December 27, 2011
I have seen a lot of great skating in my day, but this year’s Starbucks Skating Team is sensational – have you seen them perform yet? If not, click here:
I have never seen skaters hold spread eagles for so long. I have never seen skaters maintain so much flow with their feet facing in opposite directions. This is surely a record. (Be jealous, Brian Boitano.) Skating students: please take note of their excellent posture, and how they smile through the whole thing.
It must be all that coffee. Personally, I don’t believe in the stuff (bold-face lie), but I do appreciate how Starbucks repeatedly features skaters in their holiday iconography.
Happy New Year!
November 30, 2011
I saw this poster in Williamsburg, Brooklyn last week. It’s obviously a spoof on the Department of Homeland Security’s “If you see something say something,” campaign. A closer look at the fine print revealed that it was targeting skateboarders, but…I just can’t resist a little skating wordplay.
(The fine print says: If you see a possible ledge spot, rail, or gap on the street or in a park, don’t keep it to yourself. Don’t tell a cop, tell a friend or an NYC Skate Employee. Or call the toll free Shred Hotline. All calls will be kept confidential, for shredding emergencies call 911.)
And, for the record, I don’t think any Williamsburg skateboard/hipster types were around when I so dorkily snapped this shot. Or if they did see me, they decided not to…say something.
April 22, 2011
Hello! Here is what I have been up to lately, when not at the rink:
The Home Tome: humorous tales from the home front and beyond.
To read it, click here.
February 14, 2011
Long Black Coat, how do I love thee?
You’re puffy with feathers,
And run from my neck past my knees.
You keep me warm while coaching,
When the rink is below 25 degrees.
You’re big and you’re shapeless,
Like a sleeping bag.
Your only bit of decoration,
Is that North Face tag.
I know you make me look
Twenty pounds heavier than I am.
As I skate down the ice,
I look as wide as the Zam.
You’re so bulky and cumbersome,
I can’t demonstrate a thing.
But the frostbite alternative,
Would certainly sting.
We’ve been together,
For at least seven years.
You’re starting to show your age,
And this brings me to tears.
How will I ever replace you,
What will I do?
I get more concerned,
With every feather you lose.
I’ve worn other jackets,
They just don’t compare.
I need to find your twin,
The question is, where?
I’ve searched the web,
And you seem discontinued.
If I don’t find something soon,
I’ll just have to coach in the —–!
Apologies for the disturbing imagery at the conclusion of this otherwise beautiful poem.
Turns out North Face still makes something similar. The stitching is slightly different and it isn’t as ridiculously long. I ordered it online, here, but I just haven’t been able to bring myself to “take it for a spin.”
BTW, lots of great new “skater quotes” in the column over to the right. Thanks to everyone who has been giving me these
November 11, 2010
It’s official: ABC’s Skating with the Stars will premier Monday, November 22. You may remember that Fox tried something like this – called Skating with Celebrities – back in 2006, and, though it had its interesting moments, it was considered a flop. This time around, the Dancing with the Stars producers are taking a stab at it. Already, the show is being criticized because the stars they lined up aren’t all that famous. I think the three most intriguing are probably Vince Neil of Motley Crue, Olympic “freestyle” skier Jonny Moseley, and actress Sean Young. I’m not very familiar with the other three – Bethanny Frankel, Brandon Mychal Smith, and Rebecca Budig – but I applaud them for taking the lunge…I mean plunge.
So I am excited to see this. But mostly I’m afraid….very afraid. And here are 10 reasons why I think you should be too:
1.Inspired by what they see, viewers across the land are going to flood their floors with garden hoses and turn off their heat, until they reach a deep freeze. This way, they can attempt those exotic skating tricks at home.
2.Vince Neil can apparently do a Waltz Jump. He claims to have been figure skater back when he was age 12. Actually, this is endearing. What is scary is that American skating coaches are going to be inundated with calls from other aging rock stars, ushering in a whole new breed of adult skaters. Better start offering tequila at the snack bar.
