Senior Crystallette members Hannah Meneely and Sharon Neff recount their weekend of USFS monitoring, as well as staffing Skate America and performing at the Smucker’s Spectacular Show at Skate America in Detroit, Mich.
To start our weekend, we had our regular Friday afternoon practice. During this time, we cleaned up the program from beginning to end. At the conclusion of practice, we felt confident for both our monitoring session and our Smucker’s performance. As we headed back home, we were excited for the rest of the weekend to come.
Saturday approached and we arrived at the Joe Louis Arena for Skate America ready to fulfill our “Puff girl” duties. Since Puff tissues helped sponsor this event, they had a few of us Crystallettes work at the puff booth and on the ice during resurfaces. It was so much fun. We were able to pump up the crowd and throw fun things into the audience. Hannah even got to throw a t-shirt to Scott Hamilton! When we weren’t on the ice, we were spreading word of the cool mock kiss and cry on the main level. There were Cover Girl makeup artists giving makeovers before spectators took pictures in the mock kiss and cry. Throughout the concourse, there were multiple booths with awesome free giveaways and picture opportunities.
Later that night, a few of us were also afforded the opportunity to help with the award ceremonies. That night, we presented medals to the Men’s and Dance winners, another unforgettable memory. We ended the day around 11pm having to set our alarms for a 7am practice. We were ready for another great day.
Our alarms went off at what felt like an hour too soon. Preparing ourselves for the day, we met in the lobby of our home rink for our pre-practice warm-up. Knowing that our day was jam packed, we told ourselves we needed to get through one thing at time, starting with our monitoring session. After we finished our warm-up, we headed to our locker room. While we got our skates on, we reminded ourselves of what our coach, Shannon Peterson, told us, “just go, enjoy yourselves, and sell your performance.” Putting everything out of our minds, we stepped onto the ice and had a smooth practice for our monitors.
After the monitoring session we transitioned ourselves to focus on having a remarkable first performance at Skate America. We had a few hours to rest before we had to return to the Joe Louis Arena. With our adrenaline pumping, we began our warm-up again. This time, we were not alone, but with other top Team USA skaters who also represent the other aspects of skating. Warming up next to Meryl and Charlie was unreal. It was fun to see how single and pairs skaters warmed up compared to synchro teams. Before we knew it, our dresses were on and our skates were tied. Max Aaron came to our locker room before we skated and wished us good luck. It was time to skate.
“You’re not seeing anything here folks but one, two, three…Keep counting!” As we stepped onto the ice listening to the announcer, we felt the audience’s excitement. Smiling in astonishment, the crowd filled us with elation, and when we heard, “from the world of singles, pairs, and dance”; we were extremely honored to represent the discipline of synchronized skating. It felt good to know that the audience really enjoyed watching and supporting us. After the performance some young fans even asked us for our autographs. We were very happy with our short program debut at the 2013 Smucker’s Skating Spectacular show, the conclusion of the 2013 Skate America Grand Prix competition, especially after such a long weekend.
We can’t wait to see everyone’s programs this season. Good luck to all synchro teams!
Hannah and Sharon