September 17, 2017

Imagine if he had figure skates on!

Wait for the amazing "back sit spin" at the 25 second mark!  Pretty amazing stuff.

September 11, 2017

Holiday On Ice Reunion Prague!

It's going on as we speak and I hope you can see this link to some photos on Facebook.

Hopefully you can see these links.

Here's another link.

And these too.

When I skated in Prague in 1983, it was December and cold and miserable.  This looks like a much better time to see the city!

August 22, 2017


My daughter and I are currently in Florida and we took a side trip up to Tampa Bay to visit Busch Gardens and see the ice show.

You should too, if you're anywhere in the neighborhood.  Throw Busch Gardens some love, skip the crowds at Universal and Disney, and spend a day with animals and ice shows.  You'll save a bunch of money too!

It's a really great show. (and I know my park shows ... been in a half dozen, seen a dozen more over the years...)

Every skater is poised and polished.  Every number is solid. It even had a kick line (albeit from a new angle) to make this old show girl happy. The show moves at such a fast pace, you're surprised when it's over and the best part is the songs are fresh and contemporary.  There's no corny plot to slow the show down.

That's why I wish I could have skated in this show - they all seem to be having so much fun!  Even three shows into a four-show day.  Not an easy task.

But if you can't make it to Tampa, you can watch a decent quality performance here:

You're welcome!

July 17, 2017

Take the Quiz on Rocker Skating

It's making the rounds on Facebook and Twitter.  Go to Jackie Wong's web page Rocker and see which jump you are.

I got the 'Toe' jump, which makes sense for this chorus girl.  Lots of people are posting that they are lutz jumps and I must admit I'm a little jealous.  What I was really hoping for, however, was the split jump.  That would make my day.

Leave a comment and let me know what jump you got.

As always, thanks Jackie Wong for a great website!

July 11, 2017

Jumps and Spins I would like to see make a Comeback

As I mentioned on Twitter, I caught the last half of the 1941 movie Ice Capades that featured an (uncredited!) Belita and starring Dorothy Lewis as the main skaters.

The plot was as old-fashioned as the skating, but I still enjoyed the production numbers.  The women were the main draw on the ice, so I can't speak to how the men skated back then, but these girls were excellent spinners.  Lovely, classic sit spins and scratched spins were everywhere.  Same with bent leg spirals and beautiful layback spins.

It got me to thinking of some old-fashioned moves I'd like to see make a comeback.  Here they are:
one-foot axels
split-lutz and split flip
all of the above could be done in double for greater effect
all kinds of sit spins
ina bauers
fast two turns across the ice (watch Ice Capades and you'll know what I'm talking about)
scratch spins at the end of a program (maybe headless, maybe two-foot)
Your welcome!  Tell me, what would you like to see in the programs?

June 19, 2017

Callin' all (wanna be) choreographers!

If you're fans or FB friends of Rohene Ward, PSA's (Professional Skaters' Association) Choreographer of the Year 2017, then you'll want to keep your eye out for "The Choreographer's Apprentice."

Rohene posted on sneak peek on his Facebook page and tells us to Like, Share and Follow him throughout the season.  So I did, like and I will share, as soon as I get the link for it.  Stay tuned.

In the meantime I'll give you this and you'll see why I think he's amazing ... (and it's not even his best live performance IMHO)

And there's this announcement coming from the ProSkaters, Sara Kawahara's Workshop in the beautiful Sun Valley this summer.  (I say beautiful, like I've been there or something.  But, no Ice Charades hasn't been yet.  Maybe someday.  Would love to go to this session, but I can't.)

From ProSkaters:

Join two-time Emmy Award winner Sarah Kawahara at her Palette of Choreography Workshop on Monday, July 24, 2017 in beautiful Sun Valley, Idaho.  The Workshop runs from 8:00 am until 12:15 pm and is open to High Test skaters (Intermediate through Senior).
The discounted fee is only $100 for this outstanding workshop where you will:
  • Find Inspiration
  • Explore Inspiration
  • Own Your Performance

Let me know if you're going. Would love to hear about the workshop!

June 14, 2017

Passing the Baton

... to my daughter.  Except it wasn't a 100 meter relay or even an ice show - it was a dance recital.

When we moved to New Jersey almost three years ago, I was amazed by the abundance of dance studios.  It seemed there was one in every strip mall.  That was good for my daughter, since she is not a skater (has only been on the ice three times in her life) and she doesn't play any sports.