3. The skating will be so HOT that the ice will melt. Caught up in the glory, skaters and pros alike won’t reach for their guards quickly enough, and the one and only sound that is worse than fingernails scratching across a chalkboard will be broadcast around the world: blades against cement.
4.When viewers see how gracefully all these stars can skate, they are going to think that skating is easy, that it’s a snap. (Of course I’m kidding. It is sure to be an awkward-fest with lots of bent free legs, lurching, and terrifying falls. This will in fact emphasize exactly how difficult this sport is.)
5. Seriously, I predict three severed limbs, and no less than two body casts. On Skating with Celebrities, Bruce Jenner tripped while trying a spin and had to get 16 stitches on his face. Keep in mind that he is a decorated, Olympic decathlete, therefore presumably somewhat coordinated. A few other stars from that show required emergency medical attention. Just be ready to wince for this one. I suggest covering your eyes and peeking through your fingers. In light of the dangers, it’s understandable that they couldn’t lure bigger names: what Hollywood hotshot would risk disfigurement (not to mention the embarrassment factor)? On the flip side, it’s amazing that top U.S. pair skaters Brooke Castile and Keauna McLaughlin agreed to be pros for this, considering that they are still competition material. For them, I recommend what I always wanted to wear as a pair skater: full body padding, maybe some hockey equipment with sparkles.
6. During Skating with Celebrities, actor/hockey player Dave Coulier was so frustrated by those pesky figure skating toe picks that he filed them off. What if Olympic skier Jonny Moseley seeks similar comfort by attaching skis to the bottom of his skating boots?
7. If indeed, as is rumored, Johnny Weir and Dick Button are both judges, there will undoubtedly be a catfight. Fur will fly.
8. The producers of Dancing with the Stars have taken schmaltz to new heights on that show. So brace yourself for cheesy music, hideous costumes and general tackiness on ice. Of course, most skating programming already contains these qualities in spades. Isn’t that why we keep coming back?
9. Love affairs will ignite; marriages will be torn asunder. Lloyd Eisler and Kristy Swanson (who infamously hooked up on Skating with Celebrities) will make guest appearances as relationship counselors.
10. If the ratings are really shoddy, critics (who are just jealous because they are neither skaters nor stars) will use it as proof that skating popularity is declining. Others will go so far to say that it’s the nail in the skating coffin. As a result, rinks will be boarded up and rental skates will be sent over to the troops in Iraq as combat weapons.
Truthfully, I’m just afraid of all the household and organizational tasks I’m going to neglect on Monday nights for the six weeks that it airs. I’ll surely be watching. Will you?
Please share your deepest fears on this subject by leaving a comment below.
Notice that there are lots of new Skater Quotes in the column to the right.
The “Wounded Star” artwork above is by the talented Mr. Rob Strati. To see more of his work, click here.
February 18, 2010
[Best read from the bottom, up.]
9:40 Friday morning
This Olympic-viewing is hard work! A little bleary-eyed (can barely see through these bags that have inflated on my face), but digging the post-game interviews with Evan. Very gracious, well-spoken and appropriately in awe of the honor and the accomplishment.
On the flip side, just read a scathing analysis of the results by Elvis Stojko on yahoo called The Night They Killed Figure Skating. Ouch. Click here.
Am liking the sizzling NBC commercial for Ice Dance: “Cold winter nights just got hotter.” Pumped for Tango Romantica tonight – I don’t plan to insta-blog. I may do so for OD and/or FD. If you’d like a little guidance on tonight’s compulsory event, check out my article on Ice Skating International. Link at the bottom of this post.
Lambiel, Lambiel. Your name rolls off the tongue. I had such high hopes. You remind me so much of my high school star-crush Robert Sean Leonard (of Dead Poet’s Society and now House).
[The Hubs dozed off but he’s sitting back up again…]
Takahashi is fluid. Like water on skates. Way to come back from the Big Quad. Disagree with the pundits that it sucked the life out of the program. Likewise, way to come back from injury.
Weir: The Fallen angel flies again. Gotta hand that one to him. Great performance. And a beautiful ring of roses around his head.
