From Davis and White to India, With Love



By JOANNE C. GERSTNER


Meryl Davis and Charlie White, American ice dancers with an Indian-themed original dance, have found new fame and new fans thanks to a YouTube video of their program.
American ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White thought their Indian-themed original dance program could be popular.

Little did they know it would become an international sensation, thanks to YouTube.

A video of their program, from the Rostlecom Cup last October, has drawn more than 220,000 hits.

White and Davis, the 2009 Grand Prix champions as well as the reigning national champions, have received e-mails from fans in India and South Asia, who are pleased with their routine. They have had interview requests from Indian and Indian-American media outlets, wanting to discuss the program.

“It’s been pretty wild, this just started as a program we hoped the crowd and judges would really like,” Davis said. “We had no idea it got on YouTube and it started spreading around like that. It’s interesting how that’s developed.”

Davis and White’s original dance has more than Bollywood moves. She wears a glittering red sari, while he has on a traditional khaki long coat worn by Indian men.

Neither skater is of Indian descent. They worked on getting into character with an Indian choreographer to help make their performance as authentic as possible. The popular original dance will be seen at this month’s U.S. Figure Skating Championships, which will also determine who qualifies for the Olympic team for the Vancouver Games.

“We’re two kids from Detroit who have become the new sensation of India,” said White, laughing. “It’s been really funny to see how this thing has gone. We like that people are enjoying the performance and that it’s making an impact. That’s what you really want, to strike a good chord with people.”

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