When Julie Davidge was 8 and a Vacationland Figure Skating Club member, she used to idolize ice skaters like Rosalyn Sumners and Peggy Flemming.
Now more than 20 years later, her 8-year-old daughter Kayelee is following in her mother's footsteps and is also a Vacationland skater. Only she wants to be like Tara Lipinski.
Vacationland Figure Skating Club was started in 1974 by Pat DeChaine and Phyllis Frankum when skating lessons were offered at Bane Park on outdoor ice. The club moved indoors in 1978 when the Brainerd Civic Center was completed. That first year on indoor ice was when Davidge, then a third-grader, joined the club.
"I loved the artistic part of skating," said Davidge. "I would watch the skating on TV and I was mesmerized by it."
She achieved 12 skating badges by working on her skating skills, earning her a coveted spot on the Ice Cadets precision team. In eighth grade, she made the difficult decision to focus on being a Brainerd Kixter and left the skating club. A few years ago, the skating club asked Davidge to become a skating coach, and she carried her then 2-year-old daughter Kayelee on the ice with her during practice. Kayelee then caught the skating bug like her mother and joined the club when she was 5.
"The big girls were kind of her role models," Davidge said of her daughter. "She would come and watch practice and bugged me for a year to be able to skate."
Davidge teaches Just For Kix classes in Crosby once a week and is involved with raising her and her husband Eric's three children, which also include MacKenzie, 2, and Avery, 11 months. They live in Baxter.
Kayelee, a Baxter third-grader, has completed five skating badges and is a member of the junior club, taking private skating lessons. She said she wants to one day be a famous skater, or else be a skating and dancing teacher like her mom.
"I saw how good all the other skaters are and I wanted to be really good at something, like skating," said Kayelee.
"I just want her to have fun with it," said Davidge. "I don't want her to ever feel pressured. I was very shy, and I think skating taught me team work and gave me better self-esteem and confidence."
The Davidges are one of a handful of mother and daughter skaters who have both participated in the Vacationland Figure Skating Club, which will present its 25th anniversary show on Saturday and Sunday.
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