Is FOX going to bring back Skating with Celebrities? Because I LOVED that show, Lloyd Eisler and all. Maybe figure skating is only popular to the masses in the U.S. every four years. Thank goodness for YouTube, where I can catch episodes of Dancing on Ice, the hit show from Great Britain, which manages to garner top ratings and sustain the television audience's interest and enthusiasm for three straight years and counting. There's even a tour after every season which is equally popular!
I was watching a few shows on YouTube with a nonskating friend who commented that the two skaters who open every show with a short performance are "really good." I said, "You mean Torvill and Dean!?!" I quickly went to my site and searched for a Clip of the week on Torvill and Dean. My friend patiently waited while I kept muttering, "There is no way that I did not do a Clip of the week on Torvill and Dean. Wait wait, no, that's not it." So I regaled her with my knowledge of the ice dancing legends and after 10 minutes, she sighed and said, "Ok ok, can we actually watch the Boléro program now?"
Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean (at right, on Dancing on Ice promo shot) were the 1984 Olympic champions in ice dancing and by now, everyone on the (skating) planet knows that their free dance to Boléro was groundbreaking on so many levels: emotional, interesting, intricate, Christopher's split (!), 12 perfect 6.0's, including all nine judges awarding 6.0s for artistic impression, and my personal favorite -- their skates don't actually touch the ice until about 30 seconds into the program. They came out of retirement in 1994 to compete in the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, where they captured the bronze, with a skate to Let's Face the Music and Dance. (link to program) Many critics felt that they were robbed of the gold or silver, due to the politicized nature of judging in ice dancing.
Now at age 50 and 49 respectively, Jayne lives in the U.K. with her husband and two children, while Christopher (married to American skater Jill Trenary) is based in the U.S. with Jill and their two boys. (I'm not sure how often Christopher gets to be home since he and Jayne continue to be involved with Dancing on Ice as a television show as well as in the worldwide tour.)
Below is Torvill and Dean's gold medal performance to Boléro. There are only a few instances where the opening notes of a piece of music instantly conjure up an image. This is definitely one of those moments.