Michigan Game Day appearance

Meryl and Charlie (and Emily and Evan) made a radio appearance today (104.3 WOMC) at the Michigan vs. Bowling Green game. They were also honored during a break during the actual football game. Go Blue!

"Shall We Dance...On Ice" stuff


Shall We Dance...On Ice preview article

Groundbreaking Virtue and Moir here for major show Wednesday

No one would have attempted this 20 years ago, or 10 years ago, or even two years ago.

It speaks volumes about what happened in Vancouver in February that a show revolving around ice dancing would take over one of the world’s most respected figure skating arenas, and also find a prime time home on American and Canadian TV.

‘Shall We Dance…On Ice?’ at Copps Coliseum next Wednesday evening will feature not only the couple which shattered the most rigid resistance in all of figure skating history but will also highlight their close friends and direct rivals.

When Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir skated to a decisive victory on Feb. 22, leaving a Pacific Coliseum audience oscillating between quiet awe and unabashed tears, they became the first non-European ice dancers ever to win the Olympic ice dance championship.

Their flamenco Original Dance and Mahler free dance were so advanced and mesmerizing that many of the world’s most perceptive skating minds, including the legendary Robin Cousins, began comparing them to the incomparable: Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, the best ice dance team ever; and Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov, the best pairs team of the post-war era.

Virtue and Moir also won the 2010 world championship, to become just the second North American ice dance team to be global champions in one of the most Euro-centric disciplines in all of world sport. The first North American champions were Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz in 2003. Appropriately, Bourne will be one of the hosts of Wednesday’s performance, which will be aired on NBC .

“Shae-Lynn and Kurt Browning emceeing were a huge draw for us to be part of this show,” Moir said. “We have such respect for them. And when we found out that Marina (Zoueva, their choreographer) was involved, we really wanted to be part of it.”

Also appearing in the show are Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who train with Virtue and Moir in Canton, Michigan, and were runners-up at both the Olympics and Worlds, plus 2006 Olympic silver medalists Tanith Belbin, an ex-pat Canadian, and her partner Ben Agosto. Belbin and Agosto, who set new standards for American ice dancing, formerly trained with Virtue and Moir in Canton.

Sinead and John Kerr, the Scottish brother and sister team who finished fifth in the world skating for Great Britain, will also be at Copps. They’ve built up a huge global following for their entertaining show routines.

There will be eight ice dance teams in all, skating to both live and recorded songs. The Canadian Tenors are the primary musical attraction and Moir is excited about skating to their stunning vocals.

“We’re really jacked about that,” Moir said.

“At the Calgary Stampede we skated to a live band and loved it. It’s almost like having a third party out there on the ice with you.

“This is really a showcase for North American dancing. And it’s great having the Broadway Stars in the show too. We have an inside joke in skating that lots of ice dancing shows have too much ice dancing, but there’ll be some numbers up on stage too.”

Among the off-ice dancers are Alex Ko, who has the lead role in ‘Billy Elliot; the Musical’ on Broadway, Canadian Cody Green who won Bravo Television’s ‘Step it Up and Dance’ and Emily Padgett, currently starring in ‘Rock of Ages’ on Broadway.

Virtue and Moir will also perform their new Short Dance program for the first time before an audience. The Short Dance is the new hybrid segment of Olympic-eligible ice dancing, combining one pass of a compulsory dance (that segment is now dead) with elements of the former Original Dance.

The Canadian ground-breakers are striving to take ice dancing in “the right direction”, with dance-based, athletic numbers brimming with difficult steps and artistry. They want the focus to be on skating, not cheap theatrics.

And they’re constantly being driven by White and Davis, who are after the very same thing….and a world title. The talented Americans actually beat their training mates in the free dance at the 2010 Worlds. But their rivalry doesn’t pinch their friendship.

“The women have a good relationship and Charlie and I are good friends,” Moir says. “We’re both wanna-be hockey players.

“The biggest thing we’ve done well is to have boundaries. All four of us understand that there are certain places we can go and certain places we can’t go and never have. The biggest thing is that we support each other, we never complain behind each other’s backs and never talk each other down. We all give credit where credit is due.

