This blog is a collection of my thoughts and experiences from ten years as a skate dad. For those of you sitting with your jackets in the bleachers, first I salute you, but second I want to give you an honest sense of what you are in for and what to expect. Ice skating is both a trying and a glorious sport, but it doesn't happen without the special group of folks who cheer, support, and console the participants. This is dedicated to you.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

- manly

Why do so many male figure skaters try to emulate the same style that they see in women's? It seems to me that, after all, a male figure skater has a different palette to choose from than a female skater. I'm not saying that a guy can't be graceful or pretty to watch on the ice, just that he doesn't have to be.

A male skater can be amazing to watch because he is suave, athletic, knightly, classy, or expressive. For example here's a video of Elvis Stojko.

I think a man should take advantage of his wider palette and boldly be expressively inventive on the ice; it's as if men's skating is an entirely different sport than women's.

How does a man achieve an independent style in a sport where eighty percent of the coaches and participants are ladies? Can a female coach understand the palette of a man or should a guy always seek out a male coach?


  1. Hmmmm. Men should be graceful and pretty on the ice, because graceful line and body movement are inherently beautiful and artistic, rather than "feminine", and have nothing to do with gender. Male ballet dancers are graceful and pretty to watch but ooze "masculine", if you will, because a choreographer has chosen movement for them that is more angular, or open, or whatever the dance terms are for that type of movement. I hesitate to use "athletic", because even the most "Girly-girl" female skaters perform very athletic moves.

    To me, the best male skaters are the ones who pay attention to line, and movement, form, and musicality. They are graceful and pretty to watch. Nowhere does it enter my mind that they are feminine, although their movements are what you would call such. Daisuke Takahashi and Jeremy Abbott come to mind, as does the late John Curry. Elvis Sotjko doesn't come close, because he spent a career trying to be "masculine" in the stereotypical sense rather than paying attention to body line and graceful movement. He would have been much better doing the same exact programs and music and choreography that he had, if only he tried harder for beautiful as opposed to masculine movement.

  2. Men should not be penalized for being who they are, masculine. If grace and being pretty on ice is what gets them points, perhaps it should be restricted to women and gay men.