Dance is her movement of choice.

Luckily, all of us ex-show skaters (well, me, at least) think we know a little something about our close cousin, dance.  Hey, I can't teach the fundamentals of pirouettes, but I can tell when a toe is not pointed, an arm is drooping and ... honey, you need to do the pirouette again, this time spin faster. Good, and again.  And again.

I know, I know, not cool coming from your mom.  But I can't help it because I want her to look her best when she's on stage performing.  (Here's the dangerous part - as a show skater, not a competitor, I want her to use whatever technique she can to make the move look best.  Bad habits, bad technique, be damned.)

It was strange for me to watch her during random moments of her performance - sort of an out of body experience - because one second she looks like me or at another she looks 5 years old, not 13.  She's doing much harder turns and leaps than she did at 5, so I get a pang of pride when she whips off a difficult trick.

I also felt a huge sense of relief when it was over.  Now as a mom, not a performer, certain things are beyond my control.  But what is still in my control made me a nervous wreck ... did she have all her costume pieces because we can't drive back home now? ... is her bun going to stay in or will she be the one girl on stage with her hairdo malfunction? ... will she forget to take off her eyeglasses?  ... did she bring all of her shoes? ... will she fall out of her double pirouette? ...will she scratch her nose or ear during a performance? ...

All in all, the dance recital went well.  She did her job, I did mine.

Here's one thing I like about her having only one performance a year - it keeps the costs and time commitments down.   When I went to the Synchro Skating Eastern Sectionals in Hershey PA this winter, I sat next to a dad (a doctor) who had a son in hockey and a daughter in synchro skating and in his words, "We're going to the poor house."  This one trip encompassed new costumes, two or three hotel nights, not sure how much in coaches' fees, extra ice time and gas or airline tickets.  That adds up when you do that multiple times a year.

Right now we look at my daughter's dance as good exercise since she's not getting it to or from or in school - she needs to do something.  It's expensive as exercise already.  If you added on the cost of the competitions - yikes!

Here's one thing I don't like about having only one performance a year - the pressure.  She's got one shot to get it right.  And due to the recording policy, the only time to video the dance is during the dress rehearsal, so she's got to get it right coming out of the gate.  I understand the policy and like that during dress rehearsal, parents our free to record the child's performance and expected to leave or leave open seats to others when another group of kids is performing.  It generally works out.  And then during the performance, the audience watches the performance like the olden days.

The cruel irony these dance students face is as amateurs you rarely perform.  If you make it as a profession, you will constantly perform.

It's unlikely my daughter will ever become a professional dancer.  While she is very graceful and poised on stage (yes, I'm her mother, but she really is) she doesn't have the technique to take her to the higher levels.  Those were my strengths and weaknesses as a skater too.  The apple doesn't fall down far from the axel tree.

And because she's unlikely to dance professionally, that's where our dilemna comes in - should she keep dancing in high school, even though other younger students will pass her by making her more insecure or does she leave dancing or concentrate on things she's better at (debate, languages, acting)?

She had tears last night after coming back from the class that watches the recital together.  The teacher asked each student what he/she wanted to do next year.  My daughter is straddling that more than familiar spot where girls either dig in and commit to nothing but dance or they leave.  She knows she's not as strong as the others.  She wants to continue dancing, but she'll face the scrutiny of others wondering why she's decided to stay.

Making the decision harder is the studio's annoying policy that dictates if you want to take hip-hop, you must take jazz, if you take jazz you must take ballet, if you take ballet you must take a technique class and you must take at least four disciplines (okay, add in tap) and you get the idea.  This studio is set up to take your money.  She took five classes a week last year and that was considered barely involved because she wasn't in the studio's special performance troupe.

But wait a minute, Ice Charades, didn't you write in the beginning that there is a dance studio in every strip mall? 

Why yes I did.  Thanks for asking.  And if you're still reading this far, THANKS for reading!  Yes, there are two other studios nearby, but each of them has their quirks that make her present studio the right one.

And wouldn't you know it, her studio puts on the BEST recital as far as costumes, props, stage, and staging.  It's a slick production designed to entertain, not emphasize the dancers' skills.   So if she only gets the one recital a year, it may as well be the showy one, right?  Again I repeat, unlike kids who compete in sports who have games as well as practice all season, the dancers get one shot.

I guess I just answered my own question.  Yes, she'll continue to dance.  She'll do her best, despite what others are doing.  And I'll still be proud.