Ice skating fascinated me at an early age. I remember stopping whatever I was doing so I could sit down to watch it with my mom whenever it was on. Scott Hamilton’s back flips were always my favorite. When I was about 11, my cousin had a birthday party at the Miami Ice Arena (which no longer exists). I was so excited to get out there and glide gracefully across the ice like Michelle Kwan, Tara Lipinski and Kristi Yamaguchi. Sadly, that did not happen. As soon as I put one skate on the ice it all went downhill & I spent the entire birthday party, by myself, holding onto the wall as I attempted to make my way around the rink. It was a complete disaster. I also recall overhearing my aunt telling someone that paying for me to attend the party was a complete waste of money. Luckily, I’ve since learned how to “skate”–if just making your way around the rink without falling or holding onto the wall is considered skating.
My love and appreciation for ice skating was renewed during the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. Watching Mirai Nagasu become the first U.S. woman to land the triple axel in the Olympics; Maia & Alex Shibutani (#ShibSibs) winning the bronze medal in ice dancing; Team USA winning the bronze in the team event; Nathan Chen’s redemption after a devastating short program to land SIX quads in his long program, and watching Adam Rippon’s flawless routines and hilarious interviews while welcoming him into our hearts was an experience I got to share with my mom and it reignited that flame for the sport.
So, needless to say, when I saw that Stars On Ice would be making its way down to South Florida, I just had to buy tickets–especially considering the fact that my birthday was the day after the show. It’s like the stars aligned!
The tour kicked off in Ft. Myers on April 6th, with a follow-up show in Orlando April 7th that was filmed for television (check your local listings for Saturday, April 14th). Skaters included Olympic Bronze Medalists Maia & Alex Shibutani and members of America’s Olympic Bronze Medal-winning team Nathan Chen, Adam Rippon, Mirai Nagasu, Bradie Tennell and Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue. Plus Olympic Gold Medalists Meryl Davis & Charlie White, World Silver Medalist Ashley Wagner and U.S. Champions Jason Brown and Karen Chen.
Our show was in Ft. Lauderdale/Sunrise, Florida on April 8th and it was nothing short of amazing. The lights reflecting off of the ice were mesmerizing, and the outfits sparkled like hundreds of tiny diamonds. (The only thing missing was Adam singing Rihanna’s “Diamonds,” but I digress.)
The show opened with a group number to P!nk’s “Raise Your Glass,” followed by individual performances from each skater. There were also mini performances sprinkled throughout the entire show with 3-6 skaters at a time. Adam joined the ShibSibs for one song; Zachary, Madison, Meryl, Charlie, Nathan & Ashley combined forces to Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You”; a beautiful performance featuring Ashley, Karen, Bradie and Madison; there was a girls only number, and an energetic boys only number to Portugal. The Man’s “Feel It Still.” You can also expect a brief 20-minute intermission in the middle of the show that returns with more individual performances and a group number that closes the show. Some of the other songs you can expect to hear during the show are “Remedy” by Adele and “Let Me Think About It” by Ida Corr (Adam Rippon), “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake (Jason Brown), “Elastic Heart” by Sia (Meryl & Charlie), “Never Enough” by Loren Allred (Karen Chen), “This Is Me” by The Greatest Showman Cast (Bradie Tennell), “Nemesis” by Benjamin Clementine (Nathan Chen), plus songs from P!nk (Ashley Wagner), Wicked on Broadway (Mirai Nagasu), Hamilton on Broadway and more.
Sadly, I missed Nathan Chen’s quad in person because workers at the BB&T Center kept walking down to stop people from recording videos on their phones and were blocking my view, BUT I know it happened because everyone went nuts. The atmosphere was amazing and it was nice to see people of all ages and backgrounds in one room–just don’t try to record video because it does distract from other’s experiences. There’s a strict policy against flash photography and video recording, so just don’t.
Since our show took place the day before my birthday, I splurged a bit and bought Meet & Greet tickets for my niece and I. When we finally made our way to the room where it was taking place, the skaters were all seated at tables waiting to sign their lives away. You have the opportunity to speak with each skater, have them sign autographs and take photos. It wasn’t like other “meet & greets” where someone is standing there rushing you through the process. You actually got to meet them, which was nice. Everyone was so kind. Taking into consideration the fact that they’d just completed their third show of the weekend and had to wait until the meet & greet was over so they could eat, I was surprised at the level of kindness they all had for everyone.
Stars On Ice is a show I highly recommend to people of all ages. The music was great, the atmosphere was so positive, and the skating was phenomenal. The entire event is put together so well. Meet and greet tickets are sold out for the remaining shows on the tour, but the show itself is well worth the money. You’re guaranteed to be in awe of the grace, beauty and talent of these skaters on and off the ice.
You can find more information regarding skaters, tickets and merch by visiting the Stars On Ice official site HERE.
You can also click HERE to help Adam Rippon on his quest to raise funds for GLAAD‘s youth program.