Plushenko skated shaky. The marks are up–
Evan wins!! It comes down to Grade of Execution. Quality over Quantity. That is awesome. Go USA.
And now. To. Sleep.
Thank you for reading.
Viva Lysacek!! Great performance. Not easy to skate first, but he got out there and got it over with…now the waiting game. Prefer the snakes to the feathers. Looked a tad slow and walky in the middle, but Bravo! Sounded like Hamilton almost slipped up at one point and almost said Petrenko instead of Plushenko.
Oda vaults into the air. Looks like his legs are made of rubber and his knees have springs. Call me a Nationalist, but the Chaplin medley just reminds me that Ryan Bradley didn’t make it. And I don’t like to think about that.
Oops, technical difficulties. Thought he tore a muscle but it was just his lace. He should be awarded a lightening bolt superhero costume (like little Lysacek’s) for how quickly he fixed that. Mixed things up a bit.
Florent Amodio: I missed his short the other night but heard a lot of buzz about him. This Amelie/marionette program was cute. Nice to see a lighthearted Long Program since they usually skew serious.
Patrick Chan: Phantom of the Opera is a gorgeous piece of music and very evocative. Chan skates beautifully to it, but I am so Tired of this song. (And/or maybe I’m just tired.) He has a great smile – look forward to seeing it again next time around.
Michal Brezina: Gene Kelly on skates. Like it. An American in Paris? No, A Czech in Canada.
Well, so much for my predictions that Jeremy Abbott would climb up from 15th to win… way to climb uphill within the program, though.
It seems that Kozuka loves the electric guitar. If he wants to keep skating to this for all of his future programs, I am comfortable with that. When they zoomed in on his sit spin I realized the benefit of (and perhaps theory behind) these wacky boards: it looks a little like they’re skating outside in a cartoon world.
Denis Ten: 16 years old, wow! Couldn’t keep up with his music medley – traveled across more borders and decades than I could keep track of.
I don’t know the football stars they just showed, but I do love that they are not only watching figure skating but doing so in public.
To my friend who suggested I host an Olympic party: well, this is it! Online and On the futon. Welcome.
Ahh! The suspense. They’re not even going to start showing the skating until after 10. (I am enjoying the snowboarding, though.)
In the meantime, check out this analysis of The Quad in the NY Times, put together by longtime friend Archie Tse, former pair skater turned graphic guru. Off to the right, you’ll see each skater’s success rate with the Quad – I appreciate all the facts and figures, but I especially like seeing how all that rotational pull contorts their faces…..Click here.
Here comes the showdown: Feathers, Tassels, and Tears vs. the Swinging Sword. I’m going to type commentary as soon as I get home from the rink tonight.
I know some people were offended by Blades of Glory, but let’s face it, Will Ferrell and Jon Heder nailed it. It’s almost as if the men’s figure skating event is acting out that plotline to a T. I’m looking forward to watching Freeskate but would also really like to see Plushenko and Lysacek make amends then perform a “Very Original Dance” later this week.
Actually, all this bravado, the boustier, and the masterful skating made the Vancouver Short Program on Tuesday night the most fun I think I’ve ever had watching a men’s event. I laughed, I (faux) cried and I marveled. I know I should be applauding all the jumps (and they were incredible), but I think the fact that there were two footwork/step sequences made it very entertaining. Favorite footworkers: Lambiel, Takahashi, Abbott. Least favorite footworker: Plushenko a.k.a. Clod the Quad (and, by the way, weren’t his jump landings rather shaky?) Favorite overall program: Kozuka to Jimi Hendrix. Biggest heartbreak: Abbott. Biggest surprise: obviously Joubert. Best twizzler: Lysacek.
Big shout out to The Hubs for today’s artwork and his unique talent to put skates on just about anything for the purposes of CSOM. To see more of his non-skating but incredibly graceful work, click here.
