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.
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Steph – I showed the photos to my mom – she and I are both curious about the Russia jacket that he’s wearing. I thought maybe a gift from a friend on the Russian team? Do you know?
His coach, assistant coach and choreographer are all Russian, and he’s good friends with people on the Russian team. One of the Russian Olympic team members was at the clinic hanging out with him (I haven’t figured out who it was yet. I should have snapped a photo). She was with him because they were on their way to Louisville to go to the Kentucky Derby. (He’s apparently a big fan of horses and horse racing).
It may have been a gift, but it also might have been his. He identifies with Russia and has a lot of Russian skating gear and clothes. And furs, and odd Russian pseudo-military outfits. He’s a bit of a clothes horse.
Somewhere it was written that Bosco sent Johnny the gift of a complete set of Russian gear because they know of his love of Russia.
If there’s anyone I’d love to have impart advise on skating, it’s Johnny Weir – he’s awesome.
Maybe Ksenia Makarova?