July 16, 2009

The *5 **Most Thrilling Show Skating Performances

Since Axels, Loops, and Spins created his own - and IMHO better - list than Sports Illustrated's list, I decided to come up with a list just for the show skaters.

I realize a lot of you won't know these names, but my fellow show skaters will and I would love to hear their opinions.

* I couldn't narrow it down, so you get a bonus performance

** The most, refers to my years of skating or getting comp tickets to other shows. Both of those stopped around 1997, so the list of skaters ranges from 1983 - 1997. Sorry Craig Heath.

6. Stephanie Anderson, Holiday On Ice, 1983: Perhaps I'm biased on this one, because I sat next to her in the dressing room all the time, but I have not seen many show numbers that open in such a thrilling way. (Your spotlight guys have to be awake and on the ball though). The number started with music but no lights and Stephanie was busy doing backcrossovers across the enire sheet of ice in the dark to wind up into a double lutz (1983 remember) "Boitano"-style. This is the point when the lights would come on in the middle of her jump to the big crescendo in the music. She was a great skater.

5. Paul Guerrero, Chris Nolan, and Darin Hosier, Atami, Japan, 1990-91: Okay, I know this is three skaters and by "thrilling" you would think of individuality. But these three guys skated the same two solos with each bringing a unique style so clear and crisp, it was fun to see the numbers anew each time. (Kind of like getting to see all three versions of Billy Elliot on Broadway.)

4. Catarina Lindgren, Ice Capades: She skated as the white "queen" in one of Capade's best themes ever, but I remember her Marilyn Monroe number where she did the most amazing fan kicks stepping between the legs of each of her (chorus) boys.

3. Kirk Wyse, Ice Capades: Although he is perhaps best known for his spot-on Charlie Chaplin impersonation, complete with dog, Scrapette, I loved his comedy number that started out with two full minutes or so of serious skating. Then suddenly he missed a skid stop and landed in audience. Horrifying. But he went right back to the number. You weren't sure if a) he was okay and b) that was planned until he narrowly missed one of the overhead lights crashing down on the ice. Then you knew it was comedy and were eager to see what came next. It was nice to watch someone crash and burn on the ice - safe in knowing it was comedy - because today it means there has been a horrific accident.

2. Cindy Stuart: Anything she did. Simply amazing, but I think I liked her solo to Madonna's version of "Fever". I saw this on a grainy, poor-quality video tape, but was still taken away. It's her posture and choreography that does it for me. My favorite female show skater of all. You can catch a performance, here.

1. The late, great Robert Wagonhoffer: like Cindy, anything he did. His body could bend and twist like no other and I still haven't seen anyone else do his signature move - the Wagonhoffer side split, a cartwheel arabian, as one called it. I loved his performance in "Gershwin On Ice", but he can be seen all over You Tube, like this performance.

So there's a list. I know these aren't household names, but it shows that it isn't only Olympians that can "thrill".


Jane said...

I skated with Cindy Stuart too. Amazing!

Anonymous said...

Cool list, but what about Richard Swenning?

diane.trim said...

These sound so cool! I wish I could have seen them!