Somewhere in the crowd of about 20 students at the Wonderland of Ice on Thursday may have been a future hockey player.
"To do that, we really have to start younger," said Tammy Papa, director of the city's Lighthouse after-school program. She plans to get third-graders involved in the next program.
The couple [Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov] now teaches a basic skills ice skating curriculum that is sanctioned by United States Figure Skating and is part of a Skating in the Schools initiative.
They have been teaching the class for a while in Hartford, and recently branched off into Bridgeport.
The lessons include teaching students to skate forward, backward, stop, spin, glide and dance.
"A couple of them are already past three levels," said Gregory. "All of the kids have passed one or more levels."
"We want students to have the opportunity to learn the sport of figure skating," Petukhov said. "It's very hard for inner-city youth to learn figure skating or hockey."