March 8, 2017

This Aint Your Mamma's Synchro Team

... it's your Daddys' instead!




Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce the River Bulls, from Finland.  They are the only all-male synchro team and they were founded in 2014.

I love the story of how they came to be ... like the classic song from "A Chorus Line" - "I'm watching sis go pitter pat, said I could that ...."

Let Matti Heinonen, one of the team's member explain:
It all began season 2013-14 when two of us were waiting and watching our daughters' rehearsal.  Suddenly the other one said:"That seems to be so easy, maybe we should try it too?  We know how to move in blocks because we have been in the army."  From this moment the idea started to live in our minds and after some months the first skating courses for men were arranged.


It doesn't sound like they are heading to the 2017 World Synchro Championships in Colorado Springs next month.  But neither am I ... as a spectator.  I would love to see Worlds!  If any of you are near Colorado Springs on April 7 or 8, you should go!!!

February 24, 2017

Want to buy a photo?

This is for sale on ebay (thanks for the hat tip, Richard M. Morse at Facebook's Ice Capades Reunion 2015.)


I think the photo is rather captivating.  Can't put a year on it.  1940-something, so it's old.  If all of the signage weren't in English, I'd be tempted to say the man's Italian.  But I do like that it's in English.  It says Ice Capades four times and I'm always grateful to keep the name out there.

Hmmmm, I wonder why?

February 13, 2017

What I Would Rate Ice Charades



Tell me, figure skaters and fans, if this sounds right ... when you mention figure skating to someone, they almost always think of a girl training for the Olympics.  There was a brief time (circa 1994 - 1998) when people thought of Nancy and/or Tonya, but we're back to the girl (probably 10 - 15 years of age) on her way to the Olympics.

That's not what the novel, Ice Charades, is about.  It's not for young girls.  If it were to be rated like movies are, it would be somewhere between PG-13 and R.  No violence, some swearing, some sexual situations.

I think the closest rating, one that is used in other countries, is MA15+.  It means not suitable for people under 15.

After all, Sue Olson, the protagonist of the novel is nineteen, a sophomore in college, and sets out to skate in an adult world with adult situations.  But I would recommend this for any figure skater who is approaching eighteen -- the age you need to be to be hired for most shows -- who is thinking of joining an ice show.  And I would recommend it for the parents too!





February 6, 2017

The Fitness Marshall

Me likey.

Are you looking to put a little more dance in your exercise routine or put a little more exercise in your dance routine?





About a month ago, I was looking for a certain Zumba song on You Tube when I stumbled upon The Fitness Marshall exercise/dance videos.  It's Caleb Marshall and his assorted backup booties dancing to pop songs with a blend of hip hop moves and calisthenics.  And now my daughter and I are hooked.

You can find him here on Twitter, here on Facebook, but I usually head straight to You Tube.

If your TV can get the You Tube channel or you don't mind watching your videos on small devices, you've got yourself a great workout!  My daughter and I definitely have our favorites:  Me Too, Can't Stop This Feeling and Into You.  But there are a lot more.

Caleb Marshall, is so cute and funny that you'll feel like you're not working out at all.


His webpage has announced tour dates, so maybe they're coming to your city.  If not, give him a try on You Tube.  I bet you'll love him too.

January 20, 2017

#MakeAmericaSKATEAgain


From the Mercury News:
Olympian Ashley Wagner called it an easy choice: Watch the U.S. figure skating championships Jan. 20 instead of the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.

The inauguration falls at the same time as the weeklong skating championships in Kansas City, Missouri, where Wagner, 25, is one of the favorites in the women’s competition.

“People have a really good reason to watch U.S. figure skating nationals, don’t they? That’s all I have to say,” she said Tuesday during a conference call.

Smart call Ashley! I agree.

America, are you ready to skate again?

January 4, 2017

December 20, 2016

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Reposted from December 8, 2008, the first year I started this blog.  In case you didn't know, I was a big fan (AND STILL AM) of Brian Orser.  Enjoy!




ah Christmas ...

Maybe you heard the songs in the middle of October, but whenever I hear the Frankie Avalon - big band version - of that song, I think of sweat rolling down my face from a muggy afternoon in southern Japan.

That's right, two of the three amusement park shows I did in Kumamoto, Japan featured a Christmas production. In August. It's a strange association for me, but at least I can still tolerate the song.

I have a harder time with the music from the Nutcracker. I skated with two productions of Nutcracker and probably because the shows came along at Christmas time, I got so tired of the music. Years later if I heard that music in a department or grocery store, I would get nauseous and start counting in my head, as in "right-2-3-4, left-2-3-4."

The only songs I liked from the Nutcracker were the Arabian Dance - because the music's cool and dark and mysterious, the Waltz of the Flowers - because it is one of my all-time favorites and the final Pas De Deux - because it was Brian Orser's big finale (and the show was almost over by then).

But time heals everything and this year I'm taking my kid to see the Nutcracker. Alas, it is the ballet version, so it will be a lot stuffier than what the skaters did and there will be no Brian Orser. So instead I give you this ...



He's looking down in the photo because someone cracked a joke, but that's him.