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Dancing on Ice star passes on top tips to skating club

Mark Hanretty (rear) on the ice at Billingham Forum with members of Billingham Ice Skating Club. Picture by FRANK REID
Mark Hanretty (rear) on the ice at Billingham Forum with members of Billingham Ice Skating Club. Picture by FRANK REID

Dancing on Ice star Mark Hanretty has been in the area to pass on some top tips to members of an ice skating club.

Mark, who partnered with Donna Air in the ITV show earlier this year, led a training session with Billingham Ice Skating Club at Billingham Forum yesterday.

He passed on his experience and know-how to help the skaters, a number of whom come from Hartlepool, move with precision and style on the ice.

The club has had a busy year with lots of competitions and are now starting to rehearse for their annual pantomime on the ice.

Emma Freeman, of Billingham Ice Skating Club Committee, said: “Mark came to help with the performance side of things and showed them different skating techniques.

“He focussed on things like posture as a lot of them can skate but don’t know how to express themselves on the ice.

“He also talked about what to do off the ice and how it’s not just important to train on the ice but also in the gym.

“He was really getting them prepared for when we do our pantomime and even when they are competing.”

Emma said the numbers of people learning to skate has seen a spike thanks to Dancing on Ice being back on the screen.

She added the training session with Mark was a big success.

“It has been extremely useful and very beneficial,” said Emma.

Fans can see Mark at this year’s Billingham International Folklore Festival when he plays a leading role in the show Ikebana, the Journey in Quest of Harmony, a fusion of arts and sports, presented by a cast of 300 international performers.

Tees Active and junior members of Billingham Ice Skating Club will perform Sleeping Beauty On Ice at Billingham Forum from Sunday, December 16 to Wednesday, December 16.

For tickets call (01642) 551381 or visit the website www.forumicearena.co.uk