Smooth Skating at the White Bear Lake Skate School

by | Jan 2024

Michele Wells (back, right) takes a turn on the ice with Becky (left) and Chelsea (right), who skated with Wells in the Spring Ice Show.

Michele Wells (back, right) takes a turn on the ice with Becky (left) and Chelsea (right), who skated with Wells in the Spring Ice Show. Photos: Chris Emeott

Skate school invites people of all ages to experience the ice.

If you lived in the area in December 2019, you very likely heard about figure skater and two-time Olympic medalist Michelle Kwan’s infamous first time skating on a frozen lake. It just so happened to be on White Bear Lake. A video of the experience, captured by filmmaker Jay Christensen, shows Kwan right at home on the open ice.

In moments like these, Kwan and other professional skaters seem to glide their way into the hearts of skaters and spectators young and old, motivating people of all ages to do more than dream and test their toes on ice.

At White Bear Lake Skate School, all are welcome, regardless of age, experience or ability. Amy Flater, a figure skating coach and the school’s director, says adult learners make up a large part of the school’s classes. “A lot of times, we get parents coming in to learn to skate, so they can be ready to play the parents versus kids game at the annual, end-of-the-year hockey season,” Flater says. “Their first goal is to learn to stop.”

The skate school offers fall and winter classes for teens and adults with multiple levels of skaters in the same group. Spring and summer lessons are shared with skaters practicing for competition. “Each person in our class gets individual attention, so they learn what they need,” Flater says.

White Bear Lake resident Michele Wells got back on the ice in 2016, after a friend invited her to join a skating group composed of adults who had experience skating and whose children were now involved in the sport. (At the time, Wells’ daughter was competing.) “That fall, I started to take adult skating lessons through the White Bear Lake Skate School,” Wells says.

Michele Wells

Michele Wells

While participation in competitions is optional, Wells and three other women ended up going to the Ice Sports Industry Adult Championships two years in a row. “We were classified as small production/light entertainment, so basically judged on how entertaining and creative our program was,” she says. “We had a great time!”

Learning to skate has benefits beyond the sparkly outfits and energetic music. For adults, ice skating is a great workout. According to the American Cancer Society, the sport improves muscular health, balance and coordination and can lower risk of cancer. As an added bonus, the cardio workout can also improve mental health.

Adults who enter skate school to learn basic skills will often end up creating new friendships with other adults and continue on to compete as a group. “My favorite thing is seeing progress in skaters, no matter what their age and then to watch friendships form as a class continues through the season,” Flater says.

Though the classes don’t promise you’ll be as graceful as your favorite Olympic skater, you’ll definitely get a workout and the chance to get off the bench and onto the ice to glide alongside your favorite hockey mite or beginning competitive hopeful.

Spring Ice Show

Each spring, White Bear Skate School hosts its annual Spring Ice Show. Skaters of all ages participate. “It’s always an exciting time,” Wells says. “There is a parent/skater number in the show, too, perhaps my favorite number since I had a chance to skate with my daughter!”

This year’s event will take place April 26–28 at the White Bear Lake Sports Center. For more information, visit

White Bear Lake Skate School and White Bear Lake Sports Center
1328 Highway 96 E., White Bear Lake; 651.429.8571


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