2008 Novice men's champion Danny O'Shea has been receiving invaluable choreography advice from 1992 Olympic silver medalist Paul Wylie (see above, Danny is on right). This collaboration began when Danny's choreographer, former ice dancer Susie Wynne Barth, approached Paul during Worlds and asked if he would be interested in working with some of her students. In May 2008, Paul came to Danny's training center, the Twin Rinks Ice Pavilion in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, to work with Danny for about a week.
Paul helped Danny with his short program for this year, which is Carmina Burana by Carl Orff. (As an aside, I have to mention this: I have learned so much about composers and music from being a skater and skating fan. I had heard this piece thousands of times and now can finally put the composer's name on it! Trust me, you have heard this in movies, commercials, sporting events, you name it. YouTube link to Carmina Burana.) Danny told me that this is a program close to Paul's heart, as Paul skated to it himself some time ago. Another interesting tidbit is that Anne Militano cut the music for the program. Anne also worked with Paul during his competitive years and is also the sister of Mary Scotvold, Paul's former coach. So it looks like Paul is recreating his winning team together for Danny. I asked Danny what he took away most from being around and collaborating with Paul. He said,
Amazing energy and talent! WOW -- what balance on the ice. He is absolutely great to work with! He worked on some difficult footwork with me and demonstrated what he thought would work. All I can say is WOW.
Paul will be back for another week to continue working with Danny and I cannot wait to see the short program!