazed by a new character, “Mother Ginger,” whose costume is so large that wearing it requires the dancer to balance (and perform) on stilts as the costume is lowered onto him/her from above. The antics of young dancers, the “Peppermints,” who emerge from Mother Ginger’s skirt, add to the humor. Continue reading