Kyra Leonard will attempt to escape Harry Houdini-style from a coffin-type box while Henry Patterson spins it around, cuts it in half, then steps between the two pieces as dramatic music plays in the background.
The two high school seniors and longtime friends will collaborate on the tricky hijinks Friday and Saturday at Bielenberg Sports Center when the Woodbury Figure Skating Club puts on its annual spring show, "Skate Woodbury Magic."
"I'm excited and nervous at the same time," said Leonard, a student at Park High School in Cottage Grove.
It also will be a bittersweet moment for Leonard, who will be participating in her last show before heading to college in the fall. She started skating when she was 2 and has been a part of every spring show since they began 16 years ago.
This year's show is all about magic, and more than 70 costumed skaters ages 5 to 18 will perform jumps, spins, turns and other musically choreographed maneuvers during Cinderella-, Harry Potter- and Peter Pan-themed numbers.
As a special attraction, four high school seniors, including Leonard and Patterson, will perform solo numbers, and the spotlights will shine on seven who will team up with their dads for a father-daughter skate.
"Our shows are for the kids to enjoy themselves," said Brenda Leonard, show organizer and Kyra's mom. "They don't have to be perfect to showcase their talents. It's a chance to show off for friends, family and grandparents."
In fact, some of the show's participants are rather new to the sport or got their start through "Learn to Skate," a companion program offered through Woodbury Parks and Recreation. More than 300 skaters, tots through adults, are enrolled each session in the program taught by professional coaches affiliated with the Ice Skating Institute (ISI) and the Twin Cities Figure Skating Association.
In addition to offering figure skating lessons year-round and its annual spring show, the Woodbury Figure Skating Club sends members to participate in local and regional compulsory, freestyle and dance competitions sanctioned by the ISI and United States Figure Skating.
The spring show helps skaters prepare for the larger stage, as some carry over their routines to summer competitions, said coach Andrea Winikoff.
Over the years, the club has experienced lots of success at large competitions. Its synchronized skating team, the Ice Kicks, took second place at the 2009 Midwest Junior Championships in Denver and won a silver medal at the United States Figure Skating Midwest Qualifier.
Last year, the club had a number of skaters who finished high at the ISI World competition in St. Louis and made a strong showing at the state championships.
A handful of skaters have earned plaques that hang on the wall at Bielenberg showing they have completed the highest level of skill testing offered by United States Figure Skating. Kyra Leonard hopes to earn her plaque following next weekend's show. She hopes to join the figure skating team at Northern Michigan University in the fall, or may attend college locally and serve as a coach for younger skaters, she said.
Rather than producing elite skaters, the club's real mission is more devoted to getting people to skate, and to that end anybody who is a club member or enrolled in the "Learn to Skate" program can be in the show, said Brenda Leonard.
"They don't have to be the best," she said.
"What's really exciting is watching the kids get excited about it. After the third show, they're asking, 'Can we do it one more time?'"
Tim Harlow • 651-735-1824 • Twitter @timstrib