Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 16.22.59A RISING North East skater will be getting the chance to showcase her skills alongside a Dancing on Ice star this Christmas.

As part of the activities taking place in Sunderland this festive season, aspiring ice skater, Anna Waters, will be performing with her coach Andrei Lipanov – one of the professional skaters from ITV’s Dancing on Ice – at the opening gala of the Sunderland Frost Village on November 26.

An exciting programme has been put together by Sunderland’s Business Improvement District, which includes the creation of an ice rink at Keel Square, which will operate right up until Christmas Eve.

Andrei, who taught celebrities including Clare Buckfield, Heidi Range and Bonnie Langford for the TV show, currently coaches Anna, who is originally from Wallsend.

The pair specialise in Adagio pair skating, a highly skilled and acrobatic style of ice performing.

The skaters will launch the ice rink at a gala performance, alongside young ice skating duo, Josh and Ellie, from the hit CBBC documentary series Ice Stars.

Following the opening the ice rink will run daily skating sessions and is available for private hire, along with a programme of activities including the chance to be coached by Andrei on various dates throughout the festive season.

“We’re so pleased to be able to give someone from the region the chance to perform with Andrei,” said Ken Dunbar, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID.

“It brings another dimension to our fabulous Frost Village and another reason for people to come and see what we have on offer in the run up to Christmas.”

Along with the open air ice rink, Sunderland Frost Village will offer a traditional Christmas market with more than 25 stalls selling food, drink, gifts and crafts and a traditional fun fair with a waltzer, Ferris wheel and bumper cars on the former Vaux Brewery site.

Anna replaces Andrei’s regular skating partner, Susie Lipanova, who is unable to take part due to family commitments.

Sunderland’s Frost Village will be open daily between 10am and 10pm (8pm close Mon to Wed), and until 4pm on Christmas Eve – though skating on this day must be booked in advance.

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Prices for skating starts from £6.50 per child and £7.50 per adult.

Full activity listings and opening times are available at www.sunderlandchristmas.co.uk.