Monday, September 28, 2009

Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head...

I spent the better part of a perfectly beautiful weekend sitting in an ice rink. Now, that wouldn't be a huge surprise IF I had a skater still living in my house. No, I did my duty to the membership here and announced seemingly endless sessions of Solo Dance at our club sponsored competition.

Truthfully, I love announcing. I have announced shows and competitions for the better part of 20 years. I have been an announce chair, had the honor of doing practice ice announcing for Skate America, Four Continents and the National Synchro Championships. I have announced at competitions large and small, as has my velvet-voiced husband, who is actually a USFS announcer. It is the best way to get to know officials, learn how to pronounce seemingly unpronounceable names and to be "up close and personal" with judges and referees during a competition. It is an invaluable learning experience, though a bit stressful until you get the hang of it as you are only as good as your registration people and your ice monitors, on whom you must rely heavily when things get hectic.

Anyway, I spent the weekend in the rink listening to "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head," and, "Yellow Rose of Texas," along with other songs that have been around in dance competitions since our skater tested and competed in dance - and that was a LONG time ago! While I passively observed these (mostly) young women try not to look like they were counting beats under their collective breath, I watched the panel of judges watch them. With eyes transfixed on blades and patterns, I had to wonder if these tunes - several of which were repeated more than 15 times in one competition - played on in a 45 rpm nightmare in their heads - over and over like some kind of raindrop water torture.

I understand the basics of dance. I tested through my preliminary and into my bronze dances before I gave it up for Lent, or something like Lent. I'll call it sanity. When I was younger and our skater was competing, I remember actually telling a parent that I enjoyed compulsory dance music; that I didn't mind the repetition, just as long as they didn't start playing, "It's a Small World."  Obviously, in those days I was a newbie. I heard the music, but I didn't listen to it.

Fast forward about 15 years to this past weekend. Now, I'm forced to actually LISTEN. No matter how hard I try not to, as an announcer, you must listen - and watch. Otherwise, you find your mind wandering and there is nothing more aggravating to a referee than an announcer and a music person who are not paying attention.

So, there I sat, microphone in hand. Now, I am counting. Now, I am singing under my breath, "Raindrops keep falling on my head. But that doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turning red. Crying's not for me..."

Someone save me.


  1. No kidding. What sadist decided that the vast majority of ice dance tracks needed to be hokey and corny? I thought I'd passed preliminary, only to find out that, nope, everyone else is listening to that same darned Dutch Waltz that I always hated! (Incidentally, on an orchestra trip to Disneyland in the late 1980s, several of our group got stuck in "It's a Small World." For half an hour.)

  2. Both are absolute torture! I remember standing in line with my daughter, now 30, for something like two hours waiting to get in to Small World. I think that's why she is what she is today. It colors one's life