And…check out these other Olympic-y pieces I’ve been working on. Special thanks to Vicki Merten, Wendy Mliner, Cheryl Demkowski-Snyder, Cathy Reed, Brad Cox, and Liz Leamy for advising me on the article about the Tango Romantica. Click down here:
January 15, 2010
The 2010 U.S. Championships are underway in Spokane, Washington and the Olympics are right around the corner. In the next six weeks, the sport of skating will reach its graceful tentacles into the minds of millions. During this time, we insiders may be called upon to answer some difficult questions, such as: What’s up with this judging system? And: Why did beautiful so-and-so get beat by that robot who fell twice? Or, one of my favorites: Is there actually such a thing as a “Kiss and Cry” area? Is that what you guys really call it?
Yes, as a matter of fact, this is where skaters and their coaches anxiously await their scores then react to them. This rinkside nook is usually decorated with black or royal blue carpeting and a few fake plants. The term Kiss and Cry apparently originated in Finland in the late 1970’s and was bandied about while they were setting up the rink for the 1983 Worlds. Believe it or not, Kiss and Cry is now an official term utilized by the International Skating Union.
I have mixed feelings about this term. As someone who grew up in the sport and has now made it my profession, I naturally want skating to be taken seriously. After all, we know this is a challenging, rigorous, and sometimes dangerous sport and this terminology makes it sound like fluff.
Then again, as someone who grew up in the sport and has now made it my profession, the term also seems…well, fitting and quite funny. After all, what everyone loves about skating is the human drama – witnessing the reactions afterwards is a big part of the show. Who can forget tiny Tara Lipinski leaping around like a baby kangaroo? Or the shock and awe of Sarah Hughes? I myself cried when the elegant Alyssa Czisny and her coach Julianna Berlin found out she won last year. When a synchro team discovers that they have won, the ensuing jumps for joy in the Kiss and Cry register on the richter scale; conversely, bad news can raise water levels for miles around.
Because the Olympics are looming, the emotions in the Kiss and Cry at Nationals this year will surely be amplified. True, some skaters won’t reveal much (they’ll hold it together until the camera moves onto someone else) and others will let it all hang out.
I’ve been wondering recently if there could be other names for this area and started to do some brainstorming. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far…
• The Hug and Sob
• The Smooch and Sweat (FYI, research has shown that Botox injections can calm down the sweat glands.)
• The Huff and Puff (This moment proves that you either just put in the extra effort, or that you probably should have done a few more run-throughs.)
• The Tears and Tiramisu (Submitted by my husband who I think is onto something: if the scores aren’t good, there should be complimentary tiramisu…)
• The Celebration/Devastation Zone (Doesn’t really roll off the tongue…)
• The Sit Tight-n-Smile (How much of your personality has been dampened by a media trainer?)
• The Squint and Try to See Your Scores (It may be time to get contact lenses.)
• The Land of High Fives and Regrets (I think this will be the title of my novel.)
• The Put Your Guards on Before You Ruin Your Blades Area (Sure, you can be a good girl or boy and put them back on right by the door, but isn’t it easier to do so while sitting down?)
• Gateway to the Rest of Your Life (After all, there’s always next year, or college, or coaching, or just some good old fashioned rest and recuperation… It seems like those previous four-ish minutes were the most important of your life, but there’s a whole world out there, and fortunately most of those experiences won’t be caught on camera…)
Well, I’m not sure I’ve come up with anything better than “Kiss and Cry” but perhaps you have suggestions? Please click on “comments” below.
Thanks for reading and good luck to all the skaters in Spokane!
If you receive the Professional Skater Magazine, check out my highly-informative article regarding the Olympics on page 11 of this month’s 25th Anniversary issue.
December 26, 2009
Every holiday season, I re-watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” and every year it both warms and breaks my heart. I can’t help it: I love Charlie Brown’s existential woe, his thwarted attempts to direct the Christmas play, his pitiful little tree, and the way his friends pull together at the end to make it all nice.
Of course, I especially like how the whole thing starts with a wintry skating scene. The Peanuts Gang does an impressive synchro-esque splice right at the beginning. Though Snoopy doesn’t have on a pair of skates, he manages a gorgeous spread eagle (or should I say spread beagle?) After a weaving round of crack the whip, Linus’ blanket somehow gets wrapped around Charlie Brown and flings him into a tree trunk. A pile of snow proceeds to plop on his head. Good grief, I just can’t get enough.
