I remember sitting in front of the TV as a kid anticipating the spins and jumps the figure skaters would perform. They flew across the ice in fluid motions, making it look so simple. As I tried to imitate them on the frozen city pond, it was never as simple as it seemed. It was difficult for me to master backwards skating and my spins were never quite as fast as theirs. I also didn’t have the courage to try a jump, as it hurt falling on ice.
In the early 1990’s as we watched one of the televised ice skating competitions, Scott Hamilton did a perfect back-flip in his program. I was enthralled and wished I was among the audience watching it live, so I could throw down flowers or a stuffed animal to show my admiration for his performance. Thirty years later, in a tour created by Hamilton, I was finally able to sit in the audience and watch an ice skating program, 2022 Stars on Ice.
Instead of watching my childhood hero perform feats of magic on ice, I watched a new generation of amazing athletes and performers. If you watched the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics ice programs, as I did, you will be familiar with many of the routines showcased in this tour. Music selections, from various genres, had the audience grooving in their seats, bursting into cheers and claps as the skaters completed (and once or twice stumbled on) their tricks.
Nathan Chen was a highlight in the two act show. While it wasn’t Hamilton, it was exciting to watch Chen seamlessly perform a back-flip in his first solo piece of the night. Chen was a fan favorite, garnishing loud cheers as he speed across the ice with his lightening speed and effortless tricks. I was captivated with his gold medal programs during the 2022 Winter Olympics, and seeing them in person was a dream come true!
All of the skaters, both singles and pairs brought something special to the night. Jason Brown brought pure joy and entertainment every time he was on the ice. He is a pro at performing split jump after split jump. The women single skaters, Karen Chen, Alysa Liu, Mariah Bell and Mirai Nagasu, were elegant, empowering and even a little spunky in their numbers. Vincent Zhou skates with confidence and precision that makes skating seem like a simple task.
We were fortunate to have all the pairs on the tour list of skaters perform for us in Seattle, WA. Kaitlin Hawayek & Jean-Luc Baker performed part of their routine in the dark with lights in their jackets floating across the ice. Pairs Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue, and Alexa Knierim & Brand Frazier performed wonderfully lyrical numbers. I was excited that one of my favorite pair numbers from the 2022 Winter Olympics, about star-crossed lovers, was preformed during this tour. Madison Chock and Evan Bates brought the love story alive to a Daft Punk medley, with not only excellent execution on the lifts and spins in the number but also in their facial expressions and body movements.
Team USA came together on a few numbers throughout the night. In sync, fun group choreography kept the crowd cheering and wanting more. Even though we weren’t able to throw down flowers and toys for our favorite skaters, the audience was entertained all night long. The skaters as well seemed to be enjoying themselves as they bowed to all sides of the arena after each number.
The 2022 Stars on Ice tour, not only was a great way to spend the evening, but also took a moment to introduce Holt International to the audience. Holt International provides help to families to keep kids in their low income homes and finds homes for children that are in need of a loving forever family.
If you missed the tour this year be sure to visit Stars on Ice online for fun merchandise and signed photos, the music list, or to join their email list. You can also follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to keep up to date with all the latest news and events.