Skaters

It’s the flow of it all that’s so magical.  I’m in awe of the leans, the little jumps, the tentative spins.  Tonight was the Carnival presented by the young people of the Belmont Skating Club, and I got to be there.

Parents, grandparents, friends and the rest of us seemed to cheer every little glimpse of excellence in the routines of the four-year-old and the fourteen-year-old.  There were tumbles.  There were ending flourishes held high before the applause.  It was just plain lovely.

I watched “Jenny”, a twelve-year-old girl in the class where I volunteer.  She swooped and swirled on the ice, bending her body every whichway as she moved to the music.  There was grace and power and dancing hands.  A few minutes later, Jenny was back out there as a “program assistant” , encouraging the tiny ones dressed in green.  For me, her cheering was just as special as the flow of her solo work.  Create beauty and then assist others to do the same.

I love several of the solo skaters.  I know them.  And after tonight I also know them in a new way … expressing their passion, telling stories with their legs, their arms and their smiles.  I was so proud of my young friends.

A visiting troupe of synchronized skaters graced the ice as well.  These twelve- to sixteen-year-olds formed three trios and  pushed forwards and backwards together like the Snowbirds precision pilots in air shows.  The movements backward especially took my breath away.  Those were such symbols of transcendence.

I applauded eleven soloists and several group acts, which were mostly young kids.  The individual skaters were all girls.  I enjoyed their artistry immensely.  At the same time, I missed the presence of boys.  I know they’re off playing hockey but I dream of the time when they also explore the melody of dance.

“Marcy” is a student I volunteered with two years ago.  She performed to the music of “Always Remember Us This Way”, from the movie A Star Is Born.  The lyrics skated beside her:

Lovers in the night
Poets trying to write
We don’t know how to rhyme
But, damn, we try
But all I really know
You’re where I wanna go
The part of me that’s you will never die 

Marcy told the story.  We looked on in wonder.

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