“Even if they weren’t second in the world, I’d want to train in the same rink as Charlie and Meryl. You can’t go in relaxed when they bring their game to the rink.

“They push us, we push them.”

And the biggest beneficiary, even more than Virtue and Moir, has been North American ice dancing.

Need to know

What: Shall We Dance….On Ice?

Where: Copps Coliseum

When: Wednesday, September 22, 7:30 p.m.

Who: Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir; Meryl Davis/Charlie White; Tanith Belbin/Ben Agosto; Sinead and John Kerr; Naomi Lang/Peter Tchernyshev; Kim Navarro/Brent Bommentre; Emily Samuelson/Evan Bates; Alexandra and Roman Zaretsky; Alex Ko, Cody Green, Emily Padgett, Laurie Kanyok, The Canadian Tenors.

How Much: $29, $49, $74 at the box office or Ticketmaster.

Note: The show will shown on NBC Nov. 7 at 4 p.m.

Official Facebook page

Meryl and Charlie have set up an official Facebook page. Become a fan HERE. I've added this to the Links page.

New Photoshoot!

Arising Images did a beautiful photoshoot with Meryl and Charlie. Check out the photos @ their website HERE.

Here's what the photographers had to say:
Our recent outdoor photo shoot with 2010 Olympic silver medalists in ice dancing Meryl Davis & Charlie White was a lot fun; These two have endless energy, smiles, and laughs! The morning weather was rather chilly and windy, but Meryl and Charlie were not phased as they spend several hours a day on the ice. While not a romantic couple, these two have a great friendship and have been skating together for over 12 years, the longest running ice dance partnership in the U.S. The fan they encountered during the shoot said it best: “Go USA!”

Theme semester at Michigan

LSA theme semester asks questions about life

What makes life worth living? Is it something as simple as a sunrise or as grand as a symphony orchestra? This question has been central to philosophical, religious and political thought for millennia, and engagement with it is part of the foundation of education in the liberal arts.

This fall the LSA theme semester “What Makes Life Worth Living?” will invite students and community members to explore this question and the answers offered over the centuries and around the globe.

Because students’ college experiences often shape the trajectories of their lives, the theme semester encourages them to take advantage of U-M’s rich resources to explore questions fundamental to their individual and collective lives:
• What is the good life?
• What makes life meaningful?
• How can one achieve a fulfilling balance between career, personal life and the obligations of citizenship?

The semester will offer courses, lectures, films and activities for all U-M students to connect with the theme and integrate their academic work with co-curricular activities and off-campus experiences.

It has been organized by John Chamberlin, professor of political science in LSA, professor of public policy at theGerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, and director of the Center for Ethics in Public Life; and Christopher Peterson, professor of psychology in LSA and director of the Michigan Positive Psychology Center.

“This theme semester offers students a chance to explore this question within the rich intellectual and cultural environment of the university,” says Terrence McDonald, LSA dean. “Students can explore historical, political and cultural perspectives and hear from leading psychologists, social activists and academic leaders who have examined this question.”

Students can submit essays, poems, videos and other contributions to a competition for reflections on the theme question. Students also can display their answers to the theme question on a special What Makes Life Worth Living? T-shirt.

“The theme semester offers students a chance to consider how their years at U-M will promote meaningfulness and well-being in their own lives and the lives of others,” Chamberlin says.

caption with above photo: Olympic silver medalists and LSA students Meryl Davis and Charlie White say possibility and competition, respectively, make life worth living. Photo by Hans Anderson.

2010-2011 Program Music announced

Meryl and Charlie have announced their music for the 2010-2011 season!

Pas si simple (from "Amelie Poulain" soundtrack) by Yann Tiersen
La Valse d'Amelie (from "Amelie Poulain" soundtrack) by Yann Tiersen
La Noyee (from "Amelie Poulain" soundtrack) by Yann Tiersen

Il Postino (soundtrack) by Luis Bacalov
Payadora (Forever Tango) by Lisandro Adrover
Recuerdo (Forever Tango) by Lisandro Adrover