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January 11, 1991 - Image 51

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-01-11

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

SHAPES OF
THINGS TO COMEA

week, works eight hours on
Sundays at Hardee's and
sometimes teaches power-
skating. That's in addition to
his 34 hours on the ice at
Fraser Skateworld.
Dan Hollander's road to ice-
skating prominence began
when he was 4. His mother
took him roller skating with
older sister Sandra and her
Brownie group. Hollander fell
in love with skating and
began taking ice-skating
lessons. His parents took him
to Ice Capades shows and
soon Dan was competing.
Hollander also has taken
ballet and mime lessons and
has few problems competing.
He has two comedy routines
— a mime routine and "Dan
and Dolly," the latter seeing
him skating around the ice
with an inflatable dummy at-
tached to him. It ends with
Hollander falling on the
dummy.
"One time a lady thought it
was real and yelled when I
fell on it," Hollander says.
Last fall's Eastern Great
Lakes Championships in

"I have been
fortunate that
nothing too bad
has happened to
me on the ice."

— Dan Hollander

Cleveland dispelled any
doubts about Hollander's
skating ability. He finished
first in a field of 12 skaters,
winning for the third straight
year the regional
championship.
The regional is the first of
two competitions leading to
the nationals. The second is
the sectional, this week in
Omaha.
The high point on
Hollander's road thus far is
the seventh place junior divi-
sion ranking he earned at the
national championships in
Salt Lake City.
"I wouldn't say I missed out
on my childhood," says
Hollander, who was a bar
mitzvah at Congregation
Beth Shalom. "I didn't have
time to join AZA, but I did
have my playtime."
Nevertheless, in 1987,
Hollander quit skating for
two months. His old coach
talked him into returning to
compete in the Michigan
junior men's state champion-
ship.
"There was only one other
competitor and my coach said
he wasn't too good,"
Hollander says. "There
wasn't a lot of preparation in-
volved and I wound up winn-
ing. Having the time off was

nice, but I was itching to get
back onto the ice."
In 1988, Hollander placed
first in the junior men's
category at the Eastern Great
Lakes Championships in
Wyandotte. He captured the
same championship in
Midland a year later. That
same year, he took third in
the junior men's category at
the Midwestern Champion-
ships in Minneapolis.
Hollander attributes his
success to his coach of 2 1/2
years, Diana Ronayne-Wetzel.
"She's a killer, a monster —
very disciplined and just a
great coach," says Hollander.
"She saw my bad habits and
helped me fix them. I realiz-
ed after I won the Eastern
Great Lakes Championship
that she knew what she was
talking about."
"When I first saw him, I
saw he had potential,"
Ronayne-Wetzel said. "He is
strong and his body is built a
lot like Scott Hamilton's."
1990 wasn't a bad year for
Hollander, either. Before the
Great Lakes championship,
he won the junior men's
category at both the Toronto
and Colorado championships.
"At the Toronto Champion-
ships, I felt as happy as he
did," Ronayne-Wetzel said.
"There were international
judges that didn't know Dan
and could have easily picked
one of their own skaters."
However, what Hollander
may be most recognized for
locally is his appearance on
Mort Crim's "Home For The
Holidays" television special
at the Southfield Ice Arena
earlier this year.
He also performed last year
in the Findlay, Ohio, and
Lighthouse Point, Fla., ice
shows, besides being the solo
principal performer of the Ice
Company in Southfield.
"I have been fortunate that
nothing too bad has happen-
ed to me on the ice," says
Hollander. "But I was doing
my mime routine in Ohio and
my prop flower kept falling
off. So I threw it up into the
crowd, so my girlfriend could
hold it. But one lady thought
I was throwing it to her and
she caught it and was pretty
happy. I eventually got it
back."
"I have gotten burned out
before, but you have to keep
on pushing or you may get
out of shape," he says. "I us-
ed to think of all the time I
had in front of me, but now
the time is a lot closer and
I've learned to take it day by
day. The feeling of wanting to
be number one has kept me
going.
"I'll never lose interest in
skating, even when I'm
finished competing," he says.

$100 off

44f
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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

51

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