November 23, 2015

Life On The Road, Skating With Ice Capades

I saw this in my facebook feed today and thought it was a great thing to post (especially since Ice Charades didn't skate in Ice Capades ... she just thought the name was so cool.)

Here's Tim Estiloz chatting with WBZ's Jordan Rich about life on the road for four years.  That's a long time to stay with one show.

Tim really knows his stuff and he's well spoken ... so have a listen, you won't regret it!

Head Ewok ... that's something to tell the grandkids.

November 10, 2015

I'll ask again ... does a roller coaster have groupies?

The answer is probably yes.

But that's not the point.  The point is Ice Charades is going to trout out another rant about the lack of ice shows in commercials.  I saw a commercial for Royal Caribbean this weekend and didn't see any hint of ice.  Not a blade, not a toe pick.  Nothing.

Yes, in past years, 2013, 2010, and 2008  I was so frustrated.  It seems the agencies that whip up these commercials didn't get my memo.

So I'll post it here.  Yup, I'm posting a repost within a post of a repost.  Or something like that.  You're welcome.

Way back in June, 2008, I railed on the theme parks for not showing their own ice shows in their advertisements. Whether it was in print or television ads, there was no skating to be seen.

Here's my short rant in short:

Calling the PR Department of

King's/SixFlag's/Busch'/sSeaWorld's/Knott's/GreatAmerica's Theme Park

Why is it that there is rarely any press/commercial screen time/endorsements of the ice shows inside your park? Are you hiding it?

When I skated for King's Dominion and Williamsburg Busch Gardens, both times the ice shows were the #1 live attraction. Now don't get me wrong, people, I know nothing beats the latest/tallest/fastest rollercoaster for these theme parks, but the ice shows were packing them in -- if nothing else, so people could sit down and cool off -- Virginia in August anyone?

When I was at Busch Gardens, the park orginally scheduled two shows daily. Then the wizards working the numbers and crowd control realized the park would make more money if they canceled the early show and made people who wanted to see the show (a.k.a. the groupies) wait until 9 pm, meaning they would have to eat at the park, rather than catch the early show and head to town for dinner afterward.

Can a rollercoaster do that? Do they have groupies?

Okay, yeah, they probably do.

So today I'm calling out Royal Caribbean Cruises for doing the same thing. Last night I caught a commercial (I'm excited that I now get some American tv stations in Panama) for the cruise ship that never showed one clip of skating. Not the show, not even a passenger on a public session.

I don't get it. Skating is the number one, most popular Winter Olympic sport, in part, because it's so well suited for television. Why? It's got beautiful costumes (usually) on beautiful skaters (usually - which reminds me of another post I'm about to do) and the fast motion of jumping, spinning or plain old stroking. To me, it's more zippy than most anything dancing can do ... yet, they show a clip of one of the musicals (people singing, rather than dancing) in that commercial.

I just don't get it. RC is the only cruise line to have an ice rink and you would think they might want to highlight that aspect more. And I can't imagine that someone in the ad biz can truthfully say that "We tested for audience reaction to skating and they didn't like it" because they've never put the skating in there.

November 2, 2015

Happy Dia de los Muertos


Miss Ice Charades only lived in Mexico for two years, but that's enough to feel like I can celebrate Dia de los Muertos with the rest of them.

For those not so familiar with the Mexican holiday, which was me before going to Mexico, some describe it as "a loving tribute to a family member or friend who has died" but others seem to choose to honor a famous person who has died in the year.

It's only fitting then that my Dia de los Muertos ofrenda, or altar, is for Toller Cranston.

You have to look close to see the two photos of him, one as a skater and one as an artist.  There's lots of red in there because I know he liked that color.  There are also a few snacks and some red wine in addition to the water, since you are supposed to include these to "refresh the spirit after his journey" and candles.

What is missing is the Pan de muerto and the calaveras (sugar skulls) because there are hard to find in Princeton, New Jersey.

When we lived in Mexico City, we had an ofreda for Michael Jackson with a few more appropriate components on the table.

I wish I could have seen the bigger celebration at the Gala for the Ice Theatre of New York, but I'm honoring the most artistic figure skater ever, in my own small way.

