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Ice Skating with the Pros at Southern Hills

By: Marie W. Conway

Date Posted: 2000-01-22

Have you ever dreamt of becoming a figure-skater right here on Okinawa? Living on a tropical island might have brought many to think that it should be impossible to ice-skate - much less, take ice-skating lessons. However, a few weeks ago, at Southern Hills Sports World in Naha, Danielle Raiman Plummer, a Professional Figure Skater, inaugurated the only figure-skating class available on the island.

Plummer has been skating for 20 years. She turned pro when she was 18. Among her many accomplishments were tours with the Ice Capades and Nutcracker on Ice, both of which are professsional ice-skating tour groups. She encourages people from the age of 4 at any level who would like to skate for fun, or the sport of it, to take lessons with her on Mondays, Wednesdays or Thursdays. Plummer, along with Kandace MacKeen, who has also been coaching for 10 years, are offering private, semiprivate, or group lessons through the Unites States Figure Skating Association (USFSA) Basic Skills Skating Program.

Sharon Damren - the mother of one of the students, Stephanie Damren - told Japan Update that she finds Plummer "spunky and fun, which are great qualities to get the students excited about skating." Stephanie Damren, a 10-year old student of Plummerís, skates under the instruction of both coaches and says she hopes to be just like the famous figure skater Tara Lipinski one day.

For further information, contact Plummer at (098) 936-1546 or e-mail her at

danielleplummer@hotmail.com. Also check out her homepage: www.geocities.com/skateokinawa. The contact for MacKeen is (098)936-8700.

Directions: Take the Okinawa Expressway towards Naha. Get off at the Naha exit and take the first left off the expressway. At the second traffic light, turn left onto 240. When you come to a T-intersection, turn left again and you'll see Southern Hills on your right. Free parking available.

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