KDLT Home KDLT on Facebook KDLT on Twitter Get the KDLT iPhone App Get the KDLT Android App

Professional Skater Coaches Aberdeen Kids



Bookmark and Share

The Ice Capades, Disney's World On Ice, The Ice Follies and Holiday On Ice. They are all part of a South Dakota man's life as a professional skater. Now Walter Stevenson is using all that experience to teach young skaters in South Dakota.

We caught up with him as he worked with two teenage girls, his voice echoing in the Odde Ice Arena.
    
"If you step into your spin with this shoulder here you are in trouble" Stevenson said as he demonstrated the move.
     
It’s clear Stevenson knows how the body moves on ice. After all he lived the life of a professional figure skater, rehearsals, costumes, traveling from city to city and working with some of the biggest names in the business. From Peggy Fleming to darling of figure skating, Dorothy Hammil.

"I said Dorothy come over here, she came to my side and put her arms around me, they came up to my knees, so I was towering way over her"
     
A tribute to his abilities, Walter was skating on stilts for the part of Gargamel from the Smurfs, one of the many characters he played over the years, which included Big Bird, and the lion in the Wizard Of Oz. He even met the real Wicked Witch of the West from the movie, actress Margaret Hamilton.

"She said you make a very good lion when she came backstage" said Stevenson.

As a youngster it was a twist of fate that led Walter to figure skating. A dog ran off with one of his hockey skates, and mom replaced them with figure skates and lessons
    
"My teacher was from Germany, and so she was very strict arms had to be stretched, legs had to be stretched, head had to be held up, shoulders back and its helped me through regular work to be self assured and to be confident in myself.”

Stevenson says he tries to pass those same lessons he learned along to his students.

After skating, his business career and personal life drew him to South Dakota, He lives in Conde and drives to Aberdeen to teach skating for the Aberdeen Parks and Recreation Department.

I enjoy watching the kids face when they learn something for the first time and they finally realize I did it!

Some of Walter's students realize that having someone with his experience and unique abilities in Aberdeen is something pretty special.

Christian Berbos, a 13 year old who glides over the ice like she belongs on it, says she enjoys her coach’s positive attitude. “He just knows more and he knows exactly what to tell you, said Berbos.

Fellow student, Julia Barnett agrees, “He's very helpful if you're doing something wrong, and he shows you the correct way to fix it.”

Walter says teaching kids the basics at a young age is the key to later success.
He hopes to eventually have some of his students compete in sanctioned events.

Bystanders at the Odde Ice Center might notice something different about Walter’s skates. The blades are gold plated. At age 58 Walter says this is his last pair of skates and he wanted them to be special.

While his performing days have come to a halt, Walter still finds joy on the ice. However, instead of applause from the crowd that joy comes from the smiles of young skaters discovering that they too, can make something incredibly hard look amazingly easy.
< Prev Story Back To Top Next Story >
Someone You Should Know Archive
     

Portion Of Downtown SF Building Collapses

A portion of a historic building in Downtown ...

'Cops' Crew Member Killed In Omaha Shooting

The production company behind the "Cops" television show ...

A Guide To The EB-5 Program Investigation In SD

Republican and Democratic lawmakers hope to delve deeper into ...

Restaurant Manager: "It sounded Like A Car Hit The Building"  story with video  Aug. 27

USD Using Drone To Capture Images For Marketing  Aug. 27

SF Police Chase Ends in Rollover, Arrest  Aug. 27

Faulkton To Be Honorary SD Capital For A Day  Aug. 27

AZ Gun Range Incident Raises Questions  story with video  Aug. 27

KDLT News Archive
     

Birds fall in 9th to Saltdogs  story with video

Sioux Falls, SD-- Another fantastic start at the Birdcage from Matt Wickswat went for naught ...

Scheels Plays of the Week from August 18th-24th  story with video

Zach Borg has your Scheels Plays of the Week from August 18th-24th. ...

Wiggins happy to be in Minnesota  story with video

The 4 newest Timberwolves met their fans at the Minnesota State Fair Tuesday and Andrew ...

IFL Expansion includes Barnstormers  story with video  Aug. 27

Missouri is ready for SDSU, Zenner  story with video  Aug. 27

Birds dominated by Bisenius  story with video  Aug. 26

Garretson shuts out SFC girls in soccer  story with video  Aug. 26

Warriors lose VB opener  story with video  Aug. 26

KDLT Sports Stories
     
Back To Top