HISTORY OF LONE STAR FIGURE SKATING CLUB
By Gay Cannon
The story of the Lone Star Figure Skating Club is one of VOLUNTEERS. For the last forty plus years, hundreds of people--judges, accountants, referees, professionals, coaches, rink personnel, skaters themselves, and primarily skaters’ parents have given time, money, and limitless effort to allow DFW skaters to achieve their goals. They did this out of love for skaters and for skating.
I couldn’t name one individual because it was the work of the many that built the organization that it has become. But for every man, woman, and child who has put effort into our club, I along with all of you, am extremely grateful for those efforts and for what they have achieved.
The club received its charter in 1974 after about a two year probationary period. It allowed those skaters from our club to represent us at Regionals. We sent three skaters. At that time we were installed at the Ice Capades Rink at Form 303 on the border between Arlington and Grand Prairie, Texas. The Dallas FSC who sponsored us gave us our name: Tri-Cities FSC. From the beginning, most of our members thought the name was too vague. We wondered which three cities they meant. Nevertheless, our fledgling skaters wore the name with pride while their parents supported their ambitions.
When the Forum Rink closed in 1982, the tiny rink in the Plaza of the Americas in downtown Dallas welcomed the club to reside there with club ice changing from Wednesday nights to Sunday mornings. We had begun to host a winter non-qualifying competition in the mid-seventies and we continued it even after the Forum 303 rink closed. We held the competitions at Will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Worth and allowed our visiting judges to be entertained in Cowtown. It was a couple of judges from Los Angeles, Ellie and Jack Curtis, who filled me in with the details of Showcase Competitions and asked us to consider hosting one. They had modelled theirs on a competition that had long been held for Roller Skaters. Jack and Ellie had been active in both fields. So with the small surface as home ice, we initiated our first Showskate there and it was a little competition that enjoyed a huge success. We didn’t host it continuously but in the last few years, it has made a successful comeback.
By that time, we had professionals in many rinks all over the metroplex training the skaters in our club. We, as a board, were determined to accommodate them. Rules regarding rink size were not so strict as now, and we held test sessions in many rinks from Tandy to Love Field as well as at Plaza, Will Rogers and even once at Fair Park.
We now had a large number of competitors at all levels and in all disciplines. Our pros were growing more and more unhappy about our meaningless name. They begged us to change our name to better represent the area for competition recognition. We had changed a lot as a club with more experience and more understanding of the sport. We were cooperating with rinks to ensure we supported ISIA (now ISI) and adult skating sessions as well as dance sessions and pair training off and on/ice. Our goals aligned with U.S. Figure Skating’s -- to make skating more inclusive with programs that appealed to all ages and all levels of skating.
In 1984 we applied to USFSA for the name change to Lone Star Figure Skating Club. And around that time, the Prestonwood Ice Capades Rink became available and we moved once again to headquarter at that rink. This worked out very well as we now had a surface large enough to allow us to train and test full dance patterns. We also had new dance and pair professionals in the area and more male skaters allowing teams to be formed. It was an exciting time.
We had been holding non-qualifying competitions for many years. Both of the other clubs in the city had them as well. Sometime in the late-80s, the Palace Rink went out of business, and the Palace FS Club folded. Their competition had always been held in mid-summer. When they quit having theirs, we applied for a summer time-slot for our competition and that is when we began what became the Cannon Open after Don Cannon died on July 12, 1991. Since then, the competition has been held on or near that date and has been a wonderful living memorial to him and an invaluable competition for the area skaters.
The Story of Stars FSC (an overlay of Lone Star Figure Skating Club)
In 2001, the club was presented an offer by the Stars Organization. We would have access to all of their rinks, but in exchange, they wanted us to change our name to Stars FSC. The current and past officers, knowing how long it had taken to get the name Lone Star FSC, were reluctant to accept the offer. However, the support of the organization and the ability to serve our skaters with more ice, better facilities was extremely appealing even if we had to change our name. The professionals who coached most of our skaters were in favor of the change, and the Board of Directors acquiesced and agreed to become Stars FSC; but only as a d/b/a (“doing business as”) while still retaining the ability to revert to Lone Star FSC anytime they deemed it necessary or important to do so. In 2016, we did indeed exercise that right and did so after we lost exclusivity to the Stars rinks.
Currently our home ice is at Dr. Pepper’s Star Center-Farmer’s Branch. Even so, we still accommodate skaters training and skating at the many different rinks in the metroplex. Our current volunteers, myself included, remain determined to serve them all to the best of our abilities. We are eager to embrace new volunteers..the lifeblood of our organization. It absolutely does require everyone of us who love the sport to make our skaters’ dreams come true!