Sunday, January 24, 2016

This Will Restore Your Faith in Figure Skating: Part 5: Tarah Kayne and Danny O'Shea's "Music of the Night"

Yesterday in St. Paul, MN, Tarah Kayne and Danny O'Shea dazzled audiences en route to a convincing win at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Skating to "Music of the Night," from Phantom of the Opera, the team made an overdone skating "warhorse," feel fresh and vibrant with a performance that brought the audience to its feet.

Coming off the heels of a stellar short program to "Take Me to Church," by Hozier, Tarah and Danny proved that they are the best in the U.S. by delivering the technical goods and a performance that was smooth, soaring, genuine, and free. My sister and I can't say enough good things about Danny's skating--he skates with big sweeping movements, secure edges, and an abandon that we haven't seen from anyone in years.

We love how this team's choreography perfectly uses the accents of the music to feature highlights and movements that reach out to the audience and pull us into their performance. I commented to my sister that they "look up," and they "reach out,"--they embrace us with their joy. They even smile when they skate. In an event where the pressure is palpable, it's refreshing to see a team rise above that and show authentic emotion.

When this performance ended, my sister and I clapped, and she said, "This gives me hope."

The judges thought so, too, rewarding Tarah and Danny with the highest total ever achieved in U.S. pairs skating under the new scoring system.

This team, and this performance, has renewed my faith in U.S. pairs skating. They created a moment for all of us that reminds us of why we should do anything: because we love it. Tarah and Danny's love for skating translated brilliantly Saturday afternoon, and the world of skating is grateful for it.

To Tarah and Danny: thank you, and congratulations!

My faith in figure skating has been restored.

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