Tuesday, July 5, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
World Ice Dancing champions reflect on experience ,
After winning World
looks forward to
returning to 'U'
By MICHELE NAROV
Daily Staff Reporter
After winning the silver
medal in the 2010 Olympic games
in Vancouver, LSA students Meryl
Davis and Charlie White began
the 2011 ice dancing season with
one goal in mind: to leap to the
top of the podium at the World Ice
Dancing Championships in April.
Months later, after countless
grueling training sessions and
one ten-hour flight to Moscow,
they not only achieved their goal,
but also made history as the first
American team to do so. On top of
all of that, they still plan to take
classes at the University in Sep-
The reality of the win didn't
set in for the pair until they were
interviewed in the "kiss-and-cry"
- a playful term ice dancers use
to describe the area where they
receive their scores after their
names have been announced,
"It was pretty surreal," she
said. "The interviewer asked us
questions that made us think a bit
more, and some questions about
what it meant for us to win. In
that context we were forced to
think about the relevance of what
had happened. It was so excit-
White said they both felt the
pressure mounting as they waited
to compete after being randomly
selected to skate last in the com-
petition - a daunting task even
for well-seasoned competitors.
- "It is really nerve wracking,"
White said. "It takes sort of a
mental toll because you have to
wait after you warm up on the
ice about 40-50 minutes where
you're just sitting there listen-
ing to everyone finish, wishing
you had somehow drawn another
Adding to the pressure, they
were preceded by their former
competitors and close friends,
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who
received the gold medal at the
Olympics in 2010.
Davis said this was not the
first time she and White had skat-
ed last in a competition and their
15 years of experience together
was a substantial advantage.
"We've been doing this for so
long that nerves are just a part
of the game," she said. "We just
try to incorporate nerves, in a
healthy extent, into what we do."
Davis added that when she
and White finally made it onto the
ice at the World Championships,
they did so with the mentality
that they had nothing to lose.
"Charlie and I talked to each
other a little bit right before we
started our program," she said.
"We said all we can do is give it
White and Davis said their
routine was a tango, which pre-
sented a greater level of difficulty
for them. While it took a substan-
tial amount of time and training
for them to develop the technique
needed for their performance,
they both said the extra effort
"We wanted to make sure
it was a good performance to
represent the U.S.," Davis said.
"Despite the fact that Charlie and
I tried not to think about it, every-
one was saying if you win, you'll
be the first American ice dance
team in history to achieve that,
and so we had that in the back of
Furthermore, Davis and
White said the win was thrilling
to them not only because of what
it signified for them, but what it
signified for the United States.
"(The victory) holds a special
place for us and a special place for
the country," White said. "We're
very grateful for the opportunity
to do something like that."
Next season, White and Davis
said they plan to continue their
ice dancing careers, and hope to
come up with new routines that
persist in pushingthe boundaries.
"It's going to be interesting to
see just exactly what we can do
to top ourselves," White said. "If
we want to stay at the top, which
definitely we want to do, we're
going to have to work that much
Despite their rigorous prac-
tice schedules, Davis and White
said they plan on taking class-
es on campus in the fall. Davis
added she loves the days she gets
to spend as a University student.
"It's funny because Charlie
and I have been students at Mich-
igan for several years," she said.
"But I still feel like I can never
get enough. I just love walking
around campus, and walking
through the Diag and the Law
Despite their affection for the
University and Ann Arbor, their
fans can rest at ease because the
two have no plans to retire any
time soon, despite their 15 year-
long career. According to White,
he and Davis are too excited about
their work to stop now.
"I wouldn't say it gets easier,"
he said. "There's always sort of
that 'why am I a figure skater, I
could be sitting at home.' But we
love the feeling you get when you
begin to perform."
Piccolo 1 e / d1 t . ......
Michigan Marching Band
Open Auditions During Orientation
Auditions start at3:00 PM
Required music audition will be held at Revelli
Hall on the final day of your Orientation Session.
Audition will consist of:
- one chromatic scale two octaves
to demonstrate range
* one minute of prepared music
solo or etudes that have contrasting style
(demonstrate beauty of tone, phrasing & musicality,
and technical ability)
Call 764-0582 for more information