September 3, 2010

A Legend In The Show World

photo from Proskating Historical Foundation

Doesn't she look a lot like Cyd Charisse? Anyway, I'm thrilled to see this article about Cathy Steele featured in yesterday.

Click here to read it.

I had the opportunity to work for Cathy in one ice show that went to Japan for a year. She taught me a very important lesson, but unfortunately I didn't realize it until much too late.

So if I can pass this wisdom on to a newbie showgirl reading this, then I'm a happy girl. Here goes ...

I had a step-out (a solo with other skaters with you on the ice) so she worked with me individually. I think Cathy thought I was close to a hopeless cause. If I had been hopeless, she wouldn't have gifted me with her words of wisdom. She said I should wear more make-up, wear a nicer leotard to rehearsal, use a belt to emphasize my waist, and keep my chin up.

All of those "suggestions" were meant for performances, but also for rehearsals and my off ice time as well, for my own good. And at the time I thought ... what a bunch of b.s. Who cares what I look like during rehearsals? I don't want to load up on make-up for rehearsals, that's stupid.

I admit my pride was hurt and I was stupid to ignore it.

By the time of my last ice show, I knew she had been right. It may seem insignificant, but she was right. It was important to look good be it during the show or during rehearsal. It could be as simple as correcting your posture or a darker shade of lipstick. Skating in an ice show is all about how you look. There's no artistic score anymore and certainly no technical score. So when I actually started showing up to rehearsals dressed better, I performed better in rehearsals. That led to performing better in the shows. And that is the goal, always.

It's good to be a nice person, easy to get along with off the ice, dependable and healthy, but the end goal is to perform well on the ice. I strived for more of the first and less of the second. The best of show skaters do both. And she did.

So ladies and gentleman, Cahty Steele with her first skating partner Phil Romayne.

photo from Proskating Historical Foundation

1 comment:

Baffled said...

My mom was so excited that you posted this. Apparently she skated with Cathy at Earl's Court in England way back when. Cathy was the principal and my mom a chorus girl. The show was Dick Whittington. It is a small world :-)

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