I have told you all before that I love to announce skating events and have done it for years. While it is a true honor to work top events, my absolute passion is being behind the microphone at Basic Skills competitions. It is like announcing on speed, especially when you have two or three events going on one sheet of ice at the same time. I will discuss that in another blog because it is truly schizophrenic and definately NOT for the faint of heart (voice or organization).
What I truly love about doing Basic Skills competition is watching the coaches interact with their young students. Seriously...have you ever REALLY watched? If not, you are missing a true gem in our sport.
Lined up in the hockey boxes like a chorus line covered in Patagonia, feathers and occasionally furs, the coaches live and die by their young skater's program. Every move; every nuance of choreography is mimicked on the sidelines. You can almost hear Mama Rose screaming, "Sing Out, Louise!" (Reference to the musical "Gypsy," for those of you too young to remember). With laser-like stares and voices that come close to sounding like a cross between Mary Poppins and Cruella Deville (no matter if they are a female or a male coach), these mostly-young stewards of skating move in a strange unison with their student in a manner that appears to have nothing to do with what everyone is listening to in the rink. Actually, if you watch closely, you can't tell if the coaches are directing "A Whole New World," or "The Chicken Dance." Whatever it is, if you do not smile - or occasionally laugh outright - you had better check your pulse.