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.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
What are your opinions when watching a skater use her craft to present a political statement? Unless you go to the local club shows you're unlikely to see such a thing, but once or twice a year most clubs take a break from the rigors of official scoring to offer a free-form exhibition.
Several times during such shows I've watched skaters (usually young adults) present a protest program. It might be a skate to protest discrimination, or inequality, or women's rights, or even a memorial to somebody.
When I watch a protest skate I harbor mixed emotions. On the one hand an artist is certainly free to express whatever she chooses. If in doing so it moves her soul along a positive path toward a better direction, then more power to her.
On the other hand I sense a bit of resentment in myself and the other audience members. It's not so much that we disagree with the content of the protested expression per se. Perhaps it's more that the aesthetics of skating accustomizes us to its appeal to grace and beauty, rather than a sense of worldly purpose. We enjoy watching skating because it allows us a bit of escape from the hard issues of humanity. To smack us in the face with them directly seems somewhat discourteous.
At the same time though, maybe that's the whole point.