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I have had some amazing moments in my career as a dancer / choreographer and skater / skate specialist but one of the most amazing moments for me has been the opportunity to meet and Interview Torvill and Dean during their rehearsals for their off-ice performance at the Palladium. They were coming to the end of the journey on 'Dancing on Ice' and I was privileged to be interviewing them whilst they were perfecting their routine and troubleshooting transitions prior to the big day. For me this opportunity to interview them represents the culmination of many years of hard work as a dancer / choreographer but also as a focus group moderator, interviewing people for clients across multiple industries. What an opportunity!!!!
It's amazing to watch two dancers in sync as these two are. Their professional career has spanned 30 years and during that time they have been through many challenging situations physically, mentally and emotionally and it is this journey that will have given them such a keen understanding of their own capabilities. They are totally in tune with the dynamics of each other's movement and how this translates into energy and they understand the subtle nuanced messages that are so important amongst a good team.
So how did they find the transition from ice skates to off ice skates? One of their most interesting comments was how much more slippy it was to skate off ice skates and I have to admit that feedback initially took me by surprise. Ice is like glass, I thought, but in actuality they of course were highlighting something that we off ice skaters do not have the luxury of and that is the ability to carve or, in layman's terms dig, into the ice. Off ice skaters do not have that luxury skating on hard, unmalleable surfaces, so at a professional level this will make a huge difference to performance. And this of course leads onto another interesting point about energy and propulsion with a move off ice. With less grip, off ice movement requires much more power and impetus. So when you are considering that amazing double lutze or salco it's worth remembering the difference in energy that is required depending on the surface you are skating on.
I hope this article is of use to all you budding skaters out there and a huge thank you to Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean for giving us their very expert opinion. I know for myself, my next experience on ice will be a very different experience from that of before.
Keep your ears and eyes open for the official interview with Torvill and Dean!