Once A Figure Skater, Always A Figure Skater
So, I happened to perform in a small ice show last Saturday. It was actually quite out of the blue and awesome.
A brilliant young woman and skater named Crystal, who I have had the supreme pleasure of meeting since moving to Dubai, runs the Dubai Ice Rink Skating Academy. A week before the show, She mentioned that she was having some skating friends come to visit and invited me to join their practice sessions. There was also mention of a performance that they would be putting on, but since I would be teaching at school during the first show, I quickly declined that part of the offer.
Part of me was excited at the thought of doing a performance while another part of me thought that it was a silly idea. After all, it has been ten years since I was a competitor and for eight of those years I hadn’t set foot on the ice. I also felt like I might be too out of shape for something like this. I wasn’t training anywhere near the hours I used to.
Even still, the part of me that jumped up for the idea overshadowed the fears about what I might look like on the ice. So I went to a practice session with all the skaters the morning before the show and was delighted when Crystal asked me again if I was going to do the second show with them that night.
First, I would like to take a second to mention how wonderful it was being on the ice for practice with these other beautiful skaters. They portrayed a clear joy for the sport along with refined lines and technique. Crystal had been their former coach. The energy on the ice that morning was vibrant and motivating, and I loved being in it.
Now the only problem was, I didn’t have any kind of program ready to perform, I didn’t have music, and I also didn’t have a skating dress. So after the practice session, I went straight home and looked for a song. Then I had to figure out how to cut it down (there was just no way I was going to skate longer than two minutes, max). Eventually, after taking more time than I would care to share, tweaking the cuts in the song, trying to make them sound as natural as possible, I was happy with what came out. It wasn’t perfect, but I figured (or hoped that) the sound cuts would be less noticeable in the arena anyway. I let the song play over a few times in my living room while I danced in my socks, finding a few small moves that could work with the music. Then, off I went, back to the rink.
I met the other skaters in the dressing room to warm up. Everyone was getting amped up to go out and perform and it just felt so great to be in this kind of atmosphere again. One of the other skaters was so gracious to bring in a ton of dresses with her so that I could borrow one. And one of them turned out to be a perfect fit. I could hardly believe how everything was coming together that day. I looked in the mirror wearing this sparkling skating dress and laughed, I felt like I was in my teens again – not so much because I felt odd in the dress, but because it brought back some amazing memories and I was happy to be wearing it and having fun!
When it was my turn, I stepped on the ice feeling quite shaky and at the same time, feeling energetic. I didn’t perform any fancy tricks; I simply went out, to go out - to perform because I’ve always enjoyed performing and sharing what I love to do.
The experience was relatively short, and it was great. I adore being around other skaters and meeting new people who share my passion for this sport. So I thank all who were involved. <3
And here is my little number at the Dubai Ice Rink: