They are the perfect combination of actor and athlete — and, boy, do they know how to put on one cool show.

Midcoast figure skaters thrilled a large crowd with grace, beauty and plenty of athleticism for about an hour Saturday night at the Midcoast Recreation Center as the Skating Club of Maine hosted its annual holiday treat “Celebration On Ice.”

The event not only included wonderful performances by a bundle of skaters of all ages and an opportunity to skate with Santa, but also an appearance by accomplished skater McKenzie Abendroth, who performed a solo to the “Nutcracker.”

The skating exhibition, as always, included dazzling  performances and heartwarming, uptempo holiday music. One of the featured skaters was Abendroth, a physician at Pen Bay Medical Center.

Saturday’s show included the following performances (some of the skaters listed in the program did not participate):

“Santana” — SubZero Synchro: Amanda Chen, Melissa Emerson, Willow Grinnell, Olivia Hupper, Lily McVetty, Kimberly Roman and Emie Wood.

“Don’t Save It All For Christmas Day” — Juliana Haynes.

“Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” — Brynn Kooyenga.

“Carol Of The Bells” — Bethany Berry and Brooke Hammond.

“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” — Delia Saastamoinen.

“Baby It’s Cold Outside” — Elena Laustsen and Natasha Shacklett.

“Everyone’s A Kid At Christmas Time” — Emie Wood.

“Let It Snow” — Intro to Synchro: Gail Curtis, Greta Curtis, Priscilla Partridge, Jenna Stine, Zoey Sewall and Lexi Tinch.

“River” — Kimberly Roman and Jenna Taylor.

“Winter Wonderland” — Willow Grinnell.

“Greatest Time of Year” — Olivia Hupper and Lily McVetty.

“Nutcracker” — McKenzie Abendroth.

“Little Saint Nick” — Intro to Freestyle Class.

“It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” — Basic Skill and Snowplow Sam Skaters.

“Here Comes Santa Claus” — Santa.

Abendroth skating background

The emergency room doctor and accomplished figure skater hails from Idaho Falls, Idaho. Abendroth began skating when she was age 7 after a ski instructor told her skating would make her a better skier and more likely to make the ski team. She took advantage of all the available ice time at her local rink and never bothered with the ski team again. When the rink closed for the season her parents drove her to a year-round rink three hours away in Sun Valley. There, she was coached by Sonya Dunfield, who had coached figure skating great Elizabeth Manley.

At age 9, Abendroth competed in an Idaho Falls competition and knew she needed more. Her coach recommended Priscilla Hill, who coached at the University of Delaware Figure Skating Club, to help realize her goals. So Abendroth’s parents left Idaho and moved to Newark, Del. Abendroth could now train four hours a day and was surrounded by serious figure skaters, including Olympic gold medalist Tara Lipinski, and several years later United States gold medalist and Olympian Johnny Weir, who also was coached by Hill.

In seventh grade, Abendroth decided homeschooling would give her more flexibility timewise, which allowed her to concentrate on dance, weight training and, of course, more skating. At this point, she was skating and off-ice training seven hours per day year-round.

Abendroth was the Novice Figures National Champion in 1994, and placed ninth in Senior Figures at nationals in 1995. She returned in 1996 and 1997 to the US Nationals to take second place in Senior Figures, and came in fifth in Junior Freeskating at the Eastern Sectionals making her an alternate to the nationals in San Jose in 1996.

In 2002 in her senior year at the University of Delaware, not only did Abendroth’s school finish first, but she placed first in the Senior Freestyle competition at the Intercollegiate National Championships.

During her time as a competitive figure skater and while nursing ankle injuries, she became interested in the medical field. While in high school, her physical therapist encouraged her to become a doctor because of her strong will and independent nature.

After her undergraduate degree at the University of Delaware, Abendroth moved to Biddeford to attend the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. Her favorite rotation during medical school was on Vinalhaven. Her roommate’s parents live in Friendship and therefore she became acquainted with the Midcoast. When a position became available at Pen Bay Medical Center, she jumped for it.

Abendroth began skating two years ago on Skating Club of Maine ice at MRC and now skates on all available ice at the arena. She lives in the area with her husband, Greg, and yellow lab, Buddy. The couple loves skiing, kayaking and hiking, but skating always will be Abendroth’s first love.

Abendroth said she is happy to be back on the ice after years away from the sport for her medical training.

Village NetMedia Sports Director Ken Waltz can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email at