So, naturally, I was thrilled when Charlie Brown himself contacted me a few weeks ago for skating lessons. Turns out he has decided to try and make it to the upcoming Olympics. This has presented me with a dilemma: knowing that Charlie Brown isn’t exactly overflowing with self-confidence, I don’t want to be too discouraging…but.
Well, here’s the first draft of my response.
Dear Mr. Brown,
Thank you for contacting me about my coaching services. I am a big fan of yours. As per your request, I have analyzed the skating footage from the opening scene of your iconic holiday special in order to assess your stated goal of making it to the upcoming Winter Games.
The news is mixed. First, let me say that your ability to skate (and even stand up) amid snowflakes the size of baseballs is impressive and demonstrates a great deal of balance. Second, I have noticed that you are a simple man with simple needs, in terms of equipment. Most competitive skaters these days transport their skates in bags specially designed for optimal performance. Many of these bags even have wheels that put on their own laser light show. Your method of carrying your brown skates old-school style with the laces knotted and looped over your shoulder is unconventional yet refreshing. I presume that since you have no guards over your blades, they are in pretty shoddy condition. I like this: it shows that you are not a diva.
Your costume choices are…interesting. The hat with earflaps is an excellent pick, especially considering that it will be pretty cold up in Vancouver. Your yellow shirt, on the other hand, is a bit problematic: you may want to switch out those zig zags for something with softer lines in a color scheme more flattering to your skin tone.
Your musical selection, by Vince Guaraldi, as rendered by Schroeder, is to be commended.
Now to the skating. Your ability to bellyflop then spin on your stomach with that much momentum tells me that you are more aerodynamic than the size of your head might otherwise suggest. Of course, it is more ideal to rotate in a vertical position, but this is something we can work on.
Granted, in skating, as in life, it’s not always about how much you fall, but your willingness to keep getting up. Unfortunately, I noticed that after you careened into the tree, your recovery was inconspicuously absent from the film.
Before this event, I did spot a few split-seconds of competent gliding on your part. Truthfully, though, you would need many more hours of practice, in fact perhaps thousands of hours of practice, in order to make your Olympic dreams come true. This means that you’ll have to give up your extra-curricular activities, namely your role as the unappreciated Director of the Christmas Play. With all the work we would need to do, you simply don’t have time to be out looking for the most pathetic Christmas tree you can find.
Most importantly, Charlie, you’ll have to make some serious changes in your attitude. Your constant claims of depression and bellyaching about the meaning of Christmas will have to cease immediately. Likewise, statements such as, “Good grief, everything I do turns into a disaster” and “Everything I touch gets ruined,” are not indicative of a gold-medal mentality. Furthermore, you’ll have to wipe that worried look off your face; judges prefer smiles. I urge you to discontinue your use of Lucy’s psychiatric services despite her convenient location right in your path and her bargain price of 5 cents. Instead, I can recommend a few excellent sports psychologists.
This brings me to your mother: I can’t understand a word she is saying! And when I telephoned your teacher to see if we could “tweak” your school schedule in order to get some clear, mid-day ice time, I couldn’t understand her either.
Finally, to make it in this sport, you’ll need to abandon your anti-commercialism stance, as you will probably need corporate sponsorship in order to afford my fees. The good news is that right now several companies happen to be looking for a new athlete for endorsements.
Minor detail: the U.S. National Championships start in about two weeks and you have unfortunately missed all of the qualifying events. However, your association with the legendary, late Charles Schulz could hold some sway with United States Figure Skating.
In all, I think your chances of making it to the Olympics are slim, but I’d hate to say that your goal is impossible. If nothing else, I’m sure your skating career will not pan out any worse than your attempts at becoming a kicker for the NFL. (Again, Lucy’s services might not have been the wisest choice.)
There is some extremely exciting news in all this: while your skating talents are really only mediocre, some of your friends I saw skating on the tape look to have great promise. In fact, Snoopy seems like he could be a real podium climber. If he does not already have another coach, please have him contact me so that we can start training immediately.
