Residents of Šeduva on the ice, 1930s. The Lost Shtetl Museum Collection.
Back in the period between the wars, the winters were real winters. When cold nipped at their heels, the young people made use of the short days and made the dismal cold snap interesting with entertaining diversions. Just take a look at the photograph and you'll see for yourself.
You might think such a thick crust of ice built up every winter. Not at all. The interwar press complained the temperature wasn't low enough so the ice wasn't solid. The snow hadn't been shoveled well enough for athletics. There was a lack of lighting. The ice hockey players were bothering other skaters with their ribboned batons. But the worst thing, according to one critic, was that the young people didn't know how to skate gracefully: "for some reason, they rush as if racing, breathless, exhausted and sweaty."
It's true enough there was a lack of information and teachers for figure skating, but usually, people just wanted to have a good time with friends and weren't dreaming of an athletic career on the ice. After all, they did live in a town where, according to sheduvian Nokhum Berman, nothing ever changed but the weather.