Monday, February 5, 2007

Dancing on ice 2007 - the difference

It hardly seems a year ago. there we all were amazed at the exploits of celebrities skating with professional skaters. Well. here we are again. Bigger and better than ever. What a show it is and a privilege for me to be a part of it.

The difference this year for me comes in a number of ways:

(1) Celebrities know that it is possible to master (to a degree) the ice dancing part of the show It reminds of the fact that it took a long time to pass the barrier for the four minute mile. Then, once it was broken, in the next year more people broke the record too. There is a psychological point of: 'Will it work?" "Is it possible?" Now I think we are in the "It does work, how good can I be..." phase.

(2) The coaches and professional skaters know it can be done and more of what needs to be done. The demands of the show are huge. A new routine each week is incredible by normal competitive standards and models. But having been through it before there is something to build on. The downside of this is that you can know how much work is needed whereas before you were constantly running on adrenalin!

(3) Everything was new last year, now the production machine is stronger and what we see on the screen is a superb mix of professionalism and teamwork from a huge production team

(4) Chris and Jayne skating a new number every week. Wow. The risk of skating live to the nation each time and the effects and grace and power and fun they have in that. Brilliant.

(5) Personally I feel more used to the role. Last year I was very challenged by it at times as I had always hated the judges when I was skating. Some were great but a lot of the time deals were being made and I was too aware of them, particularly in international events. It soured my experience of competition I think. So for me to be one and try to be impartial all the time and supportive of all the skaters and not get wound up was a challenge for me. I learnt the pressures a judge faces. I learnt that you have to be strong and stand alone at times. There were good times too of course last year but it was a fierce learning experience at times. this year... perhaps I'm a bit more settled in myself and that's making a difference. And having had experience of this particular event as in anything you get more practised. (Hope I don't now make a bloomer next week!)

(6) The standard of skating from the celebrities is much higher straight from the start. I can't get over how good they get so quickly. the sets and the lights and music helps but it is amazing the job they do with their professional partners.

There's more but it's behind the scenes and my contract says that's top secret and I'll be put in the Tower of London if I divulge it! Well not exactly those words but close....

Talk soon


PS Thanks to Ken McKay for the use of the photo. This one was from last year... Tess did the styling...

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