Jocelyn Jane Cox
Thanks for reading and Happy Holidays! If you have any advice on this letter or any suggestions I can pass along to him, please click on “comments,” below.
If you haven’t already seen it, check out my article on page 30 of this month’s Skating Magazine. It’s about sibling ice dance teams. I know: it’s shocking that I’d report on that subject…
October 21, 2009
Swine Flu is a serious issue, one we all need to be thinking about right now, especially those of us who spend lots of time in ice arenas, in close proximity to germ-carrying kids with runny noses. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has provided several recommendations for prevention. These include information on “hand hygiene” (i.e. wash hands often and also apply alcohol-based hand gel such as Purell) and “respiratory etiquette” (cover nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze then throw that tissue away.)
On one hand, it’s just the flu and most people who get it are fine. On the other (recently washed) hand, it is spreading quickly and potentially fatal. So it’s difficult to figure out just how frightened we should be and just how obsessively we should try to protect ourselves at the rink.
I, for one, have stopped giving high fives. It used to be a regular and favorite coaching practice of mine but I don’t trust those mittens anymore (theirs or mine). Instead, I’m trying out the “air high five.” In this, the high five action can be replicated from afar or with a near miss, as if one or more participants has wonky depth perception. Though both techniques are significantly less satisfying than the real thing, it’s still more interactive than the simple thumbs-up.
The CDC suggests that you maintain six feet of distance between you and other possibly-infected people. This is why I have decided to stay on the exact opposite side of the rink from my students at all times. This method requires that I move whenever my skaters move so that I am essentially mirroring them. This means I am in constant motion and also means I must teach my lessons through a bullhorn (sorry, other coaches). The tricky thing here is that while I am staying far away from my current student on a crowded freestyle session, I am in danger of coming within 6 feet of other skaters. This has resulted in a lot of paranoid, skittish, darting actions on my part. On the upside, my footwork has therefore improved considerably.
Partnering my students for ice dances has become a challenge. Instead of holding on, we are now shadow-dancing. Preferably, when a facility offers two ice surfaces, I skate in one rink and my partner skates in the other. I am slightly concerned that the judges are going to make comments about our partner positioning at the next test session and say that we are skating too far apart. Frankly, I prefer this consequence to the swine flu. Along the same lines, I recommend that synchronized teams adopt a similar methodology, thereby rendering their entire programs “no-hold.” For run-throughs, they should ideally spread themselves out at rinks across the county.
At first, I started washing my hands after every session. Now, I take a shower after every lesson.
I have contracted a team of doctors, physicists and biologists to construct a Purell force field for me. This I will wear as another layer, outside my coat. I have requested this force field in a pretty lavender shade with a slimming silhouette.
I have contacted an NBA basketball coach to coach my skaters on the finer points of freethrows, so that their used tissues actually make it into the garbage instead of near the garbage. The sea of tissues surrounding the garbage can is not only disturbing from a germ perspective, but is also harmful when one of those tissues gets stuck under my blade when I’m about to step out onto the ice to demonstrate something fabulous.
For a while there, I assumed a “duck and cover” position whenever anyone did a spin. (We all know the little-mentioned side effect of centrifugal force, especially when combined with cold air.) I have now decided to leave the premises, screaming like a crazy person, whenever anyone attempts a spin.
I am going to stop coaching pigs. (For real! This is absolutely not a commentary on the weight of any of my current or past students.) The CDC reports that people who work with pigs are at a considerably higher risk. Truthfully, this isn’t that “big” of a loss. Though I have found most pigs to be extremely intelligent, not to mention very respectful, those bodies weren’t really built for rotation. And their leg extension is never what it should be.
Finally, I am considering teaching my lessons via video stream from a bubble in my living room. Actually, I’ve been wanting to do this for years in order to avoid something else I find disturbing: frost bite.
Oops, it’s been over five minutes – I better go wash my hands. Or maybe I should just go get my hands on some of that vaccine I’ve been hearing about. That is, a few cases of it…
Seriously, everyone be careful and aware! If you don’t feel like your rink is clean enough, talk to the management. And I urge you, don’t go anywhere near those hockey players. (Kidding, of course.) If you have any of your own recommendations or suggestions, please leave a comment, below.
