Back at the end of April, Stephanie was able to participate in a skating clinic conducted by Olympic Skater Johnny Weir, sponsored by the Indiana/World Skating Academy. It was downtown at the Pan Am Plaza rink where Stephanie takes lessons and often skates. Johnny did different sessions for different skill levels, and then went through basic moves at their level with them, did some demonstrations, and then had each skater perform a move or jump they were working on for him so he could give them some advice on how to improve it.
It was a fun session, and the skaters were really excited to be on the ice with an Olympic-level skater. He was nice (but we knew that already) and very cool as a mentor. He really pays attention to the skaters, listens to what they’re saying, and was genuinely delighted at what they could do. He seemed really entertained by the little kids on the ice. I know that he plays around with the Diva image, but he was far away from that the whole time. He clearly adores the sport of figure skating. Stephanie said she was excited by what she learned from Johnny. She has a regular coach, but getting different viewpoints and perspective on what she’s doing can help snap some core concepts into place.
Now let’s talk about Johnny’s skating for a sec, because it was awesome to see him skate in person. When you see him skate up close, it’s like watching poetry. So graceful, so fluid – absolutely, effortlessly in control of every inch of his body.
Above is an example, although it’s hard to catch in still pictures – pure grace, and joyous to watch. He’s absolutely my favorite male skater.
Here’s a slide show of my photos of the event – you can also see them on Flickr.