The King and I

My figure skating  club’s year-end show was this past  Saturday and only now am I coming down from the tremendous adrenaline rush that’s been building for the past month.  Since it was our 50th anniversary edition  we were fortunate to have not only our local dignitaries but figure skating  royalty as well.   World ice dance champions Tessa Virtue and and Scott Moir were scheduled to  participate but unfortunately had to  cancel at the last minute due to a death in the family.    In addition to Tessa and Scott we had former Canadian National team member Shaun Sawyer skate during our afternoon show and none other than the King himself, Elvis Stojko during the evening show.  What a treat!   As I was warming up back stage I realized that I was sharing the ice with Elvis… It took every ounce of self control not to scream “OMG.. I’M WARMING UP WITH ONE OF THE GREATEST FIGURE SKATERS IN HISTORY!!!”

This year I had the honor and privilege of skating four different numbers with the senior session skaters. As always, I’m old enough to be their mother but I also have genuinely maternal feelings towards them as over the years  I’ve watched them grow from giggly/shy/occasionally snotty youngsters into talented and wise young ladies and gentleman (yes we had one lone guy).    There were also a few  younger girls who had just moved up to senior level.and I was amazed how everyone in the group encouraged and looked after one another.  For example if a skater missed a practice or was having trouble with doing the choreography someone would always take time and work with that skater in a quiet corner to make sure they caught up to the rest of the group.  During the afternoon show, one of our young competitors came into the dressing room in tears because she had fallen several times during her solo,   she was immediately surrounded by hugs and words of encouragement from all the girls in the room,   it was a beautiful thing to see and hats off to their families who have  who have blessed all of us with these wonderful young ladies!

I skated  in all four senior numbers and the challenge for me was to learn four numbers in four weeks, I have a hard enough time learning and remembering choreography  for my individual programs never mind four group ones.   One of my biggest worries was even being able to participate at all, I started a new job in December that requires me to work variable schedules that include weekends and evenings, a big shout out to my colleague April who traded two week’s worth of shifts with me so I could make all the practices!   One of the best things about practices was getting to skate for two hours three night a week and then five nights the week of the show,  hey I’ll make any excuse to skate haha!

What four costume changes looks like!

I’m also not a synchro  girl, in fact none of us were so we had to master the art of anticipating where every one would be as well as being where you were expected to be without bumping into anyone on the way there.    And with lights flashing in your eyes or in relative  darkness.  

During the day both Shaun and Elvis were more than happy to chat and have pictures taken.  Since there were two shows the club provided a light meal in between and a substantial meal afterwards and much to our delight Elvis joined us for dinner, he was an excellent dinner companion.  In between hugging all the skaters we chatted about off ice training and appropriate cross training for figure skaters.   As during his competitive days,  his off ice passion remains martial arts, he considers that that this has helped with injury prevention as well as develop the coordination needed for jumps. He’s developed a workshop using his training philosophy for figure skaters and welcomes any and all adult figure skaters to join him, check out his website www.elvisstoko.ca   

Have some other nifty photos as well so I’ll post those next week. What are your best ice skating show memories?   Share them with us!  Pictures welcome!!

 

 

 

 

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