Yes, I’ve been on a honeymoon-ish hiatus from Current Skate of Mind, but I have some new pieces lined up, including an old-school review of the original Ice Castles and a hard-hitting analysis of Brian Boitano’s cooking show.
In the mean time, I have been writing some other stuff:
To read about my pitiful finger situation, the sweetest pineapple you could ever imagine, and the real reason everyone should get their nails done, visit the Upper East Side Informer by clicking here.
To read my sarcastic humor piece about plastic surgery, (come on, Hollywood, moderation!) visit Yankee Potroast by clicking, here.
Thanks for reading.
August 10, 2009
Focus: Preparing for the big event will require boatloads of planning, some obsessing and lots of mental visualization. You may find that you therefore have less time for other pursuits, such as blogging about your sport.
The Dress: Sure, the skating is important (i.e. an entire year’s worth of training culminating in one performance) and so is the fact that you’re getting married (i.e. committing to someone very very special for the rest of your life) but these are such minor details compared to How You Look. Whole hours, days, weeks and months can be consumed while considering the silhouette, decorative elements, and shade of the costume. For example, there are evidently 1 million different versions of white. And the fittings! These can comprise a second job.
Sportsmanship: Due to thousands of different variables (rain, acne, stomach flu, dull blades, sore ankle, ruts in the ice), things don’t always work out as planned. But nobody wants to root for a brat and nobody really wants to catch Bridezilla’s bouquet.
Balance and Coordination: In both realms, it is ideal to not trip, fall, or injure yourself or your partner. Then again, this could increase entertainment value.
Entering and Exiting with Style: Locker room equals Dressing Room. Ice equals Aisle. Kiss and Cry equals Receiving Line.
Nerves: Sure, beauty sleep is nice and it results in optimal energy levels for training, but it’s not completely necessary. Is it?
Flowers: In both cases, this element is fleeting. If you skate well, they might be thrown on the ice, handed to you over the barriers, or awarded to you after climbing the podium. If they make it back to your hotel room, you can try to balance them in one of the water glasses or maybe even the ice bucket in order to enjoy them for the few waking hours before your flight leaves in the morning. When planning a wedding, you will somehow get caught up in the wild misperception that the success of the entire event hinges on the exact mathematical ratio of calla lilies to dahlias to chrysanthemums. Or will it be gerber daisies to roses to poppies? Or maybe zinnias, to alliums to…
Music: The better the music, the better the party, the louder the ovation, the bigger the smiles, the higher the scores, the funkier the boogie-ing. In other words, there probably shouldn’t be any ice dance music played during the reception, despite any and all threats or promises to do so. (Brace yourself for the Dutch Waltz!)
Getting in shape: Hours of cross-training and conscientious dieting will result in exhaustion, malnutrition, irritability and very little perceptible change in your physical dimensions.
Choreography: In skating, a program should tell a story filled with drama, emotion, and excitement. A bride and groom’s first dance should bring the audience to tears…of laughter? Perhaps lifts should be avoided if the dress is poofy, the shoes are slippery and/or if the lifter has never participated in this activity? Nah, might as well go for it!
Vacation: That week off after Nationals was always such a beautiful thing. This time? Honeymoon: palm trees, waterfalls…and no homework or exams to make-up.
Cake: Okay, well I suppose this is more of a difference between a wedding and a competition rather than a similarity. But really, there should be more cake in skating, don’t you think? Judges, skaters, coaches, parents: let them eat cake! Or maybe smoosh it in each others’ faces…?
Thanks for reading!
I’ll be back in the fall…that is unless I decide to stay in Hawaii and teach skating lessons on ice rinks composed of daiquiris.
In the mean time, here is some other stuff I’ve been up to:
”Bridezilla Phobia” for DIY Bride. Click here, then click on the article title to read it…
“Downturn Trends in Decorative Throw Pillows” for Yankee Potroast. Click here.
More adventures from the Upper East Side Informer. Click here.