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  • Bev Kirk


Edited by Andrea Pond

Think of strong, graceful, migratory birds: Canada geese, aptly-named trumpeter swans, all kinds of ducks. During migration, the lead bird very responsibly assesses wind speed and direction, thermals, and environmental changes that may alter landmarks, such as forest fires, floods, or deforestation preparatory to construction. The leader must monitor his own energy level as well so that he can signal a rotation in position to the next leader.

The leader signals the birds behind him: head upward, dip down, turn to the east coming up, prepare to head west, we're landing on that large island up ahead to stop and eat. All the while, the leader signals vocally or by body signals.

As in dancing, many figure skating routines mimic nature. I was overwhelmed with these parallels earlier today as I watched the figure skaters drill through some of their practice routines. The leader would circle around the rink, followed by successive skaters who fell in rhythmically behind, changing positions at prescribed intervals, all in perfect time with the provocative background music.

Some of the routines suggested ballet on ice. The changes of order were performed with impressive skill and artistry; the undulating circles were carried out with a rare dedication and beauty.

All this seeming perfection was a total joy to behold, and it was just a first practice for this rink and event. It's hard to believe that it can possibly become any better, but it can and it will! We still have three more days for the privilege of enjoying these magnificent routines! Skate on, athletes!


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