October 20, 2015

October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month - this one goes out to Paul Wylie!


Let's face it, October is a busy month - (I'm looking at you pumpkin spice) and along with the month for Fair Trade, Breast Cancer, Vegetarian Awareness, International Walk to School (Canada only), and I kid you not, National Outdoor Lighting month (really, not December?) it's Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month.

So if you bear with me, I'm taking time out of my usual casting notices or reunion updates to address something dear and literally near to my heart.

that's not an ipod in my pocket                      

Yes, Paul Wylie and myself are lucky survivors of Sudden Cardiac Arrest.  It's different than a heart attack where blood is blocked going to and from the heart.  Sudden cardiac arrest is when the heart stops beating.  A person often passes out.  Sudden collapse.  Especially on a young person, that's not usual.  Quick intervention from CPR and an automated external defibrillator (AED), can increase the survival rate by 90%.

So CPR is crucial here.  If the moment ever comes, lock your hands together and press hard.  Sing the song "Staying Alive" by the BeeGees and press to the beat.  You're manually pushing blood to the brain which can prevent brain damage.  And of course, if there's an AED nearby, use it.  The machine talks you through the procedure.

 I also watched a bunch of AED and CPR videos (which was pretty depressing) so I can bring you one of the better and shorter videos.  Seriously, watch this and you'll feel more prepared.  It's very informative and spells out the difference between continuous chest compression CPR and regular CPR.  Watch the whole thing.  Please. 

I hope I can speak for Paul Wylie when I say, we thank you.

October 1, 2015

Happy "World Ballet Day"

Besides being the first day of fiscal 2016 for the US government and World Vegetarian Day, by North American Vegetarian Society, it's World Ballet Day!  That's the one I'm excited for.  I love ballet and I love seeing what dancers (and skaters too, of course) can do with their bodies.  I'm truly in awe.

Dance Anywhere 2015

I loved ballet as a kid.  Like many kindergarteners, I wanted to grow up to be a ballet dancer.  But by the sixth grade, I left ballet for skating.  Skating seemed more exciting because I could go faster (without even moving my feet).  And I stayed away from ballet for a while.

In college, I shunned ballet.  I embraced jazz and tap instead. I thought traditional ballet was boring.  And then I didn't see much ballet for thirty years.

I think seeing the documentary "First Position" sparked my interest in ballet again.  IMHO the movie was that good.  Really go see it.  If you haven't seen the movie yet, watch the trailer here.  Then go see it, I told you it's that good.

My only question - where is the skating version, as smart and entertaining as First Position?

Aaah, excuse me Ice Charades, you were talking about ballet?

That's right, back to ballet.  Enjoy World Ballet Day.

September 28, 2015

The Collective

It's fall where I am and I'm back to blogging.  Thanks for stopping by.

You may have seen them on Facebook already ... does Mazurka Monday or Turnout Tuesday ring a bell?  If not, check out The Collective on Facebook.

It's run by three amazing coaches, Chris Nolan, Vesna Markovich and Mark Hird and it brings such a fresh new take on skating.  Sort of the opposite of Ice Charades - while I'm looking for anything cheesy, quirky or downright goofy, they're bringing you all that's good in the world of figure skating.  Their motto, "moving classic basis forward" highlights quality and passion in skating.

Will you be in Toronto on Wednesday?  They're putting on a workshop at the National Performance Centre, York Univerity as part of the Skate Canada Development Series.   And it's free!  That's another classy move.

Check it out at

August 19, 2015

Here's to the Chorus!

Here's to the Chorus - 

We'll never get our own TV special or Olympic commentating gig.  We'll never make a hairstyle famous or get our face on a box of Cheerios.

BUT, we will give the A-list skaters time to rest and change costumes.  We will be budget friendly and usually less demanding.  And most importantly, no single skater, no matter how good, can do a kick line like this ...

Ice Charades is going on vacation for a bit and won't be posting until some time in September.  Yes, Ice Charades is in there, but it doesn't matter where.

Have a great end of the summer.  Come back for fall!