- One of my favorite Robin Cousins performances
- An exquisite John Curry piece, and another one that should not be missed by Curry to "Sunset" from Grand Canyon Suite.
- Classic and artistic Toller Cranston
- The incredible Gary Beacom (if you have never seen him, do yourself a big favor)
- Kurt Browning (with hair) doing my absolute favorite program to Singing in the Rain, and talk about moves, She's a Brick House.
- Scott Hamilton's pro "Short Program" that was a send up on real old school skating and a comic tribute to Dick Button.
- Brian Orser skating outdoors to a touching Neil Diamond song.
- A beautiful Brian Boitano program, again outdoors. (NOTE: The original was removed from YouTube for copyright reasons. Here is a wonderful program but not a great video recording of another program, this one in Sun Valley)
- I video taped this program in 1992. It is my pride and joy and I take it out whenever I want to be inspired. Paul Wylie's Olympic long program still brings tears to my eyes.
There are many, many more but you can search them yourselves. Of course, I have many favorites among the women, too. I'll share those in "Old School: Part Two." However, my point is this: Watch and learn from the masters. If you do not understand the history of the sport, you will not understand where you can take your talents. It doesn't matter if you are a male or female skater, it all begins and ends with the heart and soul of what skating is all about.
- Work hard to make it look easy.
- Sit at the cyber feet of your skating idols and watch what they do.
Do not imitate them; find your own voice. But aspire to share your talent in the same way they have shared theirs with us. If you succeed, it will bring the magic back to our sport.
I had someone comment on my last blog that her son didn't "get it" when it came to artistry and skating. That's understandable but sad. Certainly, over the past decade things have changed. But there is still nothing like "old school" skating to understand how jumps and choreography are one in the same. Being mesmerized by a skater doesn't happen when he or she does a big "trick." It is all the things in between - what is now called transition - that brings a performance from okay to amazing.
So, I wanted to share YouTube videos of some of my all-time favorite male skaters' famous, as well as lesser-known programs, so you can see what I mean.