For Erica Bolton and her skating friends, performing in the Keystone Holiday Magic Ice Show has become a holiday tradition.
The 18-year-old Boston College student and aspiring figure skating Olympian is a member of the Haydenettes - the 20-time national champion and three-time bronze world medalist synchronized skating team. She's been skating since she was 4 and competing since she was 6.
Bolton is headed home to Colorado for the holidays. You'd think she'd take a break from her rigorous skating routine while she's home, but instead, she's gearing up for the ice show. To be fair, though, Bolton doesn't find performances stressful. She doesn't even get nervous. The Keystone show is special because it's a rare chance to perform outside.
"It will be a chance to perform and have fun with skating," she said. "It's really cool to skate on the lake and see the mountains, the village and not have a ceiling above you. You just feel so free."
Bolton is one of about 35 skaters - ages 6 to 21, from beginners to competitive - from the Denver Figure Skating Club scheduled to perform at Keystone on Saturday. The group performs holiday shows around the Denver metro area and in the mountains, including at Keystone and Beaver Creek.
While most shows are held in ice arenas, Keystone's show is an opportunity for the skaters to perform for their audience and capture the attention of passersby or those skating on the lake nearby.
"It's a chance to entertain people who don't know about skating, to share my love for skating with other people," Bolton said.
Saturday's show will include solos, duets and one synchronized group number. For those unfamiliar with synchronized skating, imagine synchronized swimming on skates and you get the picture, though it's best to see it in person.
"It requires a lot of precision and speed," said Bolton.
The skaters and their coaches have choreographed each number to holiday music. Bolton will perform an individual number she choreographed herself to "Oh Holy Night." Ten-year-old Olivia Checkosky - whose sisters Grace, 6, and Sarah, 16, also will perform Saturday - will skate to "Rockin' around the Christmas Tree."
Expect to hear holiday tunes by artists including Taylor Smith, Kelly Clarkson and Jessica Simpson.
The 90-minute show on Keystone Lake is scheduled to start at noon. If you miss it, head to the Dercum Square Ice Rink in River Run Village for a second show at 4:20 p.m. Both shows will be held regardless of weather.
"It's a very festive and fun way to bring in the holidays," said skating coach, Lisa May.
"We really all love entertaining people," said Sarah. "That's what skating comes down to, is the entertainment."